As ready as I can be for debut - Magnussen
Australian Grand Prix preview
Kevin Magnussen insists he feels perfectly prepared for his "dream" Formula One debut and is relishing the opportunity to build on the early winter promise of the McLaren MP4-29.
Rookie Magnussen certainly did not look out of place alongside Jenson Button over the winter, and his pre-season performance earned high praise from McLaren's new racing director Eric Boullier. Magnussen will follow in the steps of his father Jan on Sunday by making his F1 debut for McLaren and he insists he is not daunted by the challenge.
"Yes, definitely [I have to pinch myself]," Magnussen said. "It really is a dream come true, and every day is fantastic at the moment. I'm really excited to be here, it's been a long winter since signing. But I'm feeling good. There's been some good preparation with the team, they've done a really good job in terms of preparing me. It's not easy, it's a big job and a big challenge. I feel I am ready as can at this stage. There was a lot of work done over the winter but still not underestimating the challenge I am now facing."
Out of all the Mercedes teams, McLaren comes into the season with perhaps the most limited expectations after their early promised faded in pre-season. The team's lack of performance was exposed in the final Bahrain test but Magnussen insists McLaren is in a better position than most are giving credit for.
"I think the whole testing we pretty ran the launch car, which was behind a little bit on development. But the car felt good. If you didn't know the lap times of the other guys you would have thought we were pretty quick, and that's a good sign. If we can just put some downforce on the car and keep developing as we did over the winter with the car I think we can be in a good position. The team obviously is coming off a difficult season and they are massively motivated to come back to where they belong."