Kevin Magnussen insists it was his decision to leave Renault Sport Formula 1 Team, after not receiving a good enough deal to stay with the team.
On Wednesday, the Enstone-based team announced they would be retaining Jolyon Palmer for the 2017 Formula 1 season, completing their driver line-up, after they confirmed Nico Hulkenberg would be switching from Sahara Force India F1 Team. Magnussen has now joined the Haas F1 Team, with him finalizing a contract over the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend.
Magnussen revealed on Thursday that there were factors behind his decision to not accept a contract with Renault.
“It was my decision,” said Magnussen about whether he chose to leave Renault or not. “I had an offer but not a good enough offer that I could take it.
“It was more the feeling of commitment from Renault’s side really. If they had committed to a longer contract I would probably have looked at it much more seriously. It was more the feeling of them not committing, taking so long and offering the drive to so many drivers.”
If he had felt more commitment with Renault, Magnussen believes things would have turned out differently.
“I think at one point, the Pope had an offer I heard!” added Magnussen. “It was a bit messy so better for me to leave.
“It really is a lot about the feeling I had with the management here. If I had felt more commitment and decisiveness then it would maybe have been different. But I am happy with the way it turned out at the end of the day.”
Sources have revealed that the Dane had been in negotiation with Haas since the Mexican Grand Prix, with Team principal Guenther Steiner confirming that Magnussen had been an option for 2016 before they signed Esteban Gutierrez.
Magnussen believes it will be better and more competitive with Haas, who are currently ahead of Renault in the Constructors’ Standings by twenty-one points.
“I think it could be better,” Magnussen said. “I hope it will be better. I think it will be competitive, that is my feeling.
“I am looking for a place for me to excel and to prove my worth and do a good job, and have a good time. I think I can have that next year.”