McLaren-Honda has confirmed Kevin Magnussen will give the McLaren-Honda MP4-30 an unexpected race debut in Australia after being called up to replace the sidelined Fernando Alonso.
The Dane, who competed with McLaren last season before demoted to a reserve role in favour of signing two-time champion Alonso, has been on standby since his replacement crashed during pre-season testing and was made a doubt for the opening round.
Though McLaren stated its confidence that Alonso would race in Melbourne, the subsequent announcement that he has been ruled out on the advice of his medical team
means Magnussen will rejoin Jenson Button in giving the Honda-powered car its first outing at Albert Park.
The call-up will see Magnussen return to a happy hunting ground twelve months after finishing second in his first F1 race at Albert Park in 2014, a result that would remain his best to the end of his rookie season.
However, Magnussen will be hard pushed to manage a repeat as McLaren continues to struggle to bring its new car up to speed following a series of technical issues throughout pre-season testing. Though Magnussen did get one day in the car, he managed just 39 laps before problems set in.
Magnussen finished his first season of F1 racing in 2014 11th overall.