Magnussen was told he had 2015 McLaren seat

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Kevin Magnussen has claimed that he was told by McLaren that he would be racing for the team in Formula 1 this year before it opted to give the seat to Jenson Button.

Magnussen finished second on his F1 debut at the 2014 Australian Grand Prix, but endured an otherwise-difficult first season with McLaren before being demoted to the role of reserve driver to make way for Fernando Alonso.

Magnussen was informed in October that his contract at McLaren would not be renewed, and has since tested Porsche’s LMP1 919 Hybrid and a Mercedes DTM car.

Speaking to Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet, Magnussen revealed that he had been given assurances over a seat at McLaren for 2015 alongside Alonso.

“I was told that it was my seat,” Magnussen said. “I cannot remember it exactly but, at the end of the season, I was told that I did not need to worry.

“Of course it was hard to learn that I did not get the seat, but I did not doubt that I would come back, so it was not as big a problem as one might have thought.

“But it was hard to begin with the launch, where I had just been told. Then you stand there as a test driver, while Jenson stands with Fernando. It took a while before it sank in and the reality dawned on me.”

Magnussen claimed that Button even had a special ‘goodbye’ helmet prepared for the final race of the 2014 and raced without pressure as he anticipated that it would be his last F1 start.

“Jenson had his two best races at the end,” Magnussen said. “He ran really well, but he had a helmet ready that said goodbye. He had thrown in the towel and just ran with his heart.

“He drove to have fun and enjoy the last two races as he believed 100 per cent that he was done in F1. He drove without stress or pressure.”