Magnussen on verge of F1 return with Renault

Kevin Magnussen is on the verge of a surprise return to Formula 1 with Renault, with Pastor Maldonado's ongoing sponsorship problems set to force him out of grand prix racing.

Magnussen on verge of F1 return with Renault
Pastor Maldonado, Lotus F1 Team on the grid
Kevin Magnussen, McLaren Test and Reserve Driver
Kevin Magnussen, McLaren MP4-30
Pastor Maldonado, Lotus F1 Team
Kevin Magnussen, McLaren Test and Reserve Driver with Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing
Pastor Maldonado, Lotus F1 Team
Pastor Maldonado, Lotus F1 Team

Although a final decision about who will join Jolyon Palmer on the grid in 2016 has not been made, sources with good understanding of the situation say that Magnussen's chances have improved dramatically over the past few days.

In fact, it has been suggested that only a dramatic about-turn by Maldonado's backers over the next few days will be enough to save the Venezuelan's seat.

Should Magnussen be successful and complete a deal – which could be announced at a Renault team launch in Paris next Wednesday – it would mark a remarkable turn of good fortune for the Dane, who had appeared to be forced out of F1.

Despite an impressive debut campaign in 2014, and holding out hope this season of a step up with McLaren, he was left without F1 options after his former Woking bosses kept their current drivers and the Haas team opted for Romain Grosjean instead.

It is also understood that Magnussen had informal talks with Bryan Herta Autosport about racing in IndyCar in 2016.

Deadline looming

Maldonado's seat has always depended on the funding from Venezuelan oil company PDVSA but, as Motorsport.com reported earlier this month, late sponsorship payments left his position under threat.

This came despite a delegation of Renault representatives visiting PDVSA chiefs recently to try to explain the situation and ensure that they were not forced to make a change.

However, despite the gravity of the situation being made clear, it is understood that Renault has not been given the guarantees it required.

That has left it pursuing the Magnussen option, and it made clear that unless Maldonado's backers deliver their promised sponsorship then it will commit to the former McLaren race driver.

No comment

Maldonado's management company declined to comment about the situation when contacted on Thursday.

Renault's takeover of the Lotus team came after it had already committed to Maldonado and Palmer, and there were suggestions that the car company's senior management was always in favour of a driver shake-up.

CEO Carlos Ghosn prompted speculation about its line-up as soon as the buyout was complete by stating that the drivers would only be announced at the launch.

Magnussen is already a proven podium finisher and has good knowledge of the working of a major team like McLaren, while Maldonado has come off the back of a disappointed 2015 campaign.

shares
comments
Marko tells Renault to focus on Red Bull over own F1 team

Previous article

Marko tells Renault to focus on Red Bull over own F1 team

Next article

F1 braced for heated 2017 rules meeting

F1 braced for heated 2017 rules meeting
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Pastor Maldonado , Kevin Magnussen
Teams Renault F1 Team
Author Jonathan Noble
Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Prime

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Prime

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping .

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Prime

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is no guarantee.

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The themes to watch in F1's Imola return Prime

The themes to watch in F1's Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Prime

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. Ben Anderson looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Prime

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says Nigel Roebuck.

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Prime

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now? Prime

Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021