Kevin Magnussen apologised to McLaren after an early accident with Kimi Raikkonen meant he potentially lost out on points. The rookie was entering the second corner when he ran a little wide and lost his front wing against the rear tyre of the Ferrari, causing a puncture to Raikkonen’s car in the process.
“I’m sorry for the team that I messed things up going into the second corner, with the incident with Kimi.” said Magnussen. “I think we could have scored some good points today, so I’m disappointed with and for myself, too. Grands Prix are long races, so I shouldn’t have made a mistake like that so early on in the afternoon.”
While Magnussen regretted the accident he is quick to move on and look forward to the next race. “That sort of stuff happens sometimes – and, when it does, you just have to learn from it, and I will.
“It’s good that the Bahrain Grand Prix is so soon; it’ll feel good to put this one behind me, and move on.” he added
Team-mate Jenson Button made up four places in the race to finish in sixth position, a result that even he had doubted as he admitted “I didn’t think I’d be finishing sixth after the way the car had performed earlier in the weekend.”
While Button was happy with the upgrades the team brought to Sepang he knows there is still a long way to go this season. “There’s no getting away from the fact that we’re still weak in the high-speed corners; this car does have its strengths, but we’ve got a lot of work to do. We got the best out of the car today, but we know we still need to improve.”
Racing director Eric Boullier said that he was expecting more from the weekend but was impressed with how Magnussen composed himself after the accident. “Such races are a Formula 1 rookie’s rights of passage, inevitable and unsurprising, but Kevin’s reaction was impressive from two perspectives: first, he put his head down and drove his heart out for the remainder of the afternoon, recovering very well to finish ninth at the finish; and, second, he apologised to the team unreservedly on the slowing-down lap, which wasn’t strictly necessary but was good to hear all the same.”