Tag: Kevin Magnussen

F1: Barcelona Test 2, Day 3: Lewis Hamilton top for Mercedes

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton set the pace on the penultimate day of pre-season Formula 1 testing.

The world champion underlined the impression that Mercedes have a clear advantage by beating Williams’s Felipe Massa despite using slower tyres.

Hamilton was 0.24secs faster than Massa, who edged Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen by 0.014secs, using a tyre which is some 0.5-0.8secs slower a lap.

McLaren-Honda again had their running curtailed by a reliability problem.

Hamilton, who will not drive the car again until the first race of the season, said: “It wasn’t a spectacular day. The track seemed to have lost some grip to the last two days so it wasn’t the best in terms of feeling but we got some running done and I feel good in the car.”

Reserve driver Kevin Magnussen, standing for Fernando Alonso as the Spaniard recovers from concussion sustained in a crash last Sunday, managed only 38 laps before an oil leak in the engine ended the team’s day shortly after lunch.

The Dane was eighth fastest, 2.203secs off the pace, after a run on the soft tyre.

But despite the setback, Magnussen sounded optimistic about the team’s chances afterwards.

“Great to be back in the car today,” he said on Twitter.  “The McLaren-Honda feels great! Plenty more to come from this one.”

Racing director Eric Boullier said: “We won’t be as ready for the Melbourne as we would like, but we will do our best.”

Boullier added that “reliability is still a concern” and he said he expected the team to take until the fifth race of the season in Spain in May “to be more competitive”.

Final pre-season test. Day three, Circuit de Catalunya
1 Lewis Hamilton (GB) Mercedes 1:23.022
2 Felipe Massa (Brz) Williams-Mercedes 1:23.262
3 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari 1:23.276
4 Carlos Sainz (Spa) Toro Rosso-Renault 1:24.191
5 Romain Grosjean (Fra) Lotus-Mercedes 1:24.200
6 Marcus Ericsson (Swe) Sauber-Ferrari 1:24.477
7 Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Force India-Mercedes 1:24.939
8 Kevin Magnussen (Den) McLaren-Honda 1:25.225
9 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Red Bull-Renault 1:25.742

Read more at BBC Sport

F1: McLaren-Honda announces Fernando Alonso & Jenson Button for 2015

McLaren-Honda announce its new driver line-up for 2015: Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button. Kevin Magnussen will remain an important part of the team, as test and reserve driver.

All three men will play crucial roles in re-establishing the ascendancy of one of global sport’s most iconic unions, for McLaren and Honda have already formed one of the most dominant partnerships in motorsport history: Honda broke new ground in the 1980s by creating a turbocharged engine that was unparalleled in both its output and its efficiency, and, between 1988 and 1992, McLaren-Honda won eight world championships and 44 grands prix, and took 53 pole positions and set 30 fastest laps, all in just 80 grands prix.

In 1988, the partnership created arguably the single most successful Formula 1 car of all time: the all-conquering McLaren-Honda MP4/4, which was driven to victory by Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost in an amazing 15 of the season’s 16 grands prix.

The lure presented by those same goals has once again brought the legendary Japanese corporation back to the pinnacle of global motor racing; and, again, that company, Honda, is developing its revolutionary new turbocharged engine at its all-new purpose-built state-of-the-art motorsport facility in Sakura, Japan.

It is against that backdrop that McLaren and Honda are now committing to rebuilding afresh the strongest possible partnership in Formula 1.

The aforementioned Ayrton Senna, in the opinion of many the greatest driver in the history of our sport, won 30 of the 44 grands prix that McLaren and Honda annexed together between 1988 and 1992. Ayrton once said: “We do not need myths. We need examples to be followed – examples of courage, determination and hope. We need to believe it is possible to win, and it is our duty to pursue that belief.”

Fernando Alonso said:

“I have never hidden my deep admiration for Ayrton Senna, my favourite driver, my idol on track, my reference.

“I still remember, as a kid, the posters in my wardrobe, my toy cars in which I dreamed I would one day emulate Ayrton, and the kart that my father built for my older sister, and that I ended up falling in love with. That kart had the livery of one of the most legendary partnerships in the history of Formula 1, McLaren-Honda, the car that Ayrton drove, the same partnership to which I am now honoured to join, to take part in the next Formula 1 world championship.

“I am joining this project with enormous enthusiasm and determination, knowing that it may require some time to achieve the results we are aiming for, which is no problem for me.

“Over the past year I have received several offers, some of them really tempting, given the current performance of some of the teams that showed interest. But, more than a year ago, McLaren-Honda contacted me and asked me to take part, in a very active way, in the return of their partnership – a partnership that dominated the Formula 1 scene for so long.

Jenson Button said:

“I am extremely excited to be embarking on my 16th year in Formula 1 and my sixth season for McLaren.

“Like Fernando, I am certain that McLaren and Honda will achieve great things together, and I feel sure that, working together, all of us will pull incredibly hard to create a brilliantly effective winning team.

“I admired Ayrton Senna enormously, but, for me, it was the exploits of his McLaren-Honda team-mate Alain Prost that inspired me most as a boy. The way he stroked those beautifully brutal red-and-white cars to grand prix wins and world championships was to my mind poetry in motion, and I have tried to emulate his driving style ever since.

“Being a part of new-look McLaren-Honda is a wonderful opportunity for all of us, and I am very pleased to have been invited to do my bit. In fact, I am absolutely raring to go.

“I am also very glad that Kevin will remain part of the team. He is a very quick driver and a really nice guy.

Read more at mclaren.com

F1: Jenson Button secures McLaren seat alongside Fernando Alonso

Jenson Button is to partner Fernando Alonso at McLaren next season.

The team are to announce their driver line-up at a news conference at their factory in Surrey on Thursday.

But BBC Sport has learned they have decided to retain Button after weeks of leaning towards Kevin Magnussen.

Button, the 34-year-old 2009 world champion, will continue into a 16th season and has his wish granted to test himself against the man widely regarded as the best in F1.

McLaren signed Alonso some weeks ago, but had been vacillating over the identity of his team-mate.

Chairman Ron Dennis had been keen to retain Magnussen, 22, but the continuing delays over making a decision have tipped the balance back in favour of Button.

The two were evenly matched for pure pace in 2014, with Button out-qualifying the novice 10-9 in 19 races.

The Englishman scored more than twice as many points as Dane Magnussen over the season.

McLaren had intended to retain Magnussen, who finished second on his F1 debut in this year’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix, on the basis that the team’s data had suggested he was fractionally quicker and had youth and promise on his side.

But Button’s strong finish to the season, his experience and perhaps unrest at boardroom level over Dennis’s position has influenced the team to go the other way.

magnussen-button-tweet

Magnussen, who ended the season on 55 points compared to Button’s tally of 126, may be retained as reserve driver for 2015.

McLaren, as well as representatives of both Button and Magnussen, were unavailable for comment on Wednesday.

The farrago over the identity of the team’s second driver has detracted from the impact of McLaren’s signing of double world champion Alonso.

This is quite a coup considering his standing in the sport and the fact McLaren have succeeded in luring him away from Ferrari.

Ferrari had their least successful season for 21 years in 2014 but still finished ahead of McLaren, largely thanks to the efforts of Alonso.

Read more at BBC Sport

F1: McLaren looks set to announce 2015 driver line-up

McLaren appears to be ready to announce its 2015 driver line-up on Thursday after calling a media event at its factory in Woking.

Fernando Alonso is expected to be named alongside either Jenson Button or Kevin Magnussen, putting an end to weeks of speculation about the team’s line-up. McLaren initially planned to announce its 2015 drivers ahead of the final race in Abu Dhabi, but then said it would postpone its decision until December.

The team has invited the press to “an important and exclusive media event” but did not mention the specific purpose. However, with pressure growing on the team to make a decision on the futures of Button and Magnussen, it is likely to be the long-awaited driver announcement.

On Friday last week McLaren racing director Eric Boullier said a decision would be made with the long-term future of the team in mind.

“I know there are a lot of fans, Jenson’s fans, Kevin’s fans, other drivers’ fans and hopefully some McLaren fans, but it is just about taking the right decision for the future, not only for next year but also for the next years,” he told Sky Sports.

Read more at ESPN

F1: Hamilton quickest again in FP2

Lewis Hamilton maintained a small advantage over title rival Nico Rosberg in the second practice session as the pressure builds ahead of this weekend’s season finale in Abu Dhabi.

Hamilton beat his Mercedes team-mate to the fastest time by just 0.083s as the two look set for a tight head-to-head battle under the floodlights at Yas Marina. Rosberg closed the gap compared to the first practice session, but his best chance of winning the title requires him to win the race with Hamilton finishing third or lower.

Kevin Magnussen was third fastest in the McLaren and 0.782s off the two Mercedes as the rest of the pack closed in on the championship contenders from the 1.7s gap in FP1. Sebastian Vettel was fourth fastest as he takes part in his final grand prix weekend with Red Bull before moving to Ferrari next year.

Williams completed its repair job on Valtteri Bottas’s Williams after part of the engine cover came off due to an issue with the way the car’s cooling configuration had been set up. A more conservative configuration was used during the second session and Bottas finished fifth with 33 laps in total.

Daniel Ricciardo was sixth ahead of the highest-placed Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen. Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari stopped on just its third lap out of the pits with what appeared to be an engine issue.

Jenson Button was eighth fastest in the McLaren but lost out on mileage in both practice sessions with reliability issues. In the first session a suspension problem limited his running and although the team managed to fix it for FP2 they then discovered a hydraulics issue on the McLaren, meaning he completed just 22 laps – 14 less than team-mate Magnussen.

Daniil Kvyat and the second Williams of Felipe Massa rounded off the top ten ahead of Force India’s Sergio Perez and Lotus’ Pasto Maldonado. After problems in his first practice session, Caterham debutant Will Stevens completed 33 laps and managed to close 1.6s of his team-mate Kamui Kobayashi.

Read more at ESPN

F1: Russia: Lewis Hamilton sets pace in practice

Lewis Hamilton was in superlative form to set the pace in second practice at the Russian Grand Prix.

Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate and title rival Nico Rosberg was fourth fastest, 0.912 seconds adrift.

McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen was second fastest, 0.864secs off Hamilton, with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso third, a further 0.01secs adrift of the Dane.

The weekend is taking place in the shadow of the accident suffered by Marussia driver Jules Bianchi in Japan.

The Frenchman’s team have decided to run only one car in honour of Bianchi, who is in hospital in Japan in a critical condition after suffering severe head injuries in the crash on a very wet Suzuka track on Sunday.

World champion Sebastian Vettel said: “Does getting back in the car help us after what’s happened? It does and it doesn’t. It helps to get your head elsewhere and focus on the day job – looking after the best possible set-up and comparing the tyres and learning the new track; it keeps you occupied.

“But on the other hand it’s only been a couple of days, so it’s quite fresh and difficult.”

The single Marussia car of Max Chilton was 20th fastest, between the two cars of back-of-the-grid rivals Caterham, for whom Marcus Ericsson was 19th and Kamui Kobayashi 21st.

Williams’s Valtteri Bottas was fifth, split from team-mate Felipe Massa in seventh by McLaren’s Jenson Button.

At the front, Hamilton comes to Russia on the back of three straight wins, including in Japan last weekend, when he became the first Mercedes driver to make a pass stick on his rival in a wheel-to-wheel battle all season.

Rosberg has offered no excuses for his performance, saying that Hamilton coped better with the loose rear end in difficult conditions in Japan.

But he added: “I believe and know that if I do a good job here, I’ll win on Sunday. I’m not in the past. I’m here.”

Rosberg appeared to have an edge on Hamilton initially in practice – he was quickest in the first session and was quicker by 0.242secs in the early part of the session, when the drivers were running on the harder ‘medium’ tyre.

Then, Hamilton was struggling with his inside wheel locking as he braked into Turn 13, at the end of the long back straight.

But Hamilton pulled off some stunning performances on the runs on the faster ‘soft’ tyre, putting in two laps more than 0.6secs quicker than Rosberg.

Rosberg ran wide at one corner and was complaining that he was not happy with the car.

And on the longer runs at the end of the session, when the teams were simulating race performance, Hamilton appeared to be in a league of his own, about 0.2-0.3secs ahead of Rosberg, who looked to be slightly slower than Bottas.

Behind Massa on headline times, Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat was eighth ahead of the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel and the Russian’s team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne was 10th.

The second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen was one second off Alonso, who unusually set his fastest time at the end of a multi-lap run on the soft tyre.

Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg was 12th, ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who stopped with seven minutes of the session remaining with a power unit failure.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said the team were slower than they expected to be.

“We appear to be out of the window we normally are in,” Horner said. “We’d expect to be up with McLaren, Williams and Ferrari. The drivers are not saying there’s anything particularly wrong with the car, but it doesn’t seem quite quick enough.”

The Sochi track carries a strong resemblance to the now defunct Valencia street circuit and Hamilton and Rosberg were among the many drivers who ran wide, exploring the limits at the plethora of right-handed corners.

Turn 13 – into which drivers have to brake while going through a left-hand kink at the end of the long back straights – was proving particularly challenging, with a number of drivers running wide.

Read more on BBC Sport