x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

McLaren’s Magnussen thinks ‘we’re still some way off’

Kevin Magnussen is 10th in the 2014 F1 driver standings. Mark Thompson / Getty Images
Kevin Magnussen is 10th in the 2014 F1 driver standings. Mark Thompson / Getty Images

Kevin Magnussen believes McLaren are a long way from a return to their glory days, although is convinced they are at least on the right track.

With eight races of the season remaining, starting this Sunday with the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa as Formula One returns from its summer break, McLaren find themselves in the unaccustomed position of sixth in the constructors’ championship.

Click here for The National’s 2014 F1 season standings, race schedule and driver profiles

You have to go back to 1981 for when McLaren last finished a season in such a position, while it is now 21 months and 30 races since the team’s last victory, their worst winless streak for 17 years.

That is not what group chief executive Ron Dennis envisaged at the start of the year when he firmly suggested McLaren would win again.

For Magnussen, from the high of finishing second on his debut in Australia, the remainder of the year has been a struggle for the rookie.

Yet the 21-year-old Dane has every confidence if the team continue along the path they have been treading, they will again be back at the front.

“We’re still some way off where we should be, which is McLaren dominating Formula One,” said Magnussen.

“But we just need to keep doing what we’re doing at the moment, which is staying strong, positive and patient.

“For me, I’m on a very steep learning curve, a process of development as a Formula One driver.

“The goal for the next part of the season is to stay on that curve, to keep the development going, and for the team it’s not that much different.

“We need to keep developing as we have been doing because we’ve done a really good job in catching up some of our rivals.

“I know we’re not where we want to be but we have closed the gap to some really good competitors, and if we can keep that going then that would be a good plan.”

Magnussen is mature enough to appreciate McLaren’s situation, so when it comes to personal targets there is only one worth mentioning.

“I’m not really planning goals for myself,” added Magnussen.

“With where we are at the moment our goal should simply be just to win.

“Right now we’re not in a position where we can expect to be winning every race, so we need to just have the one goal, which is getting back to winning again.

“Goals like top three or top five are not relevant. Until you win, you just have to get the most out of what you have, out of the situation.”

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