Kevin Magnussen in disbelief over ‘top drive’ with Renault

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Kevin Magnussen says that he “can’t believe” he is part of the new Renault Sport Formula 1 Team after replacing Pastor Maldonado for the 2016 season.

Magnussen made his F1 debut in 2014 with McLaren, but was dropped after just a single year to make way for Fernando Alonso.

The Dane spent a year working as the team’s reserve driver before being released, and did look set to move into either endurance racing or touring cars for 2016.

However, after the pre-existing deal between Lotus – taken over by Renault – and Venezuelan oil giant PDVSA that backed Maldonado broke down, Magnussen was drafted in as a replacement and officially unveiled on Wednesday.

“It’s an incredible feeling and it means so much,” Magnussen said. “I can’t believe I’m now a part of it.

“It’s not only a Formula 1 drive but it’s a top drive. Renault Sport will be fighting for world championships in the future, it might have a build-up phase, but they’re here to win and that’s a goal I share.

“Hopefully I’ll prove many points. I’m extremely motivated after a whole year away. I’ve been sitting on the sideline during the races for so many weekends and I’m hungry to come back and prove my worth.”