McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh says he is delighted with confirmation that Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button will be the team's line-up for the 2014 F1 season.
The Formula Renault 3.5 title winner will replace Sergio Perez next season in a move that sees him step up from the team's Driver Development Programme into a race seat at the age of just 21, making him the first McLaren rookie since Lewis Hamilton back in 2007.
The decision to promote the Dane comes ahead of a season of major change in F1 with fresh engine regulations set to shake up the established order, but Whitmarsh said the pairing of Button and Magnussen was one that would allow McLaren to shine after a difficult 2013.
“We're delighted that Kevin will be joining Jenson as a McLaren Formula 1 race driver for 2014,” he said. “Their confirmation is an important step for us as we continue to strengthen our organisation ahead of the 2014 season.
“Next year, we'll witness the biggest raft of technical changes to Formula 1 in many years, and every team and manufacturer will be pushed to the limit as they try their best to adapt to those new challenges.
“Jenson's race-winning speed, intelligence and racecraft have long been a crucial advantage to McLaren, but it's his skill as a development driver and his peerless technical feedback that will be equally valuable as we make the transition into a new and complex technical formula during the winter and new year.
“Kevin, too, is clearly very talented and very determined, and we therefore have high hopes for him. Moreover, every time he's tested our Formula 1 car, he's been very quick and very methodical, and his feedback has been first-class.
“Furthermore, the manner in which he won this year's World Series by Renault 3.5 Championship was truly outstanding, showcasing as it did not only his impressive natural pace but also his increasing maturity and ability to structure and manage a championship campaign.”
Despite a disappointing end to the relationship with Perez, who admits he now is now in a 'difficult position'
in regards to 2014, Whitmarsh was quick to thank the Mexican for the way he had worked with the team this season.
“Last but very far from least, I want to take this opportunity to thank Checo, who has developed well during a difficult season, as his recent run of points-scoring finishes underlines,” he said. “He's a lovely guy and a fine driver - fast and combative - and I'm sure he'll build on that firm foundation in 2014.
“All at McLaren wish him well for the future.”