Late last week, Kevin Magnussen confirmed to the media that he was dumped by McLaren on his birthday and the message came via email from Ron Dennis’ PA.
Last week the McLaren have confirmed that they will not be renewing Magnussen’s contract as with Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso down to race next season there is “no space” on the bill.
Dennis added in a statement that McLaren “will not stand in the way of his ability to fulfil his ambition and potential.”
But rather than a personal call or a face-to-face meeting to inform him of the decision, the 2014 race driver received an email – and on his birthday. However though the news did not come as a surprise.
In an interview with the media last week, Magnussen confirmed that was the case as follows:-
‘When the date of McLaren’s option on me passed, I was kind of waiting to hear from them.I didn’t hear anything for a few days, and then, after about a week, when I saw an email from Ron’s personal assistant Justine [Bowen] in my inbox, I had an idea of what it might be.
‘It was a short paragraph explaining that there would be nothing for me in the future. It arrived on my birthday, actually.’
The fact that Magnussen has confirmed that this was indeed the case for me is just not right and also disrespectful to a young driver who hasn’t done anything wrong and in my eyes has been treated unfairly and with the respect that he deserves. I truly do believe that Magnussen would have accepted the news and it would have been better for all concerned if it was done in the correct manner and not through an email.
Further on in his interview last week, Magnussen admitted that he wasn’t at all fazed that it came through Dennis’ PA instead of the boss himself. Magnussen added the following:-
‘Oh, I didn’t really mind. That’s just a detail, isn’t it? There’s no need to make a fuss about stuff like that. I’d already made it clear that I was 100 percent determined to race next year, and obviously McLaren already have two contracted race drivers for next year in Jenson and Fernando. So, well, three into two won’t go, will it?
‘I was only ever going to have a chance of a McLaren race drive in 2016 if one of them was going to retire or whatever, and that’s probably not now going to happen, so it was pretty clear that there was going to be no room for me at McLaren.’
As for his future, the Danish driver who has been linked to Lotus in recent weeks, is in talks with several teams as he reckons a F1 World title still awaits. Magnussen added the following on the subject on this matter as follows:-
‘I’ve had good talks with a number of Formula 1 teams, and some of them are still going on. So I have chances there. Formula 1 is still my aim. My ambitions haven’t changed. I know how to win races, I know how to win championships and I still intend to be Formula 1 World Champion. That won’t change.
‘Well, as I say, I was put on Earth to race, so I’ll race. Again, I don’t want to go into details, but I’m pleased to say that a number of exciting opportunities have come my way over the past few days and weeks, and I can tell you for sure that I’ll take one of those opportunities, definitely.’
It is clear that even though Magnussen has been unfairly dropped by McLaren last week, he is still looking for a chance of a race seat for next season and I think if the chance came not only would he grab it; but it would benefit the team as well.
With his experience in F1 and also with McLaren, this could prove beneficial to a team alongside his talent which he demonstrated in his rookie year in the sport in 2014. However, Magnussen understands that chances are limited in the sport and is not afraid to go in a different direction in order to become a successful driver.
But no matter what happens with his career, I still maintain that Magnussen is a very talented driver and also a gentleman in the way he has dealt with what has happened with the McLaren team and how he has been treated there and he is a credit to himself and also to his family as well.