Kevin Magnussen has admitted he underestimated the impact that poking fun at former employer McLaren’s problems would have.
Last week, some of the Dane’s fans on social media reacted angrily when he posted a ‘meme’ depicting a three-wheeled Ferrari and the caption: “Still faster than a McLaren”.
“I had forgotten to think that there are still McLaren fans who follow me,” said the 23-year-old, who was dropped by the British team last year and now drives for Renault.
“They were a little angrier than I had anticipated,” Magnussen admitted to Ekstra Bladet newspaper in Shanghai ahead of the Chinese grand prix.
“I had just seen someone else post the picture and thought it was funny. I also thought it was funny because the Ferrari at the time was so ridiculously fast compared to all the other cars,” he explained.
“But people thought only that I was scoffing at McLaren. It was not only that, but maybe it was not as funny as I thought it was,” Magnussen said.
Indeed, Magnussen’s own team is also struggling at present, but he said on Thursday that the spirit inside the Renault garage after the Lotus takeover is high.
“Basically we have a good car,” he insisted. “It’s not fast enough yet — we know that.
“But it’s a long-term plan, we knew this was going to be sort of a transition year where everything is being ramped up again and patience is important, but we will get there.”