Making his return to Formula One action last weekend in Melbourne, the Dane suffered a puncture in the early stages of the Australian Grand Prix but was able to recover to finish 12th behind his team-mate Jolyon Palmer in a wild season opener.
“The feeling in the car was good and I was able to fight and overtake and put the car where I wanted to,” Magnussen said. “It’s clearly very driveable. It is not fast enough to be on the podium or even in Q3 but it’s a good car that handles well and it’s something we will continue to work on. We don’t need to change the philosophy in any way, just keep developing and it will come to us.”
After a late takeover of the Lotus team, Renault spent its winter keeping expectations in check ahead of its return as a constructor. Although equally prudent, Magnussen, who raced for McLaren in his 2014 rookie season, is confident the French manufacturer has what it takes to compete at the front.
“It is very clear that this team is a top team in F1. Maybe not in terms of pace : we know where we are and we are not happy with this, but when we get the car faster we will be there.
“We have a good baseline and something we can really work on. I didn’t have a good race but I am very happy as it looks good for the rest of the season.”