Mclaren development driver Kevin Magnussen is as good as confirmed at Mclaren for 2014.
Reports are suggesting that a deal with Magnussen has been made, but not officially announced. The 21-year-old Dane has been under the team’s wing for a few years now, and all the pieces for a deal have fallen into place since he won the Formula Renault 3.5 championship last month.
This move does come as a surprise, however, as most in the paddock expected Sergio Perez to stay on for at least another year. But as negotiations with Perez continued, so did the rumors surrounding Magnussen. An official statement from Mclaren is expected soon.
Should Magnussen be confirmed, he will be the third rookie on the grid for 2014. In a time of immense changes to the sport, many are wary to sign young drivers with little to no experience. Nevertheless, Mclaren’s faith in Magnussen speaks volumes. Remember a certain Lewis Hamilton in 2007?
That said, this deal does seem harsh towards Perez, who through no fault of his own has been stuck with an uncompetitive car all season. The team said recently that they expected more from the Mexican this season, but one questions the logic of this statement given it was the team that gave him the bad car in the first place.
While it hasn’t been the best of seasons for Perez, it has been far from a disappointment. He has been beaten by his experienced teammate more often than not, but that was expected. The criticism from the team is very harsh indeed.
Perez must now start looking for another place of employment. The realistic options at the moment seem to be either Lotus or Sauber. The former is already deep in the heat of battle with Ferrari and Mercedes for second in the constructors’ championship, and Nico Hulkenberg and Pastor Maldonado are vying for that seat already. Should Perez move back to Sauber, he would return to the team that gave him his start and three podium finishes in 2012.
The silly season is still in full swing, and should stay that way for weeks to come.