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Magnussen's career 'on pause' at McLaren

ESPN Staff
December 12, 2014 « Alonso sees podiums as realistic target in 2015 | Dennis to buy back majority stake in McLaren »
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Ron Dennis has tipped Kevin Magnussen to emulate world champions Fernando Alonso and Mika Hakkinen when he races in F1 again in the future.

Magnussen is facing a year on the sidelines as a test and reserve driver after losing out on a race drive to Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso. Both Button and Alonso are on multi-year deals, but Dennis insists Magnussen will be back and has a big future ahead of him.

"His career is on pause, we've had to press the pause button," Dennis said. "But he is a great driver just like these guys [Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button].

"I had the very painful challenge of trying to explain why the decision was made in favour of Jenson and I pointed out that I believe, and truly believe, that he will have something in common with Fernando and also Mika Hakkinen.

"One year's testing does not take away your opportunity of being in F1. Fernando spent one year testing between two years with Minardi and racing for Renault. Mika did two years at Lotus and came here and did one year's testing before racing for us. Both, of course, subsequently went on to win world championships."

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier hinted at the possibility of Magnussen finding a drive for another Honda-powered team in 2016.

"Maybe. It could be a possibility, but there is no discussion yet. Kevin definitely has 100% of our support. He has more chance than anybody else to be in F1 in 2016."

Magnussen admitted he was disappointed not to be racing in 2015, but is still happy to be a part of the McLaren team.

"Obviously I'm disappointed not to be racing - I'm a racing driver and I want to race, so of course I'm disappointed. But I'm still with a great team and I still have big opportunities in my Formula One career. I'm young and I have a lot of time ahead, so I'm still positive."

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