Magnussen and Kvyat impress on debut


Making your Formula 1 debut is always sure to be a big event for any driver, no matter of age or experience. You'd be forgiven for thinking that the younger you are, the more the nerves, pressure and expectation would weigh on your shoulders. Today though, we saw the complete opposite. Two young drivers - aged just 21 and 19 - turned up and delivered a performance befitting that of an experienced pilot at this level. Kevin Magnussen and Daniil Kvyat. Today you arrived, and arrived in style.

There's so much to admire about Magnussen's first race weekend as a Formula 1 driver that it's hard to know where to start. But I think the clue is in the first sentence - it was the whole weekend; a complete weekend, off the back of a very strong pre-season testing campaign. He's adapted so quickly to all conditions, both with the car itself and out on circuit.

To qualify 4th in mixed conditions, on your debut, and outperform your former World Champion team-mate (an expert in mixed, slippery conditions) is remarkable. He didn't go backwards during the race, and bar one extraordinary sideways slide off the start line he only went forwards. He raced, attacked and drove like he'd been in the paddock for years. Confidence in yourself can mean so much in any sport, any walk of life, and it's something that Kevin seems to possess. It's a winning, positive mentality that is bringing yet another breath of fresh air to the sport this year. A podium on debut? Marvellous stuff.

Like 'young Kevin Magnussen', Daniil Kvyat arrives into Formula 1 this season off the back of title success in 2013. He's jumped straight from GP3 to F1 at the tender age of just 19. And guess what, he's already broken a record. The new youngest driver to score championship points again showed what confidence in yourself, your car and your team can do for any driver. The Toro Rosso hadn't looked a world beater early on, but throw in some rain on a Saturday and the car once again came alive - as did the drivers.

Just like the aforementioned Magnussen, Kvyat once again showed that the pace that saw him grab 8th place on Saturday was no fluke, crossing the line in 10th - just behind team mate Vergne and after a race long battle with former Champion Kimi Raikkonen in the Ferrari.

Both drivers came in to the sport as winners, as champions. Both drivers' inclusions on this year's grid may have come as surprises to some - including me - but what a way to kick off the season. A podium for one, and a record breaking points finish for the other? Not too shabby at all. It wasn't just the results themselves that were impressive though, but the way in which they were carried out. Clean racing, brave and bold overtakes and a show of respect of which many others should take note of.

When you throw in the likes of the luckless Daniel Ricciardo, the hard charging Valtteri Bottas and the continuously strong performances of Nico Hulkenberg, the future of Formula 1 - from a driving point of view at least - is in very, very strong hands.

Give someone a chance because of talent and not money, and this is what you get. Will it happen every time? Of course not. But if the talent, speed and awareness is already in place or is something that can be fine tuned, then you're on to one heck of a winner. Mistakes will happen, and lessons will be learnt. But for now, let's revel in the fact that we've just witnessed two hugely impressive young-guns stick to the experienced guys. Fantastic and refreshing to watch!

Paul Godley 16/03/2014

Image source (and all image rights): Magnussen celebrates debut podium -

Top Drivers

Driver Points
Hamilton 252
Rosberg 211
Vettel 203
Raikkonen 107
Bottas 101
Massa 97



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