Monday, 1 February 2016

Magnussen gets second F1 chance as Maldonado makes way

Kevin Magnussen will race for the returning Renault team in Formula One this year, replacing Pastor Maldonado.

The Venezuelan, who brought significant backing to the team from state-owned oil and gas supplier PDVSA, has faced an uncertain future since Renault signed a letter of intent to take over the cash-strapped Lotus in September, despite being under contract to continue with the Enstone team.

Magnussen meanwhile was dropped by McLaren at the end of last season after spending a year as the team's reserve driver. The Dane, son of ex-F1 and current Corvette GT driver Jan, scored a podium on his F1 d├ębut in 2014 but made way for Fernando Alonso, who returned to McLaren from Ferrari at the beginning of 2015.

Although the change is yet to be confirmed by Renault, Maldonado announced his departure from the F1 grid in a statement:

"As everyone knows, in recent days, there have been a number of rumours about my immediate future in Formula 1," he said. "Today I most humbly inform you I will not be present on the starting grid for the 2016 F1 season. 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," he added."I thank God, my family, my sponsors, my friends, my fans and all who have helped me realise this great dream of being able to represent Venezuela in the pinnacle of motorsport. See you soon."

Renault's full F1 programme will be unveiled in Paris on Wednesday at an event that is also expected to confirm ART man Frederic Vasseur as the team's racing director.

Image: GEPA Pictures/Red Bull Content Pool

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