Magnussen: I turned down Renault's offer for 2017
Kevin Magnussen insists it was his decision to leave Renault and commit to Haas, after claiming an offer he had to remain at the team showed its lack of commitment to him.
Renault announced on Wednesday that it was retaining Jolyon Palmer for 2017, with Magnussen now set to finalise a Haas contract over the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend.
Magnussen revealed at Interlagos on Thursday that he could have stayed at Renault if he wanted, but what was offered to him did not give him the faith that the outfit really wanted him.
"It was my decision," said Magnussen about whether he chose to leave Renault or not. "I had an offer but not a good enough offer that I could take it."
Asked whether that was simply because a one-year contract did not give him the stability he was after, Magnussen said: "It was more the feeling of commitment from Renault's side really. If they had committed to a longer contract I would probably have looked at it much more seriously.
"It was more the feeling of them not committing, taking so long and offering the drive to so many drivers. I think at one point, the Pope had an offer I heard! It was a bit messy so better for me to leave."
He added: "It really is a lot about the feeling I had with the management here. If I had felt more commitment and decisiveness then it would maybe have been different. But I am happy with the way it turned out at the end of the day."
It is understood that Renault's informal offer to Magnussen was made ahead of the Mexican Grand Prix, and was prior to the Dane beginning to firm things up with Haas.
Team principal Fred Vasseur was surprised that Magnussen claimed Renault did not give him the impression of being committed to him.
"We spoke about the future a couple of times in the season, but if he has the feeling that I was not committed then it is strange for me," Vasseur told Motorsport.com.
"We spoke about contracts but at some stage we also spoke with Jo. But I had to speak to him on the sporting side to know exactly what was happening on track, and at the same time to build up an agreement."
Magnussen said he would be sad to leave Renault at the end of the season, but believed that Haas could deliver a step up in terms of results for him.
"I think it could be better," he said about Haas's prospects in 2017 against Renault. "I hope it will be better. I think it will be competitive, that is my feeling.
"I am looking for a place for me to excel and to prove my worth and do a good job, and have a good time. I think I can have that next year."
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About this article
|Location||Autódromo José Carlos Pace|
|Teams||Renault F1 Team , Haas F1 Team|
|Article type||Breaking news|