McLaren confirms Magnussen departure

Kevin Magnussen

Kevin Magnussen

McLaren has confirmed that reserve driver Kevin Magnussen will be leaving the team.

The Woking team has decided against taking up an option on the Dane with Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso locked in to drive for the squad next season.

Magnussen, who joined McLaren’s young driver program in 2010, secured a race seat alongside Button for 2014, resulting in a second place finish on his F1 debut at the Australian Grand Prix.

The 23-year-old, who finished 11th in the 2014 championship standings, lost his drive after the team chose Button to partner new signing Alonso for this season.

However, he was called upon to deputise for the injured Spaniard at the Albert Park season opener.

McLaren boss Ron Dennis has praised Magnussen for his efforts at McLaren, while stating that he deserves a chance to continue his F1 career.

“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,” read a statement from Dennis.

“We wish Kevin well, and we will do all we can to help him successfully embark on the next chapter of his racing career.

“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.

“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.”

Magnussen has been linked to a possible drive at Lotus alongside Pastor Maldonado for next season.

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