Formula 1

Kevin Magnussen to replace Perez at McLaren - report

Magnussen is a member of McLaren's young driver programme (©GettyImages)
Magnussen is a member of McLaren's young driver programme (©GettyImages).

Formula Renault 3.5 champion Kevin Magnussen could be set to jump straight to McLaren, according to the Telegraph newspaper.

The 21-year-old is one of the biggest prospects from McLaren’s young driver academy and most have linked him with a move to F1 with the Marussia team replacing Max Chilton for 2014.

However with neither McLaren driver officially confirmed for next season correspondent Tom Cary believes Mexican Sergio Perez, who has only spent one year with the team, could get the axe.

Kevin, who is the son of former racer, Jan Magnussen, was set to take part in the GP2 test this week in Abu Dhabi however pulled out at the last minute without explanation.

Recently McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh described FR3.5 as “a much higher quality championship than GP2″ so therefore taking part in a test for GP2 may have been a threat to Magnussen’s reputation.

Indeed this year’s FR3.5 field has seen other future F1 names such asStoffel Vandoorne, Antonio Felix da Costa, Sergey Sirotkin and Carlos Sainz Jr all participate.

Certainly Magnussen’s F1 ambitions look more realistic than that of newly crowned GP2 champion Fabio Leimer. The Swiss wrapped up the title after the opening race in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, however respected Swiss journalist Roger Benoit claims F1 is “as far away from Leimer as the moon”.

For Magnussen he is hopeful of being able to go straight for a top drive despite other drivers possibly being more comfortable entering the sport with a midfield or even one of the slower teams.

“For me,” he told Cary in Abu Dhabi. “If I can get a competitive seat in the first year I would prefer that.

“It’s true there is a bigger risk in going to a top team because if you don’t perform then you’re out of Formula One. But for me, if I get to a top team and don’t perform then it means I’m not good enough,” added Magnussen.

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