Kevin Magnussen deal done: F1's comeback kid gets second chance with Renault
F1 is not famous for giving drivers a second chance, but Kevin Magnussen's deal to replace Pastor Maldonado at Renault has gone through and will be...
F1 is not famous for giving drivers a second chance, but Kevin Magnussen's deal to replace Pastor Maldonado at Renault has gone through and will be announced on Wednesday at a Renault F1 event in Paris.
Also unveiled that day will be new team principal Frederic Vasseur, who has led ART GP so successfully in F3, GP2 and GP3.
Magnussen's deal is now fully agreed and is in the process of being legally signed off ahead of Wednesday's announcement.
Maldonado meanwhile has got his move in first by announcing this afternoon on Twitter that, "Today, with the utmost humility, I tell you that I will not be on the Formula One starting grid for the 2016 season. Thanks for all your messages of support, passion and concern about my future."
Magnussen, 23, drove for McLaren Mercedes in 2014, scoring 55 points with famously a podium on his debut in Australia. The third place was upgraded to second after Daniel Ricciardo was disqualified for fuel flow irregularities.
The Dane generally coped well in qualifying that season, out qualifying Button by an average of a tenth and a half of a second across of the season, but struggled more in the races, due to the stiff handling of the McLaren chassis and the unusual way in which that worked the Pirelli tyres. Team mate Jenson Button with a far greater database and a feel honed through over a decade in F1 got the measure of him in the races, due to greater experience of these kinds of issues.
When Fernando Alonso joined the team for the 2015 season, Magnussen was dropped at the 11th hour, as the team held onto Button instead.
Button is a world champion and still one of F1's leading names and this reflects well on Magnussen. He was in contention for the Haas F1 seat, but the American management felt that Romain Grosjean offered more experience and was more of a known quantity, which is important for a new team taking its first steps in F1.
Renault offers Magnussen a chance to shine. His team mate Jolyon Palmer, who is two years older than Magnussen, is a rookie and the expectations are low for the first year as a works team, building up after the underinvestment of the last couple of Lotus years.
But it is still a works drive and a plum one for the future, if Magnussen can hold onto it for 2017 and beyond. He will face stiff competition from the likes of Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg and others for whom a works seat at Renault is an attractive option.
Hulkenberg is another example of the F1 comeback kid; he was dropped by Williams in favour of Maldonado in 2011, but bounced back with a Force India drive in 2012. He is yet to score an F1 podium but is considered to be near the top of the level of drivers below the champion tier.What do you think Kevin Magnussen will achieve this year in F1 with Renault? Leave your comments below
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