McLaren confirm Magnussen departure


McLaren-Honda have confirmed Kevin Magnussen will leave the team at the end of the season after failing to secure a seat with the team for 2016.

Magnussen has been the third and reserve driver for the team in 2015 after being relegated from the race seat he had in 2014 in favour of signing Fernando Alonso alongside Jenson Button, and with the two being retained for another season, the door closed on the Dane’s opportunity to return to the grid.

McLaren chairman and CEO Ron Dennis has praised Magnussen’s contribution to the team, with the Dane having joined their young driver programme back in 2010, and admitted that he hopes Magnussen can have a successful career in motorsport.

“Kevin has always done a very impressive and professional job for McLaren in the five years since he joined our Young Driver Programme in 2010,” said Dennis.

“In 2014 he raced very well alongside Jenson, who is a hugely experienced and very quick World Champion. Kevin’s Grand Prix debut in Melbourne last year was rewarded with a podium that day that he, and we, can be justifiably proud of.

“Kevin has continued to work hard for us in 2015, supporting Fernando and Jenson, although he was understandably frustrated not to be racing.

“He is extremely keen to return to racing next year, and, in keeping with our tradition with our young drivers, we will not stand in the way of his ability to fulfil his ambition and potential.

“He is a very talented racing driver, and he deserves to have a Formula 1 career, as Jenson has publicly said.

“Evidently, we have no space for him at McLaren-Honda as a race driver next year, but there is no shame in being edged out by two World Champions, Fernando and Jenson. We wish Kevin well, and will do all we can to help him successfully embark on the next chapter of his racing career.”

Magnussen is believed to be in contention for one of the Manor-Mercedes drives for 2016 as well as the vacant Lotus drive, but a move to the new Haas F1 Team is unlikely following the signing of Romain Grosjean.