Button warns team-mate to be Magnussen how tough F1 will be
Jenson Button has warned forthcoming team-mate Kevin Magnussen just how tough it will be when he debuts in Formula One next season. Photograph: Mark Thompson/Getty Images
Jenson Button has warned Kevin Magnussen, his forthcoming team-mate, his career in Formula One could be over next year if he has a tough debut season. After much dithering McLaren finally decided to sack Sergio Perez after one season in the seat and take a gamble on their development driver for 2014.
“It’s a cut-throat business, Formula One,” said Button before tomorrow’s United States Grand Prix. “It’s big pressure for a driver coming into McLaren. If he does a good job, great. It starts a very exciting career. But if he has a tough season, that could be the end of it as well.
“I don’t think it’s an easy situation for a young kid coming into a top Formula One team. I think he’ll be competitive but you never quite know until you get to the first race.
There’s a lot more pressure on your shoulders. You’ve also got a lot more to play with in terms of the car. You don’t just have bars and springs. Electronically, there is so much to play with in an F1 car and, if you don’t know that and your team-mate does, it can make a big difference.”
Button will not be making Magnussen’s task any easier; the first job for any Formula One driver is to beat his team-mate: “I’ll be using all my knowledge and experience next year making the car as quick as we can and I hope and do feel Kevin will add to that.”
Button, who has said it is important to have experienced drivers next season, to help cope with the huge regulation changes in the sport, describes the signing of Magnussen as a “massive risk” and said he was surprised by the decision.
“I was surprised last year when Lewis [Hamilton] decided to leave and the same now but that is what F1 is like.”
In the past Button has spoken about the problem of young drivers being unable to give sufficient feedback to a more experienced team-mate but he does not feel that will be an issue with Magnussen.
“It’s true he doesn’t have Formula One experience but from what the guys say after his testing in the F1 car he learns very quickly, surprisingly quickly, and his feedback was very good, on the ball.
“Sometimes when you have a driver who’s young, like when Lewis came in and Kevin now, it’s good for the experienced driver. You still learn stuff from them. So it’s going to be an interesting challenge for all of us – but an exciting partnership.”–