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Magnussen hails his McLaren team-mate Button

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Kevin Magnussen has hailed the impact McLaren team-mate Jenson Button has so far had on his burgeoning Formula One career.

In his rookie campaign Magnussen has performed creditably, although has yet to again scale the heady heights of his debut race when he finished as runner-up in Australia.

Instead, it has been another tough campaign for all at McLaren, and to that end Magnussen is grateful to 15-season veteran Button showing him the ropes.

With Button out of contract at the end of the year, while Magnussen naturally has no say as to whom he would like as his team-mate going forward, his remarks certainly favour the 34-year-old Briton.

“It doesn’t really matter what I think, but what I do think is I have a great team-mate,” said Magnussen, when asked about his preferences for 2015. “For me, as a rookie, to have someone like Jenson next to me, with all his experience, speed and talent as well, has been great.

“I can honestly say I’ve learned a lot from him, and I expect to continue that because he’s a very complete driver. He’s very good at everything you have to do as a Formula One driver. There have been things to learn from everything he does, which has been great.”

Meanwhile, Fernando Alonso believes Mercedes to be the surprise of the Formula One season – and now the benchmark for Ferrari to aspire to.

Come the start of the campaign, rumours implied Mercedes had adapted more to the new regulations compared to fellow power-train suppliers Ferrari and Renault.

But it is fair to assume no-one expected Mercedes to blow away their rivals as they have done this season and usurp Red Bull as the force to beat.

From the 11 grands prix over the first period of the season, Mercedes team-mates Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton have claimed ten poles and won nine races between them.

“Mercedes have surprised everybody,” said double world champion Alonso. “Now we are getting used to seeing them dominate every weekend, but I remember when we were in Jerez and Bahrain testing these new cars with very complex technology.

“We were all struggling, but straight away they were OK, and now from 11 races they’ve won nine.” (westerndailypress)