Dennis: Magnussen signing was my decision
13 April 2014 – McLaren Group CEO Ron Dennis says the promotion of Kevin Magnussen to a race seat was his decision.
Magnussen, who claimed the Formula Renault 3.5 title in 2013, has replaced Sergio Pérez at the team this year, with the Danish rookie finishing on the podium at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix last month.
Dennis has now revealed that he made the call to dispense with the services of Pérez and call up Magnussen.
"In the initial decisions that are taken at the early parts of their careers I have an involvement – but not to the extent where they start to mature," Dennis told the Official Formula 1 website. "The exception has been with Lewis [Hamilton] and with Nyck De Vries, who were both managed by me from a very young age.
"With Kevin I focused on the last category – the Formula Renault 3.5 series. But the decision to take Kevin was mine. It was only possible to take Kevin because of my decision – that would be accurate. I took the decision because I felt that we needed to see if he could meet the expectations of our engineers, and so far he has done a great job."
Dennis also highlighted the performance of McLaren youngster Stoffel Vandoorne, who won on his GP2 debut in Bahrain, but insists that the team has no reason to drop current race driver Jenson Button when his contract expires at the end of 2014.
"Stoffel did a great job in Bahrain, so I think he will be highly desirable by the end of the season," added Dennis.
"Anything is possible, but Jenson is doing a great job. He is quick and he is dedicated so there is no reason not to stay with Jenson from any perspective. But we still have a whole season to go."