McLaren F1 chief Ron Dennis urges Denmark to back Kevin Magnussen

Ron Dennis has called on Danish businesses to get behind McLaren test driver Kevin Magnussen and make him the country's Formula 1 "hero"

McLaren F1 chief Ron Dennis urges Denmark to back Kevin Magnussen

McLaren Group CEO Dennis made the difficult call at the end of last year to relegate Magnussen from race driver to reserve as he instead opted for the experience of Jenson Button as partner to Fernando Alonso from this season.

At a recent meeting attended by an elite group of Danish businessmen, Dennis gave an impassioned speech calling for their help to promote Magnussen back onto the grid.

Quoted by Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet, Dennis said: "From my professional capacity he is worth the investment.

"Putting it into perspective, we are spending £200million a year going Formula 1 motor racing.

"To make a difference to this guy is a fraction of that, it's a percentage of that to differentiate him from the other opportunities that face teams such as ours.

"So if you want him to win faster, if you want him to be a world champion fast, then feel patriotic and realise you have an opportunity to make a Danish hero and then we will facilitate that over the course of the next few months.

"This is about if you want a Danish hero and to step up to the plate, or you just want to be passive and live in your own world.

"Try to be patriotic and to realise the opportunity you have to be part of creating your own hero, and then try to justify the commercial reason why it would make sense for your company.

"Put your country first and him second. I'm absolutely certain he deserves that support."

Dennis made clear Magnussen could be placed at another team rather than returning to a McLaren race seat.

"Kevin has the ability to race next year," added Dennis.

"Equally he knows we live in the real world. I've two world champions, two of the best drivers in the world, so he has to prove himself.

"Maybe proving himself means I have to facilitate his entry to another team to give him another learning year; it may be he has the opportunity to drive at our team.

"The most important thing is to give him that opportunity, to step up to the plate because I think he is worth it."

The 22-year-old has now "got through the disappointment" of being on the sidelines in 2015, Dennis added.

"He's been a pain in the butt for the first four months of this year, moping around, but now he has got it.

"He understands he can equip himself for that climb by going to the races, working with engineers, getting the experience, listening to two drivers who have both been world champions."

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