STILL WAITING FOR HIS MCLAREN 650S: Renault F1 driver Kevin Magnussen said he is still waiting on the McLaren 650S he was promised during his tenure with the team. Image: AFP / Frank Fife
London - McLaren says there is a simple explanation as to why Kevin Magnussen never received a $500 000 company car whilst driving for the British team.
The Dane, who now drives for Renault after being dropped by McLaren, revealed to local broadcaster TV2 this week that he never received his McLaren 650S road car even though he chose "the colour, the wheels, the interior, everything".
Magnussen had to apologise to McLaren fans last week after posting on Instagram a 'meme' of a three wheeled Ferrari with the caption: "Still faster than a McLaren".
A team spokesman told the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet: "It is true that McLaren makes company cars available for its two drivers.
"Jenson Button had one without difficulty, but because Kevin Magnussen is so young, it was difficult to find an insurance policy that would cover it for a reasonable amount of money."
The spokesman, who believes Magnussen would have revealed the news about the company car only light-heartedly, said that by the time the insurance policy was found, the 23-year-old had left the team.
Kevin Magnussen claims he never received his company car, after racing and testing for the McLaren team for more than two years.
The McLaren 650S, which the young driver was supposed to get, sells for just under $500 000 (equivalent to R5.5million), but he currently drives a company car that is worth about $80 000 - an Infiniti Q50 hybrid.
Found his feet
The company car may be worth less, but the Dane is much happier now that he is at Renault, according to his father Jan.
"I can feel that the 'old Kevin' is back again," said Jan, a former F1 driver.
"He is more relaxed about everything, he uses his energy in the right place and that is important for him to perform at 100 per cent," Magnussen snr added.
"The mood at Renault is just more natural for Kevin," Jan continued. "He will not have to spend so much time thinking about if he fits into the picture."