Date: 6th November 2015 at 9:45am
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After discovering he was being let go by McLaren on his birthday, Kevin Magnussen just missed out on securing a race seat with Haas F1.

The 23-year-old who has come through the McLaren Formula One team’s Young Driver Programme, was Jenson Button’s team-mate for the 2014 Formula One World Championship season.

The Danish driver stood on the podium on his debut in Australia and finished 11th in the championship after scoring 55 points.

For 2015, McLaren signed two-time Formula One World Champion Fernando Alonso and both Magnussen and Jenson Button appeared to be kept in the dark throughout 2014 on who would be kept to partner him.

It turned out that Button would be kept and Magnussen would drop down to reserve driver.

Due to Alonso’s crash in pre-season testing, Magnussen started the 2015 season in the car and was due to race the Australian Grand Prix before technical gremlins prevented him from making his 20th appearance.

For 2016, it wasn’t clear where Magnussen stood within McLaren Honda.

Fernando Alonso is one year into a three-year-deal, whilst Button appeared to flirt with retirement before agreeing to a new 12 month deal.

Would Magnussen remain as reserve driver? Or would Stoffel Vandoorne replace him? The latter proved true after he clinched the GP2 Championship in dominating fashion.

Magnussen himself stated that he wouldn’t settle for another year on the sidelines so his release was always expected, but he still wasn’t informed in person and was actually dumped by email on his birthday.

Probably not the bitterest of pills to swallow as he would have wanted to quit McLaren without a race seat, but still a blow.

However the biggest blow has been missing out on a race seat with newbie team Haas F1.

The American team will race with Ferrari engines and gearbox’s next season and are thought to be in a good position to hit the ground running in 2016 with a target of competing with the likes of Sauber, Lotus and Force India straight out of the box.

They have announced their driver line-up as Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez, however team boss Gene Haas has revealed that Magnussen was a strong contender.

‘We talked to Magnussen, who was a very good candidate, He was very well respected by the McLaren team. In fact if Romain had declined we would have taken Magnussen as the primary seat.’ he told formula1.com.

 

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