Magnussen baffled by McLaren's uncompetitiveness
18 April 2014 – McLaren driver Kevin Magnussen says he is perplexed by his team's lack of competitiveness in China compared to the opening three rounds of the season.
Magnussen, who has never raced in China, was 12th fastest in Friday's second free practice session and says McLaren needs to investigate his pace deficit in the MP4-29.
"I don't know why we're not as competitive as we've been in the previous races, but we have a lot of front tyre degradation – and we need to investigate why," he said. "In fact, I've never had this much front tyre graining – it's very difficult to deal with, so we'll adjust the set-up and my driving style to compensate. It's a new track for me, too, so I need to adapt to that."
Team-mate Jenson Button cut a more optimistic figure after setting the eighth fastest time in the second practice session.
"In terms of driveability, I think we've improved the car in a number of areas since Bahrain," he said. "There are a few more things we can do overnight, and there are some positive steps we can take to move a little closer to the front.
"Both my front tyres were graining – but then this place is very tough on front tyres, especially when you're in traffic. There are a few things we can do with the set-up to ease the graining – and there are also a few things we want to do that will improve the car's overall balance – so hopefully we'll get a clearer picture tomorrow of where we stand, if it stays dry."