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Gary Paffett: Magnussen will lead for McLaren this season

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Formula One Young Drivers Test, Day Three, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Thursday 8 November 2012.Gary Paffett, who successively stayed at McLaren in last eight years as test driver role, believes that, F1 rookie Kevin Magnussen will beat world champion Jenson Button in this season the same way Lewis Hamilton used to at McLaren.

Formula Renault 3.5 champion, Kevin is preparing for F1 first appearance this season as Button’s new team-mate, replacing Mexican Sergio Perez. Also the full-time McLaren driver expecting Kevin’s competitive move will give a positive result on Button this season.

“What we want to see at McLaren is Jenson to be pushed hard this year,” Paffett told Autosport during the main stage at International show.

“Jenson needs someone quicker than him to push him harder. That’s what we saw with Lewis Hamilton in the team.

“Lewis is one of the best qualifiers on the grid, and he always pushed Jenson past the limit, so Jenson had to work very hard to keep up.

“Last year with the drivers quite closely matched there didn’t seem to be too much pushing going on in the team and I really think Kevin can bring that. What we’ve seen of him so far in testing, he is extremely fast.”

“Kevin lacks the experience of racing in F1 but what we saw over the last two years in World Series was how much he changed as a driver,” he added.

“He was quick but a bit reckless and had a lot of incidents in 2012, but in 2013 he was a very complete driver – still quick but a lot wiser and a lot more technical than he was before.

“He still has a lot to learn in Formula 1 but he is very quick and he does learn well and he does change to make himself better.”

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