Magnussen aiming for points on F1 return

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F1 returnee Kevin Magnussen is hoping to finish amongst the points scorers at next weekend’s Australian Grand Prix, but the Renault driver admits his team currently is “just outside the top ten”.

Magnussen last competed in the sport 12 months ago when the Dane, then McLaren-Honda’s test driver, received a late call up to replace the injured Fernando Alonso in Melbourne.

However, things did not go so well for Magnussen, who crashed in free practice and could not even make it to the start after his car broke down on its way to the grid. The 23-year-old still has good memories from the Albert Park Circuit though, having finished second in Australia on his F1 debut two years ago.

“I enjoy going to Melbourne,” Magnussen said. “In 2014 I had a brilliant start with the podium, but I went again last year and it wasn’t as good as the first time!

“Hopefully we will complete the race this year and get some points. That’s my aim. If both myself and Jolyon [Palmer] can come away with points, it would be a massive achievement!

“At the moment I think we are just outside the top ten but if all goes well then who knows. You can never definitely hope for points, but if we leave Australia with points we can be happy.”

Unlike team-mate Palmer, Magnussen enjoyed a fairly smooth preparation in pre-season testing. After spending one year on the sidelines, the former Formula Renault 3.5 Series champion feels fully ready ahead of his competitive comeback.

“We’ve had some good days of testing, with lots of laps: more than 100 every day and more than 500 in four days. Putting in the mileage was the main thing as I needed to get back up to speed after some time out of a car.

“I really couldn’t have asked for more. I’ve been through systems checks and feel comfortable going to Melbourne and doing a race.”

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