Sam Michael says that McLaren dropped Sergio Perez simply because it believed that Kevin Magnussen would help to improve the team – and that the opportunity of fast tracking the Dane into a race seat was too good to miss.
“You look and assess where your capabilities are, where you think you can improve and the view internally is that we could improve by going with Magnussen,” said Michael. “Checo’s doing a fantastic job at the moment considering the pressure that he’s under. He’s keeping his head level and being very professional about it. So, very commendable his approach over the recent races, and as recently as this one.
“It’s obviously a discussion that’s been going on for quite some time. It’s always going to be difficult when you make a call like that. But I think we’re in a very fortunate position at the moment with our young driver program, in that it’s very rich with talent, and Kevin’s just the first of the guys in that pool.
“I’ve come across lots of drivers in my time in Formula 1 and when you see drivers like that come along, it’s very important that you react, and make the most of those opportunities. So really, it’s always a twofold thing. It’s what you currently have and what you can do to improve yourself. To be honest, it’s not that much different with engineers and designers and all your people. You’re always looking to add and improve the team. Clearly, the driver is much more in the public eye, because there’s only two of them and they’re in the race cars at any one time. Anyway, it’s a decision the team has taken, and we’re looking forward from here.”