Kevin Magnussen to leave McLaren at end of 2015

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Kevin Magnussen has confirmed that he will be leaving McLaren at the end of the 2015 season following five years with the team.

Magnussen joined McLaren as a member of its young driver programme back in 2010, and stepped up to a full-time race seat in 2014 after winning the Formula Renault 3.5 championship.

Despite making a huge impression by finishing second on debut in Australia, Magnussen struggled to continue this form throughout the season as the McLaren MP4-29 car caused both him and teammate Jenson Button to struggle.

Magnussen was dropped to make way for Fernando Alonso in 2015, taking up a reserve role at the team with the hope of jumping back into a race seat in the future.

However, McLaren opted to retain both Button and Alonso before passing on its option to retain Magnussen’s contract, making him a free agent at the end of the year.

In an interview with motorsport.com, Magnussen revealed that he found out that he would not be remaining with McLaren after receiving a simple email on his birthday.

“When the date of McLaren’s option on me passed, I was kind of waiting to hear from them,” Magnussen said. “I didn’t hear anything for a few days, and then, after about a week, when I saw an email from Ron’s [Dennis] personal assistant 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.”

Magnussen is now on the look-out for an F1 seat for 2016, with Lotus (soon to become Renault) being the most feasible option. However, a move into IndyCar has also been mooted, as well as a possible drive alongside his father, Jan, with Corvette at Le Mans.