McLaren: Perez out, Magnussen in?
ROOKIE HEADED FOR MCLAREN Kevin Magnussen could be headed for McLaren in 2014. Image: Kevin Magnussen Facebook page
LONDON, England - McLaren could replace Sergio Perez with rookie Kevin Magnussen for the 2014 Formula 1 season.
Sources close to the F1 team indicated the reports were accurate. The BBC and autosport.com websites both reported McLaren had decided to give Magnussen the drive.
A McLaren spokesman said no deal had been signed with any driver for 2014, other than 2009 champion Jenson Button.
Magnussen (21), is the son of former McLaren and Stewart GP driver Jan Magnussen, won the 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 series.
Team principal Martin Whitmarsh earlier told reporters that talks were ongoing for the second seat at the former championship-winning team.
Whitmarsh said ahead of this weekend's US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas: "There has been a lot of honest feedback both ways, which is best done in private not in public. We'll see in the future."
If Magnussen is confirmed, he will be McLaren's first rookie driver since Lewis Hamilton made a sensational debut in 2007. He won the title in 2008.
In October 2013 Whitmarsh described Magnussen, a McLaren development driver, as "pretty special" and "lightning quick".
Perez joined McLaren from Sauber at the end of 2013 after Hamilton left for Mercedes but has struggled with an uncompetitive car. Perez has scored 35 points to Button's 60 in 17 races.
Before 2013's Abu Dhabi race it had seemed that Perez was set to be confirmed, with Whitmarsh indicating as much, but the feeling changed after a disappointing performance under the Yas Marina floodlights.
Whitmarsh said: "Abu Dhabi was difficult. It was not the result he and we wanted but difficult weekends happen. In an era of change you need bright drivers. I think Sergio is a clever guy and I think in that regard he's a good driver for anyone next year, including ourselves.
"I think we've got two intelligent drivers now and I'm sure we'll have just that in 2014."
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