Reports: Kevin Magnussen set to replace Pastor Maldonado at Renault

© AP
4 Comments

Kevin Magnussen is all but set to replace Pastor Maldonado at Renault for the 2016 Formula 1 season after a breakdown in talks with the Venezuelan driver’s backers, according to reports.

Earlier this month, it was reported that Magnussen had been given a tour of the Renault F1 factory at Enstone after a delay in payments from Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, Maldonado’s primary backer.

Renault is set to confirm plans for its return to F1 in 2016 on February 3 after taking over the Lotus operation.

It now looks increasingly likely that Maldonado will not be on the grid with the team, with a number of outlets reporting on Thursday that Magnussen is set to replace the Venezuelan.

First broken by Autosport before being reported more widely, talks between Renault and PDVSA broke down after officials from the French manufacturer ventured to South America for negotiations earlier this month.

As a result, Maldonado’s stint at Enstone appears to be all but over, with Magnussen poised to take the seat and return to the F1 grid after a year away.

Magnussen made his debut with McLaren at the beginning of 2014, but was dropped after just one season to make way for two-time world champion Fernando Alonso.

The Dane spent a year with McLaren in a reserve role before being released at the end of 2015, and has since tested LMP1 and DTM cars with Porsche and Mercedes respectively.

Magnussen looks poised to race alongside British driver Jolyon Palmer, who steps up to make his F1 debut in 2016 after spending a year in a reserve role at Lotus.