Magnussen set to replace Perez at McLaren for 2014 season

Kevin Magnussen waiting for that call

Kevin Magnussen waiting for that call

Amid a flurry of Formula 1 driver movements and announcements this week, McLaren are reportedly set to replace Mexican Sergio Perez with Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen for next season.

Sources close to the Formula 1 team indicated the reports were accurate.

A McLaren spokesman said no deal had been signed with any driver for 2014, other than 2009 world champion Jenson Button.

Magnussen, 21, is the son of former McLaren and Stewart grand prix driver Jan Magnussen and won the Formula Renault 3.5 series this year.

British media have reported that McLaren had decided to give Magnussen the drive.

Kevin Magnussen has tested for McLaren and impressed the team

Kevin Magnussen has tested for McLaren and impressed the team

Team principal Martin Whitmarsh earlier told reporters that talks were still ongoing for the second seat at the former championship-winning team.

“There has been a lot of honest feedback both ways, which is best done in private not in public. We’ll see in the future,” he said ahead of this weekend’s United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.

If Magnussen is confirmed in the seat, he will be McLaren’s first rookie driver since Britain’s Lewis Hamilton made a sensational debut in 2007. He won the title the following season.

Last month Whitmarsh described Magnussen, who is a McLaren development driver, as “pretty special” and “lightning quick”.

Perez joined McLaren from Sauber at the end of last season after Hamilton left for Mercedes and has struggled with an uncompetitive car.

Will Jenson Button and Sergio Perez be teammates in 2014?

Will Jenson Button and Sergio Perez be teammates in 2014?

The 23-year-old Mexican has scored 35 points to Button’s 60 in 17 races.

Before this month’s Abu Dhabi race it had seemed that Perez was set to be confirmed, with Whitmarsh indicating as much, but the feeling changed after a disappointing performance under the Yas Marina floodlights.

“Abu Dhabi was difficult. It was not the result he and we wanted but difficult weekends happen,” said Whitmarsh.

“In an era of change you need bright drivers. I think Sergio is a clever guy and I think in that regard he’s a good driver for anyone next year, including ourselves.

“I think we’ve got two intelligent drivers now and I’m sure we’ll have just that next year.” (Reuters)

  • Butterfly

    I guess I was right about Perez being average. Maybe it really was the 2012 Sauber that worked miracles.

  • Ride me sideways

    I said it last year and I’m still saying it,mc laren took the wrong sauber driver from last year,Perez is way way over rated,sauber easy on tyres last year and starting outside top ten was making Perez look good,it was all the car,I would rather see kobayashi back in f1 that see Perez (Telmex) stay in it

  • The Pessimist

    Don’t feel sorry for Checo, he had his chances but failed to capitalize and was outscored and outpaced by an average driver like Jenson ‘The Tortoise’ Button. Some of you may argue that Checo was on podium thrice last year.Well, it was partly due to good strategies by the team and partly because of the C32 Sauber which was a very good handling car that was also easy on it’s tires.