McLaren: Magnussen, Vandoorne F1 ready
9 October 2013 – Martin Whitmarsh believes McLaren youngsters Kevin Magnussen and Stoffel Vandoorne both deserve a chance to drive at the pinnacle of the sport, although he doesn’t think it necessarily has to happen in 2014.
Magnussen and Vandoorne are currently battling for the Formula Renault 3.5 series title, with the latter 43 points in front with two rounds to go.
“I think both are really good guys and they both will get into F1 and we've got a duty of care to get them there," Whitmarsh told Reuters ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend. “I think they are both pretty special.”
“One way or another we'll find a way [to get them into F1],” Whitmarsh added. “They both deserve it. They are both going to be F1 drivers in the future.
“It's a question of how quickly we get them there. They are young enough, they don't have to get there next year.”
McLaren have apparently had talks with Lotus, Force India and Marussia about Magnussen, with Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley confirming the Dane could be an option in Korea.
Fernley also pointed out though, that if Magnussen, son of former F1 driver, Jan, is so good, then it begs the question why McLaren themselves don’t take a punt on him.
“[Force India team principal] Vijay [Mallya] has always taken the best drivers that he could afford and I don't think he'll change that philosophy,” Fernley stated. “So when it comes to actually determining the drivers we can put our recommendations in and if Kevin is in that mix then so be it.
“I think we've got a situation coming up where there are going to be a number of very good drivers available.
“[But] I think McLaren have to look at it themselves really. If Magnussen is a wonderful driver, why not take the chance?”