Magnussen close to F1 return with Renault

The chance of a return to Formula 1 for former McLaren-Honda reserve driver Kevin Magnussen has improved dramatically over the past few days.

It is unclear yet over the final decision of who will join Jolyon Palmer on the grid in 2016 with Renault due to Pastor Maldonado’s ongoing sponsorship problems, which could force him out of grand prix racing. Maldonado’s sponsor PDVSA, the Venezuelan state-owned oil company, has been late with payment to Renault causing team officials to head to Venezuela to try and solve the problem.

It is planned that the driver line-up for Renault will be confirmed next Wednesday at a team launch in Paris. It would be a good return for Magnussen after being released from his reserve driver role with McLaren towards the end of the 2015 season.

Despite an impressive debut season in 2014 with McLaren, finishing eleventh in the Drivers’ Standings, the Dane changed role to reserve for the 2015 season to allow the return of Fernando Alonso at McLaren.

A return to F1 for Magnussen seemed to vanish after McLaren kept their current drivers and Haas F1 team opted for Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez. Talk about Magnussen joining the newly formed Renault team arised after problems with Maldonado’s sponsorship.

It has been suggested that the only way to save the Venezuelan’s F1 seat with Renault will be a dramatic turn about by his backers over the next few days.