The McLaren reserve driver received a late call-up last week when the Spaniard decided to pull out of the Australian Grand Prix after suffering concussion in a pre-season crash.
Magnussen will not be totally thrown in at the deep end around the Albert Park Circuit. Indeed, the 22-year-old Dane was able to sample the new MP4-30 during the final pre-season test held in Barcelona, even though an oil leak limited his running to 39 laps on his sole outing.
“I’m really pleased to be behind the wheel with McLaren-Honda at Melbourne again," said Magnussen. “Of course, the reason I am here is an unusual one, but my job is to do the best job I can for the team while Fernando is out of the cockpit, and that's what I'll do.”
“Although I didn’t expect to be sitting in the cockpit in Australia, I’ve spent the winter preparing as I would normally for a race season, so I feel fit and ready for the task ahead of me and to do the best I can for the team.
“The racing is sure to be unpredictable here at the start of the new season, and it’ll be really interesting to find out where we compare to the rest of the grid, but I’m definitely up for the challenge.”
Racing in Australia will also give Magnussen the opportunity to come back to the venue where he starred as an F1 debutant 12 months ago by clinching his first ever podium on his maiden grand prix weekend.
“To be back in Melbourne is a fantastic feeling, especially as those memories of my podium here last year are incredibly special and something I’ll never forget. I loved racing on this circuit last year and I’m really looking forward to getting back out on track in Friday practice to continue the development of our car here.”
Click here for the latest technical upgrades before Melbourne in pictures