16 October 2015
McLaren confirms Kevin Magnussen exit
McLaren confirms it has released Kevin Magnussen from the team to continue pursuing options elsewhere for 2016.
McLaren has confirmed Kevin Magnussen is to leave McLaren after failing to land a return to racing with the team in 2016.
The Dane competed with McLaren in 2014 after winning the 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 Championship under the wing of the team's junior development programme, in turn becoming one of only a handful of drivers to score a podium on their debut by finishing second in Australia.
However, with McLaren moving to sign Fernando Alonso when he unexpectedly became available towards the end of the season, Magnussen lost out in a head-to-head with then team-mate Jenson Button for the remaining seat.
Resuming a test and reserve driver role for 2015 with a view to proving himself worthy of a race drive in 2016, though Magnussen has repeatedly expressed his faith that McLaren will support him going forward, with Button being retained for 2016 and increasing pressure from fellow development driver and new GP2 Series champion Stoffel Vandoorne, he has opted to take his future into his own hands.
As a result, McLaren CEO Ron Dennis says he did not want to stand in the way of Magnussen in his pursuit to stay in F1.
"Kevin has always done a very impressive and professional job for McLaren in the five years since he joined our Young Driver Programme in 2010,” he said.
"In 2014 he raced very well alongside Jenson, who is a hugely experienced and very quick World Champion. Kevin's Grand Prix debut in Melbourne last year was rewarded with a podium that day that he, and we, can be justifiably proud of.
"Kevin has continued to work hard for us in 2015, supporting Fernando and Jenson, although he was understandably frustrated not to be racing.
"He is extremely keen to return to racing next year, and, in keeping with our tradition with our young drivers, we will not stand in the way of his ability to fulfil his ambition and potential.
"He is a very talented racing driver, and he deserves to have a Formula 1 career, as Jenson has publicly said.
"Evidently, we have no space for him at McLaren-Honda as a race driver next year, but there is no shame in being edged out by two World Champions, Fernando and Jenson. We wish Kevin well, and will do all we can to help him successfully embark on the next chapter of his racing career."
Magnussen's hopes of returning to F1 still appear limited, with only race seats now left at Renault-Lotus and Manor available to him, though it is likely he will need to bring backing.
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