No official confirmation has come from the team, but multiple media outlets are reporting Kevin Magnussen will replace Sergio Perez at McLaren in 2014.
The initial report was done by Autosport’s Jonathan Noble on Sunday, suggesting the 21-year-old Dane had emerged as favorite after team meetings post-the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. McLaren team boss called Perez’s efforts in Abu Dhabi, “disappointing.”
Then on Monday, BBC reporter Andrew Benson cited sources who said a contract isn’t signed, but the team has chosen Magnussen as the replacement. Veteran journalist Joe Saward also said in his blog McLaren has opted not to take its option up on Perez.
Magnussen has won this year’s World Series by Renault championship and impressed in two F1 tests.
Statistically speaking Perez hasn’t performed as well as teammate Jenson Button, but neither has been able to make much out of this year’s difficult chassis. Less than a week ago, though, reports were beginning to emerge that Perez’s seat was in doubt.
Assuming the team confirms the news, it presents a bit of a dilemma between three young drivers currently on this year’s grid. Lotus has a seat open and while Nico Hulkenberg has long been the favorite, commercial realities could see either Pastor Maldonado or now, Perez, switching into that seat. Maldonado’s officially a free agent with Monday’s earlier news that Felipe Massa will replace him at Williams.