Kevin Magnussen looks set to earn his F1 chance with McLaren next year amidst reports that the Dane is to replace Sergio Perez for the 2014 season.
The 21-year-old enjoyed a successful season on-track in 2013 as he clinched the Formula Renault 3.5 title ahead of fellow McLaren Development Driver Stoffel Vandoorne.
Magnussen has been linked with a move into F1 for some time, with the initial suggestion having been that McLaren would look the place the youngster elsewhere on the grid to gain experience.
However, it now looks like the son of former F1 racer-turned-sportscar ace Jan, will become the first rookie to join McLaren since Lewis Hamilton back in 2007 after the Woking-based team lost faith with Perez.
The Mexican joined the team at the start of the year as team-mate to Jenson Button on the back of a series of impressive drives with Sauber, but has struggled to make an impression with an uncompetitive car.
As such, both the BBC
and Press Association Sport
report that McLaren has elected to replace the 23-year-old with Magnussen, albeit with a contract with the Dane having still to be signed.
McLaren themselves have so far refused to comment on the reports, with team boss Martin Whitmarsh having earlier told a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in that a number of drivers were still in the running for next year.
“Lots of people are being considered,” he said. “When we've come to the end of those considerations we'll make an announcement.”
The team principal also insisted that Perez had done a 'good job' with the car McLaren had given him this year.
“Firstly we have not provided either of our drivers with a good enough race car this year, so in those circumstances I think Sergio has been a great team member,” he said. “He's made a concerted contribution and he's produced some really good races, some exciting races. He's ruffled some feathers and he's done a pretty good job throughout the whole year. Abu Dhabi was difficult. It was not quite the result that we wanted and he wanted but difficult weekends happen.
“I think overall he's done a good job and we're still talking to him. I know there are all sorts of things I've read in the media. The fact is at the moment we haven't confirmed our driver line-up, we haven't signed contracts with drivers, and we're still talking about that. There's a lot of honest feedback both ways, but that's best done in private.”