Kevin Magnussen claims that he turned down an offer to remain with Renault in Formula 1 for 2017 amid speculation that he will be joining Haas for next season.
Magnussen returned to F1 in 2016 with Renault after spending a year in a reserve role at McLaren, replacing Pastor Maldonado after the Venezuelan driver’s backing fell through.
Magnussen has scored all but one of Renault’s points in 2016, recording a best finish of seventh amid ongoing struggles for the French marque following its return to F1 with a works operation at the beginning of the year.
Renault announced last month that Nico Hulkenberg would be joining from Force India for 2017, and had a number of drivers lined up for its second seat including Valtteri Bottas, Carlos Sainz Jr. and Esteban Ocon.
Ultimately, second driver Jolyon Palmer was re-signed for 2017 alongside Hulkenberg, leaving Magnussen without a seat.
But the Dane is set to be announced by Haas for next season in the coming days, according to multiple reports.
Speaking to reporters at Interlagos ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend, Magnussen revealed that he was offered the seat for 2017, but decided against it for a variety of reasons.
“It was my decision [to leave]. I had an offer, but it was not a good enough offer that I could take it,” Magnussen said, as quoted by F1i.
“If they had committed to a longer contract then I would have probably looked at it much more seriously.
“It was more the feeling of them not committing, offering the drive to so many others. I think at one point the Pope had an offer! It was a bit messy, so it’s better for me to leave.
“They didn’t even tell me they were offering [the seat to other drivers]. More openness would have been good as well.
“But it is how it is and I have enjoyed my season with the team and I think it really is a great team.”
Magnussen is set to replace Esteban Gutierrez at Haas, after which there will be just four seats still unconfirmed for 2017.