McLaren confirm Magnussen will replace Perez

2014 F1 season

Kevin Magnussen, McLaren, Bahrain, 2013McLaren have confirmed they will replace Sergio Perez with rookie Kevin Magnussen in 2014.

Magnussen, 21, won this year’s Formula Renault 3.5 championship in emphatic style, taking five races wins along the way and losing another on a technicality. He also impressed the team during his Young Driver Test appearance for them at Silverstone in July.

Team principal Martin Whitmarsh said Magnussen was “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 [Formula] 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.”

Magnussen said he was “absolutely overjoyed” to be making his debut with McLaren and vowed “I won’t let you down, guys.”

“I’ll put it simply: this team is the best,” Magnussen added. “It’s been my dream to drive for McLaren ever since I was a small kid, and it’s no exaggeration to say that 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.”

McLaren rarely promote rookie drivers to their race team. Magnussen is the first to have the chance since Lewis Hamilton in 2007.

Before that the last driver to make his race debut for McLaren was Magnussen’s father Jan in the 1995 Pacific Grand Prix, substituting for an unwell Mika Hakkinen. It was a one-off drive, though Magnussen later spent a year and a half racing for Stewart.

Whitmarsh also added his thanks to outgoing driver Perez, who he said “has developed well during a difficult season, as his recent run of points-scoring finishes underlines”.

“He’s a lovely guy and a fine driver – fast and combative – and I’m sure he’ll build on that firm foundation in 2014,” added Whitmarsh. “All at McLaren wish him well for the future.”

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89 comments on McLaren confirm Magnussen will replace Perez

  1. Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 14th November 2013, 14:35

    Feeling sad for Perez here . He started to make too many aggressive moves and spoilt his chances .

  2. JohnNik (@johnnik) said on 14th November 2013, 14:43

    Well he’s certainly making the right noises. There can be no doubt he wants to emulate Hamiltons rookie/McLaren success, it’ll certainly be interesting to see how he gets on, and the world will be watching!

  3. While I’m happy for Kevin and expect him to do well, it does make me wonder where the sense in signing Perez was. Was he a stop-gap? Was Magnussen’s 2012 in WSR so disappointing?

    Regardless, great to see McLaren take a chance with this Magnussen, and hopefully he fares better than his father did at Stewart (though Verstappen proved there wasn’t much to gain in that team next to Barrichello anyway).

  4. AlbertC (@albertc) said on 14th November 2013, 14:52

    As a swede I’m delighted to hear that yet another scandinavian find his way into F1. Finnish drivers have always ben around since I started watching F1 back in the late 90’s, but now also a dane joins the party! I have pretty much given up hope for Marcus Ericsson after 4 years in GP2, but I’m happy for Denmark and hopefully it will bring a little more attention to the sport here up in the north.

  5. Great and expected news.
    McLaren knows the driver, know his abilities. He will grown in the team.
    He is not his father.

    If he take Button as a teacher, he will have big sucess in the future.

  6. I really like strong teams taking “risks” with rookies when they are very talented. That payed off with Hamilton, and I surely hope it does with Magnussen, both for the team and the driver. Best of luck to both!

  7. Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 14th November 2013, 15:12

    It’s always nice to see new drivers enter into F1, and quite exciting to have a rookie going into one of the biggest teams in the sport next year. However, it has come at the price of Sergio Perez’s seat, a driver who I rate quite highly. So, from my perspective, for Magnussen to be considered a success next year (as Perez was considered a failure by McLaren this year) he will have to come very close to beating, if not beating Jenson Button outright. Button being a fine driver with huge experience and is also a world champion. It was a tall order for Perez and he apparently failed to meet McLaren’s standards. Let’s see how this new man does.

    • Robbie said on 14th November 2013, 18:15

      I’m not convinced Mac considered Perez a failure…just wanted to go with someone they think is even better, and presumably for the longer term. I don’t know the answer to this but was SP a long term consideration? Or was he half expecting his tenure would only be for a year? I don’t sense there is utter shock at SP being let go.

      As to KM next year…I fully expect that he may do no better than SP did this year, relative to JB. It’s all going to come down to how their car is, and how it suits each driver. I feel like the KM signing is for the long haul so I don’t think he MUST do better than SP or be considered a failure. There are too many variables and too many unknowns to simply expect KM to best SP just because the team made this decision. Especially in his first year in F1.

      What I think will be very interesting, assuming their car isn’t rife with problems, is to see if KM (and some others) is right that since the new format is new for everyone, experience is less key in 2014 than it would normally be, and KM, for example, won’t have any preconceived notions hindering his 2014 effort. He’ll only know turbos in F1 moving forward due to his minimal running in 2013 cars.

      I think it is very easy to argue the other side of the coin that since the format is new, experience will be more key than ever in getting on top of the steep learning curve more quickly than others.

      • I’m not at all surprized, this is just the logic end to a chain of events.

        When Hamilton left McLaren last year the team had to replace him. But that was not the only challenge McLaren faced. The team was not comfortable having Mercedes as engine supplier when Mercedes F1 was poaching McLaren staff left right and center. McLaren basically had to choose between Perez and Hulkenberg. I suspect the lure of Perez money made them choose him, big mistake. This might have been caused by McLarens need for money, allready last year McLaren might have realized it would be tough to party with the big spenders this year (perhaps that’s why Hamilton left?).

        The game changed immediately when the Honda-deal was struck. McLaren was right back as a top team receiving Hondas full attention and recources. The name of the game from that moment on was to mobilize and prepare for 2015. Perez had been weighed, measured and found wanting. The top drivers were not available so they went for young talent.

        I totally understand why the team chose that path. The only thing I don’t understand is why they yet again overlooked Hulkenberg. He would have been the best choice in my view unless Magnussen turns out to be extraordinary.

        • Yes, I completely agree except for not hiring Hulkenberg. You probably recall how much people in here were complaining – when it was rumored that Kimi was a contender for Mark’s seat – about not using drivers from Red Bull’s own academy. Well, Kevin has been “McLaren property” almost since before he was conceived, in he sense that the team always felt they owed his father for not giving him a proper chance.

  8. David not Coulthard (@) said on 14th November 2013, 15:28

    …and his dad drove for what is now the reigning WCC which the current WDC is a part of. Wow.

    And what happened to Checo reminds me of last year. I wasn’t happy when Kobayashi left while Sergio got to drive for the team that built the best car in 2012. A year later we see karma.

  9. hello kitty said on 14th November 2013, 15:44

    This signing is a ‘knock on’ effect of Marc Marques winning the moto gp title in his rokkie year. Team bosses have seen that experience does not matter if the talent is big enough. Hard luck on Peres though, he wasn’t that bad. I cannot understand why people have such a negative view on Maldonado also, he outraced Bottas (who is highly rated) this year, and won against ALONSO! In a good car, he could be quite successful.

    • Laine Baker (@bainelaker) said on 14th November 2013, 16:08

      As much of a MotoGP fan as I am, I don’t think this is true in the slightest. McLaren have signed rookies before – just look at HAM for the most recent example.

      • hello kitty said on 14th November 2013, 16:38

        hello kitty agrees you have a point, but why the indifference to Maldonado. I’d love to see him a a good car again, he has a little bit of a crazy streak, like all the good drivers.

    • GeorgeTuk (@georgetuk) said on 14th November 2013, 16:36

      I’m not sure it’s a knock on effect from a different sport, more just they see the potential in Magnussen and want to put him on track and the situation has presented itself.

      After all last time they tried it (McLaren), they got Lewis Hamilton which is a pretty good return!

  10. The only good news for upcoming season.

  11. Todfod (@todfod) said on 14th November 2013, 18:21

    Now lets hope he crushes Button

    Alonso – Magnussen Mclaren 2015

  12. Tomsk (@tomsk) said on 14th November 2013, 18:52

    Good to see a champion rewarded. The champions of both Formula Renault 3.5 and GP3 will be in F1 next year, which says all you need to know about GP2…

    He should also become F1’s best ever Kevin. The only other one I can think of is Kevin Cogan, who drove a Lotus standing in for Nigel Mansell, I believe…

  13. Deej92 (@deej92) said on 14th November 2013, 19:18

    So, we will see a Dane in F1 for the first time since Nicolas Kiesa in 2003! I’m really looking forward to seeing what he can do and hopefully he can give the team a much needed boost. I am still really gutted about Perez because he really did deserve another year, but I’ll be backing Magnussen along with Perez regardless of where he ends up.

  14. Let’s not forget that next year they are completely new rules and regulations. He should and will be expected to match and beat Jenson from the start. Being quick in the simulator is one thing, these tyres are so temperamental only God knows how he will perform.

  15. Bo (@bjust) said on 14th November 2013, 20:13

    Just saw a tv broadcast with Jan, Kevins dad, who talked about how Kevin got to know the seat was his. Apparantly he was working in the simulator, when he got a call to come up and sign some papers, after which he was send back to the símulator to continue work…. ;)

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