Magnussen will sink or swim, says Button

Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:50pm EST
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By Steve Keating

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Kevin Magnussen will be thrown into the Formula One deep end when he replaces Sergio Perez at McLaren next season and it will be up to the young Dane whether he sinks or swims, future team mate Jenson Button said on Thursday.

"It's one of those positions where it could light up your career or put an end to your career very early if things don't go well," Button told reporters ahead of this weekend's U.S. Grand Prix.

"It's a massive risk to be put in the deep end, if you like, with a team that should be fighting for a title.

"But if a driver is willing to take that risk, he has a lot of confidence in himself and his ability.

"It could go one way or another and I hope it goes the positive way," said the 2009 world champion, who made his debut as a 20-year-old with Williams in 2000.

The 21-year-old Dane is the son of former McLaren and Stewart racer Jan Magnussen and will be the first rookie to make his F1 debut with McLaren since Britain's Lewis Hamilton in 2007.

He steps into the seat vacated by Mexican Perez amid high praise and even higher expectations.

If Magnussen has any doubts about what is expected of him then he need only consider the fate of Perez, a once highly touted prospect who has been jettisoned by the former champions after one disappointing season.   Continued...

McLaren Formula One driver Jenson Button of Britain smiles while giving an interview at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas November 14, 2013. REUTERS0/Adrees Latif