McLaren racing director Eric Boullier believes that Kevin Magnussen is suffering from 'rookie syndrome' in his maiden Formula 1 season.
Boullier reckons that McLaren's young protege is facing the typical challenge of moving from winning regularly in junior formula to competing for the top 10 in the sport's top echelon.
Magnussen finished on the podium on his Formula 1 debut in Australia but has scored just a handful of points across the most recent five events.
"Kevin is facing the rookie syndrome in that they all come from single-make series, and they struggle to understand that the cars they are working to develop give them some kind of result, and if you don't have the best car you can't fight for the win," Boullier said during a McLaren phone-in.
"This is where they most struggle. The rest is fine. He is settling in, he is very consistent, and his feedback is good enough to drive the engineering group around him to make the car faster. He's doing very well for a rookie."
Boullier does not think that McLaren's development is being restricted by the Dane's inexperience.
"I don't think it is more challenging to have a rookie driver rather than two experienced drivers," he added.
"When you have somebody more experienced like Jenson [Button] you can get more details, and you get to dig through more problems to find solutions," he said. [But] the kids now, especially kids like Kevin, can do most of the jobs and offer enough feedback to lead or to at least answer some of the questions from the engineering team."