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Boullier: Magnussen dealing with “rookie syndrome”

May 30, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

Kevin Magnussen AP

Eric Boullier has hit back at comments suggesting that McLaren’s progress is 2014 is being hindered by rookie driver Kevin Magnussen, claiming that the Dane’s recent struggles are very normal for a young driver.

Magnussen’s debut race in F1 was one to remember, as he finished the Australian Grand Prix in second place behind Nico Rosberg. However, since then, both the driver and the team has failed to live up to the lofty expectations, with Magnussen scoring just three points in the last five races.

“I don’t think it is more challenging to have a rookie driver rather than two experienced drivers, let’s say,” Boullier explained during a phone-in. “When you have somebody more experienced like Jenson you get more details, and you get to dig through more problems to find solutions.

“Kevin is facing the rookie syndrome: they are all coming from single-make series. Where they struggle most is to understand that the cars they have [must be] developed to give you certain results.

“If you don’t have the best car you can’t fight for the win.”

Magnussen won the Formula Renault 3.5 championship last season with relative ease, but, as Boullier explained, he might now be struggling to get to grips with a car that isn’t good enough to beat the rest of the field.

However, McLaren’s racing director said that he was very pleased with Magnussen’s work and progress so far this season.

“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, so he is doing very well for a rookie,” he said.

Magnussen will be hoping to improve upon his 10th place finish in Monaco at the next weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix.

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