Magnussen: Drivers have bigger influence
20 February 2014 – Kevin Magnussen reckons drivers will be able to make a bigger difference with the sport's latest machines.
This season, turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 power units have arrived on the scene, while exhaust-blown diffusers – which generated masses of rear-end downforce – have been outlawed.
Along with a variety of other technical tweaks, it has presented the grid with a massive driving challenge, and Magnussen, who set the pace on the second test day in Bahrain, says he is enjoying every moment.
"It really is a drivers' car," he said. "With blown diffusers it became a little bit easy and on new tyres you were very much relying on the car and the set-up. This year it's more of a drivers' car and I think that's great.
"It's still going to be impossible to win in a car that's not able to win, but the drivers can make a bigger difference. With more torque it's going to be trickier and you need more skill and sensitivity with the throttle."
Magnussen went on to explain that he has not been taken aback by the performance teams are beginning to extract from their new cars, having cut the gap to Nico Rosberg's 2013 pole position time to 2.580 seconds.
"I wouldn't say I'm surprised," said Magnussen, who hands over to team-mate Jenson Button for the final two days. "I think we'll go quicker than that. It won't take too long for this year's cars to quicker than the old ones.
"From now until Australia we'll hopefully improve the car. We're in a good place but we still need to work hard."