Magnussen happy with racy McLaren package

By on Saturday, September 6, 2014
McLaren Mercedes

McLaren Mercedes

Kevin Magnussen says that everything came together for him in qualifying as he set the fifth fastest lap during the final shootout session at Monza.

Magnussen clawed his way into Q3 with a last minute lap in the previous session, but the Dane improved in the final segment to post the fifth best time for McLaren.

"I’m happy – but it only really came together for me in qualifying," he said.

"Fifth and sixth is pretty solid for the team. In fact, I didn’t think our qualifying pace would be quite that strong. I’m really happy to have the power from the Mercedes engine behind me – and hopefully we can challenge the other Mercedes runners in front of us.

"The Williams cars look a bit stronger than ours, and the Mercs too obviously, but I still think we can give it a go and score some good points.

"The team has done a great job to deliver this Monza-specific package. I have a feeling that our race performance is quite good – perhaps not on raw pace, but it has good straightline speed and feels strong under braking. We definitely have a car that we can race."

Team-mate Jenson Button qualified in sixth place and admitted he was surprised by the pace of the Williams duo.

"We’ve looked pretty good all weekend, and we gradually tweaked the set-up and balance through every session," he said. "On my final flying lap in Q3, I didn’t get a clean middle sector – I lost a little bit of time through the Lesmos – but we probably qualified better than expected.

"I’m a little surprised at how quick the Williams cars have been – we didn’t expect them to be that far in front of us – but we’re the third-best team on single-lap pace, which is nice.

"I think things will be a bit more competitive in the race: our Friday long-runs proved somewhat tricky for us, so we’ll be aiming for a better race tomorrow. It’ll be hotter on Sunday, too, which could potentially help us, so we’ll see what happens in the race."

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