• Second Barcelona Test - Day Three

MP4-30 a big improvement on 2014 car - Magnussen

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Kevin Magnussen thinks McLaren has made a big step forward with its 2015 challenger despite seeing his first day behind the wheel last for just 39 laps in Barcelona.

Reserve driver Magnussen stepped in for Fernando Alonso, who continues to recuperate after his testing crash in Barcelona last week, for his first laps since he was dropped in favour of the Spaniard last December. McLaren's day ended just after lunch with an oil leak but Magnussen was able to gain his first impression of the car and he thinks the team has every reason to be excited about its potential.

"It definitely feels like a completely different car," Magnussen said. "It doesn't feel related to last year's car, it's completely different. It's just very consistent, very predictable, very smooth in a way. Just driveable. Last year's car probably had more downforce but was much more sharp and much more on the limit and unpredictable in a way."

Despite his limited time behind the wheel Magnussen saw enough to think McLaren has a car filled with potential.

"I didn't get any high-fuel running, I only went sort of half way. The first feeling from low fuel and low fuel-ish was very good and very consistent, very stable - no surprises. Last year's car was a bit more unpredictable and it's nice to see the work we did last year has definitely proved to be right with this car, we don't know for sure yet but it feels right.

"The front end of last year's car was much less predictable and sharp and this year's car is more smooth and predictable and driveable. There's a way to go yet with this car but it's a completely new idea and a completely new car. It's a really good base and for me I think it's going to be a good car, maybe later in the season."

The Dane was asked whether it was aerodynamic or mechanical grip which had improved and he replied: "It's very much both. It's what you feel through the steering wheel, what you get when you turn the steering wheel - especially at low speed - is much more mechanical. The grip available is much more aerodynamic. For the moment we don't have the grip we want but the feeling in the car and in the steering wheel is much better and that's very positive. That's what I was looking for all last year and we've got that now so it's a good base. The car isn't as quick as we want it but it's going to get there, I'm sure of that."

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