Boullier: Rookie no hindrance to development
29 May 2014 – McLaren is not being held back by its decision to field a rookie driver this season, Eric Boullier insists.
Fresh from winning last year's Formula Renault 3.5 championship, Kevin Magnussen graduated to Formula 1 with the squad, beating established team-mate Jenson Button en route to a debut podium in Australia.
Although Magnussen and McLaren have drifted away at recent races, Boullier is refusing to blame the Dane's lack of experience, stating that while he is "facing the rookie syndrome", his feedback has been strong.
"I don't think it is more challenging to have a rookie driver rather than two experienced drivers," Boullier, who joined the team in an all-new Racing Director role in January, said during a McLaren-Mercedes phone-in.
"When you have somebody more experienced like Jenson you can get more details, and you get to dig through more problems to find solutions. [But] the kids now, especially kids like Kevin, can do most of the jobs and offer enough feedback to lead or to at least answer some of the questions from the engineering team.
"Kevin is facing the rookie syndrome: they are all coming from single-make series. Where they struggle most is to understand that cars [must be] developed to give certain results. If you don't have the best car you can't fight for the win.
"But the rest is fine to be honest: he is settling in well, he is very consistent, and his feedback is good enough to drive the engineering team around him to make the car faster. He is doing very well for a rookie."
McLaren occupies ninth in the standings after six races, one place and ten points behind Button.