Pastor Maldonado has confirmed he will not be racing in the 2016 Formula 1 World Championship and Kevin Magnussen will replace him in Renault's driver line-up.

The Dane had been linked with a last minute return to F1 in place of Maldonado after it emerged the Venezuelan's primary sponsor - the state-funded PDVSA oil company - had reneged on financial terms agreed upon when he was originally confirmed with the erstwhile Lotus team in September 2015.

As a result, Renault has dropped Maldonado from its team to replace him with ex-McLaren driver Magnussen, who will line up alongside British rookie Jolyon Palmer.

Maldonado has confirmed the news via his Twitter account by thanking his fans and backers for their support and helping him 'represent Venezuela at the pinnacle of motorsport'.

"Today I most humbly inform you that I will not be present at the starting grid for the 2016 F1 season," Maldonado said. "Thanks for all your messages of support, passion and concern for my future. I feel very honored with the support of all of you and proud of my professional performance.

"I confirm my feelings of gratitude to God, my family, my sponsors, my friends, my fans and all who have helped realise this great dream of being able to represent Venezuela at the pinnacle of motorsport."

The move marks a return to F1 action for Magnussen after he was forced to take a sabbatical in the wake of McLaren's decision to replace him in its team with Fernando Alonso at the end of 2014.

The 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 champion made his F1 debut in 2014 with McLaren - scoring a podium in his maiden race -, but after being demoted to a reserve role in 2015, he parted ways with the team altogether in October when it became clear a return to a race seat wasn't forthcoming.

He will be paired with Palmer, the 2014 GP2 Series champion promoted to a race seat after spending a year in a reserve role at Lotus..



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