Kevin Magnussen is set to be revealed as a Renault F1 driver in the coming days as it looks increasingly likely that Pastor Maldonado has been dropped from the team over a sponsorship dispute.
The Venezuelan was confirmed with the team under its former Lotus guise in September 2015 and was set to remain alongside Jolyon Palmer as the Enstone-based squad made the transition into full Renault ownership over the winter.
However, though Renault bosses had counted on the backing that Maldonado provides from state-run oil firm PDVSA, its reported failure to meet its terms in the wake of plunging oil prices is set to lose the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix winner his job.
According to Autosport
, this has opened the door for Magnussen to assume his place, with a source confirming to Crash.net
that the Dane is close to sealing a deal that will see him return to the F1 grid.
When contacted, Renault said its drivers will be presented as planned when the firm officially launches its 2016 F1 campaign on Wednesday 3rd February at a ceremony in Paris.
Former Formula Renault 3.5 driver Magnussen made his F1 debut in 2014 with the McLaren-Mercedes team but was demoted to reserve driver in 2015 to make way for Fernando Alonso, before being dropped altogether towards the end of the season.
Though he is a former GP2 Series champion and claimed a shock win in the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix for Williams, Maldonado's reputation for incidents has earned him an unenviable reputation during his time in F1, though the wealth he provides – upwards of £30 million reportedly - made him an attractive prospect for the cash-strapped Lotus team he has raced with since 2014.