F1: Kevin Magnussen steps up at McLaren to replace Sergio Perez
Published 14/11/2013 | 14:09
Kevin Magnussen has been confirmed as the replacement for Sergio Perez at McLaren for the 2014 Formula One season.
Perez announced he would be leaving McLaren at the end of this season in an open letter to his fans on Twitter yesterday after just one year with the team.
Stepping in for the 23-year-old Mexican is McLaren's 21-year-old development driver Magnussen, son of former F1 driver Jan, as the team take on a rookie for the first time since Lewis Hamilton in 2007.
Magnussen will partner Jenson Button next season, with the latter to compete in his fifth season with McLaren and 15th overall in F1.
Magnussen has proved highly impressive in coming through the ranks, notably winning this year's Formula Renault Series title by 60 points over another of McLaren's rising stars in Stoffel Vandoorne.
It is obvious, however, the two drivers are at opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to experience.
Despite that, team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: "Next year, we'll witness the biggest raft of technical changes to Formula One in many years.
"Every team and manufacturer will be pushed to the limit as they try their best to adapt to those new challenges.
"Jenson's race-winning speed, intelligence and racecraft have long been a crucial advantage to McLaren.
"But it's his skill as a development driver and peerless technical feedback that will be equally valuable as we make the transition into a new and complex technical formula during the winter and new year.
"Kevin, too, is clearly very talented and very determined, and we therefore have high hopes for him.
"Moreover, every time he's tested our Formula One car, he's been very quick and very methodical, and his feedback has been first-class.
"Furthermore, the manner in which he won this year's World Series by Renault 3.5 championship was truly outstanding, showcasing as it did not only his impressive natural pace but also his increasing maturity and ability to structure and manage a championship campaign."
Naturally, Magnussen is thrilled to have been given an opportunity by McLaren, and an unusual one at that as it is very rare for the team to go into a campaign with a rookie in the cockpit.
Magnussen said: "I'm absolutely overjoyed to be making my Formula One debut with McLaren. I'll put it simply: this team is the best.
"It's been my dream to drive for McLaren since I was a small kid, and it's no exaggeration to say I've dedicated almost every day of my life to achieving the goal of becoming a McLaren Formula One driver.
"I have an enormous amount of respect for everyone at McLaren, and I want to say a massive 'thank you' to everyone, but most of all to Martin and his senior colleagues, for giving me this chance.
"I won't let you down, guys!
"Equally, in Jenson, I have absolutely the ideal team-mate. He's extremely quick, obviously, but he's also very experienced and superbly capable from a technical perspective.
"He's a Formula One world champion, which is what one day I also hope to become, and I'm determined to learn as much as I can from him."