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Kevin Magnussen should get 2016 F1 drive - McLaren's Eric Boullier

McLaren's former reserve driver Kevin Magnussen deserves a place on the 2016 Formula 1 grid, says the team's racing director Eric Boullier

Magnussen was released by McLaren earlier this month when it chose not to renew his contract after deciding to retain Jenson Button alongside Fernando Alonso in the race team.

Last year Magnussen raced alongside Button, but the 2009 F1 champion got the nod when McLaren's reunion with Alonso meant one of its drivers had to make way for this season.

"As McLaren, we know Kevin is a great talent," said Boullier.

"He should be praised for that. He should get a drive in F1 next year.

"He'll have a strong career, for sure."

Magnussen said he had been told of his departure via email, and received the message on his birthday.

Questioned over McLaren's handling of the situation, Boullier replied: "He has not been fired as you said.

"I just want to tell you his contract was ending this year, there was an option whether to renew it or not and it was decided not to renew for several reasons.

"As far as the process goes, I'm not going to comment."

McLaren chairman Ron Dennis said when confirming Magnussen's exit that the team had not wanted to hold him back once it became clear there would not be a race seat for him in 2016.

GP2 champion Stoffel Vandoorne will take over Magnussen's previous standby duties at McLaren next year.

Friday's announcement that Lotus would promote its reserve driver Jolyon Palmer to its vacant race seat alongside Pastor Maldonado for next year removed another F1 option for Magnussen.

The Dane's chances of getting back on the grid now appear to depend on Manor, which has also been strongly linked to a deal to run DTM champion Pascal Wehrlein, a protege of its 2016 engine supplier Mercedes.

Newcomer Haas also has one seat officially available, but Ferrari reserve and former Sauber racer Esteban Gutierrez is expected to be announced as Romain Grosjean's team-mate.

Magnussen has expressed an interest in IndyCar and sportscar racing if he cannot get an F1 race drive for 2016.

CONFIRMED 2016 F1 LINE-UP SO FAR:

Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg
Ferrari: Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen
Williams-Mercedes: Valtteri Bottas, Felipe Massa
Force India-Mercedes: Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg
Lotus/Renault: Pastor Maldonado, Jolyon Palmer
Sauber-Ferrari: Felipe Nasr, Marcus Ericsson
McLaren-Honda: Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button
Manor-Mercedes: tba
Haas-Ferrari: Romain Grosjean, tba
Red Bull/Toro Rosso futures subject to engine supply deals

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