Magnussen to drive McLaren MP4-27 this year

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19-year-old Kevin Magnussen, son of former McLaren test and race driver Jan Magnussen, is stepping up a level in McLaren's Young Driver Programme. After joining McLaren in 2010, he finished runner-up in the British F3 championship and is rewarded with an extended role in the driver programme.

Kevin joined us in 2010 and since then he has finished runner-up in the ultra-competitive British Formula 3 Championship, setting eight pole positions and winning seven races. This year he will be racing in World Series by Renault as well as undertaking development work for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.

His new role in our Young Driver Programme will include the opportunity to drive the MP4-27 during the Young Driver F1 test later this year. He will also work under Gary Paffett and Oliver Turvey in our F1 simulator, helping to evaluate new technical developments throughout the year and to continuously improve the accuracy of our simulations.

The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Driver Development Programme nurtures promising racers, facilitating their careers through practical management advice, accurately graded fitness and nutritional programmes, and training in core skills as well as development funding. It enables them to approach every challenge with confidence and independence.

“I’m really pleased by this new deal with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes,” said Kevin Magnussen. “The team has shown great faith in me so far and I feel that this is an important step in my career. F1 is a highly pressured, data-driven environment, and anyone who wants to get there and succeed within it has to master all the technical aspects of the discipline. This is a great opportunity.”

“Racing is the core business of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes,” said team principal Martin Whitmarsh. “By enabling talented drivers to fulfil their potential, our Driver Development Programme is a strategic investment in the future of that business and the sport as a whole. We’ve been delighted by Kevin’s progress, aptitude and work ethic thus far. The time was right for him to take the next step and we look forward to helping him gain the experience he requires.”