Kevin Magnussen says the Honda-powered McLaren MP4-30 is a clear improvement over the car he raced in 2014.
Magnussen – substituting for Fernando Alonso – completed 39 laps on Saturday at the wheel of the 2015 McLaren before an oil leak cut short the team’s testing programme in the afternoon.
Despite limited running on his first day in the car, the Dane was impressed with his first impressions of the new car.
“It felt really good, the car,” Magnussen told reporters. It was a short day but I think the running I got was really good and the testing we did up until the problem went really well.
“The first feeling with low fuel was very good. Very consistent, very stable, no surprises.
“Last year’s car was more unpredictable and it is nice to see the work we did last year and the direction we wanted to go has definitely proved to be right for this car.
“We don’t know for sure, but it feels right and that’s nice to see.”
The 22-year-old, who lost his McLaren race drive late last year after just a single season, says the new MP4-30 is more drivable than it’s 2014 predecessor.
“It feels like a completely different car,” he added. “It doesn’t feel related to last year’s car. It’s not an evolution, it is completely different.
“It’s very consistent, predictable, smooth. It’s just drivable, whereas last year’s car probably had more downforce but it was much more sharp and much more on the limit.
“There’s some way to go yet with this car, but it’s a completely new idea. It’s a very good base. It’s going to be a very good car maybe a bit later in the season.”
This article first appeared on Richland F1 – Image courtesy of McLaren