In just two days’ time, Kevin Magnussen will be revealed by Renault as Jolyon Palmer’s new team mate and an all new driver lineup for the 2016 F1 season, according to Autosport. A contract has now been signed due to Pastor Maldonado’s sponsors PDVSA being in breach of their agreement with the Enstone team when they failed to make payments as agreed by last Friday.
Renault will reveal their 2016 car this Wednesday in Paris along with ART’s chief Frederic Vasseur who will become the team’s ‘racing director’.
Pastor Maldonado’s only hope of remaining in F1 this year now rests with the Manor team, who are yet to confirm either of their drivers for the coming season. In Barcelona back in 2012, the Venezuelan joined an exclusive list of just 105 drivers who have won a Formula One GP, though he has been dogged by a reputation for being reckless behind the wheel. The nickname ‘Crashtor’ stuck and there is a website dedicated to reporting the number of days since Maldonado’s last crash.
At the time of writing this was just over 64 days and refers to a non-fault incident Pastor was involved in during the final race of the 2015 season in Abu Dhabi.
Kevin Magnussen’s F1 career has been brought back from the brink of extinction having been unceremoniously jettisoned by McLaren by way of an email on his birthday last Autumn. Ron Dennis later explained the reasoning, “He knows himself and there is no question he knew that he did not perform as he should have done.”
The Dane is considered by many to be an impressive talent and is the last McLaren driver to take the chequered flag in a podium finishing position, back in March 2014. Partnering Kevin with Jolyon also has the advantage that Renault can benchmark the performance of Palmer given that Magnussen should be more consistent than Pastor Maldonado.