McLaren has somewhat belatedly officially confirmed that Kevin Magnussen has been dropped for 2016 via a statement from Ron Dennis.
The Dane’s option with the team came up on September 30 but following the confirmation of Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso insisting that he is not going anywhere else, and Stoffel Vandoorne winning the GP2 title, it was clear that there was no room for him next year. He was told by email on October 5th, his birthday.
Even without Vandoorne’s emergence as the man most likely to replace ALO or BUT Magnussen was always adamant that he would not spend another year as a reserve driver. However, he could yet be on the 2016 grid as he remains in contention for a Lotus/Renault drive.
Speaking on Twitter today he said: “Shame it didn’t work out but I’ll never give up on the dream.”
In confirming Magnussen’s departure, Dennis said: “Kevin has always done a very impressive and professional job for McLaren in the five years since he joined our Young Driver Programme in 2010.
“In 2014 he raced very well alongside Jenson, who is a hugely experienced and very quick World Champion. Kevin’s Grand Prix debut in Melbourne last year was rewarded with a podium that day that he, and we, can be justifiably proud of.
“Kevin has continued to work hard for us in 2015, supporting Fernando and Jenson, although he was understandably frustrated not to be racing. He is extremely keen to return to racing next year, and, in keeping with our tradition with our young drivers, we will not stand in the way of his ability to fulfil his ambition and potential.
“He is a very talented racing driver, and he deserves to have a Formula 1 career, as Jenson has publicly said.
“Evidently, we have no space for him at McLaren-Honda as a race driver next year, but there is no shame in being edged out by two World Champions, Fernando and Jenson. We wish Kevin well, and will do all we can to help him successfully embark on the next chapter of his racing career.”