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Button unconvinced by Magnussen move

NEWS STORY
15/11/2013

Jenson Button remains unconvinced by his team's signing of rookie Kevin Magnussen, fearing the Dane may have stepped up to F1 too early.

When he lines up on the grid in Melbourne next March Magnussen will do so as McLaren's first rookie since Lewis Hamilton in 2007. However, there are fears that in his eagerness to step up to F1 and his team's eagerness to bring him in, caution may have been thrown to the wind.

While some point to the fact that Magnussen's father, Jan, was tipped for greatness due to his meteoric (and successful) rise through the junior formulae, it all fell apart once he reached F1. Then there are those who feel that a new (for 2014) formula is the wrong time to bring in a rookie, especially on the back of such a poor season as 2013 which has put the Woking outfit under extra scrutiny next year.

"It's one of those positions where it could light up your career or put an end to your career very early if things don't go well," Button told reporters at the Circuit of the Americas. "It's a massive risk to be put in the deep end, if you like, with a team that should be fighting for a title. But if a driver is willing to take that risk, he has a lot of confidence in himself and his ability. It could go one way or another and I hope it goes the positive way."

However, like all (successful) F1 drivers, Button is selfish and will be out to get the best for himself, leaving him no time, or inclination, to play 'nanny' to the newcomer.

"If he's willing to learn from the go and pick things up, I don't think so," said Button, when asked if he was prepared to 'nurse' Magnussen during his crucial first season. "I'm sure he's going to learn from me, I've been in this sport for 13 years but you also learn things from young drivers. We've seen his speed in other Formulas and I think the team has been impressed with his speed in the test that he has done.

"The bit for me that is more important is feedback but I've heard his feedback is very good from those tests, which is good that I can believe and trust his feedback."

In Magnussen, Button - who was himself a surprise signing to the Woking team - will experience his third teammate in as many years, following the departure of Hamilton and then Sergio Perez.

"It's always sad to see a team mate leave," said the Englishman. "I have never really been that close to my team mates but still you spend a whole season with someone who goes through the same highs and lows that you do. It's the same as the end of last year. You build a relationship with a team mate, you learn a lot about each other, gain experience and then things change. It's a little bit tough initially but you learn to adapt as we all do in life.

"I've said all year that it's important to have a team mate, especially with the new regulations, that has experience," he added. "Kevin doesn't have that but his outright speed is very good and the bit that is more important to me is, from the testing he has done in a Formula One car, his feedback has been very good which has to be very important at the start of the year."

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1. Posted by JackTheCat, 15/11/2013 12:18

"Looks like Button is runing scared of the rookie then!"

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