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Magnussen: F1's new cool kid?

2014-03-17 07:38

MAGNUSSEN THE MAGNIFICENT: McLaren's new rookie driver Kevin Magnussen proved the team made the right choice by giving him a seat for the 2014 F1 season as he made podium in the Australian GP on Sunday, March 16. Image: AFP

MELBOURNE, Australia - Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen put Formula 1's Old Guard on notice on Sunday with a stunning second place for McLaren in his 2014 Australian GP  F1 debut.

The 21-year-old's performance at Albert Park made him the first Dane to stand on an F1 podium, as well as the highest-placed debutant since Canadian Jacques Villeneuve made a sensational start with Williams in 1996.

The team had been off the podium since 2012 but Magnussen, son of former F1 racer Jan, led the way back with team mate Jenson Button joining him in third after Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo was disqualified from second in his home race.

NEW HOPE

Magnussen told reporters before Ricciardo's disqualification, which Red Bull have appealed: "It does feel incredible. It's now crazy to think that we are here. Today I've done my first F1 race, I got on the podium and I did it with McLaren.

"It's such a dream come true. I can't explain how it feels, it's just unreal."

The Dane was fast-tracked into F1 by McLaren after he won the Renault 3.5 World Series title in 2013 and impressed in a young drivers' test.

Lewis Hamilton, in 2007, was the last rookie to make an F1 debut for McLaren and he finished third in Melbourne that year and challenged for the title all season before winning it in 2008.

McLaren felt Magnussen was so promising they dropped Mexican Sergio Perez to make way for him.

The Dane, whose father's F1 career stalled and ended with just one point after he made his McLaren debut in 1995, said it was a "gamble" that had paid off.

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 F1 season – fresh reports every day.
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Read more on:    mclaren  |  kevin magnussen  |  motorsport  |  racing  |  f1

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