Kevin Magnussen not seeing Abu Dhabi as battle for survival at McLaren

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Kevin Magnussen’s rookie Formula One campaign is coming to a close this weekend in Abu Dhabi. Whether there will be a second Formula One campaign for him remains to be seen.

The future of the Dane, who was third-quickest today in FP2 at the Yas Marina Circuit, remains undecided as he and fellow McLaren man Jenson Button will have to wait until at least December to know if either of them – or neither of them – will be back in Woking.

With Fernando Alonso continuing to be linked to joining McLaren next year (and adding recently that his next move would surprise no one), it’s murky times for both the young Magnussen and former World Champion Button – who himself may be facing his final Grand Prix ever.

But in an Q&A for Formula1.com, Magnussen isn’t seeing this weekend’s season finale as a fight between himself and the Brit for survival. He also said he wasn’t sure if a good result in Abu Dhabi would swing things in his favor.

“It is difficult to say if it would make a difference in this matter,” he said. “I honestly assume that no decision has been made on the management level so far, but I would deny that this race is something of a shoot-out.

“But then, of course, a good result always helps… For you, personally – that you know that you can do it.”

When asked about the possibility of staying on and pairing up with Alonso, Magnussen was similarly cagey.

“I think for every team in the paddock, Fernando would be a good choice,” he said. “But as Jenson is a fantastic team mate, I have to say that I would have no preference.”

He also insisted that despite his current situation, he was approaching the weekend as he would any other and was focusing on McLaren’s upgrades that they’ve brought to the desert – including a new front wing.

“It is a normal race – just like the rest of the season,” he said. “We have some exciting new things [on the car] for this race and as normal, I will do my best and not let myself getting distracted by thinking about what the future brings.”

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix coverage continues tomorrow with FP3 on NBC Sports Live Extra at 5 a.m. ET, followed by qualifying on NBCSN and Live Extra at 8 a.m. ET.