APRIL 25, 2016
Magnussen targets Palmer in bid for 2017 seat
Kevin Magnussen says he wants to keep beating his teammate as he bids to stay at Renault for a second year in 2017.
Although the newly-reacquired Enstone team struggled for pace in China, Magnussen impressed relative to his rookie teammate Jolyon Palmer and he says staying in front of the Briton is his goal.
"It's no secret that you have to be better than your teammate," Magnussen, who was signed by Renault after being dropped by McLaren, told Ekstra Bladet newspaper.
"It's crucial for the team because it is clear that if a new driver comes, they will only keep the best one," he added. "But I also want to be the best driver on the grid."
Magnussen suggested he is thriving in his new environment at Renault, after his father Jan revealed the 23-year-old struggled to find his place at McLaren.
"I'm in a team now where the commercial side means less," Kevin confirmed. "It's one of the things I really like about it. It's a team that is here for the sporting side.
"For Renault it is about the brand, so on the driver side the commercial aspect does not play such a role as it did at McLaren. At McLaren it is the drivers that pull the load but here it is the brand," he added.
So far, Renault seems happy with Magnussen and Cyril Abiteboul has now said on more than one occasion that a contract extension for 2017 is possible.
"He has to continue in the same way," said the French official, "but we are really happy with how things are going.
"If he continues the momentum we have seen so far, we will be delighted to create a long-time future together," Abiteboul added.
"Right now we have a contract for one year, but why not longer? He brings us a lot.
"If we are honest, he has a year more experience than Jolyon, so coming from McLaren, Kevin's experience is a huge thing," he said.