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McLaren F1 team didn't want to hold Kevin Magnussen back

Ron Dennis says McLaren chose not to renew reserve driver Kevin Magnussen's Formula 1 deal because it did not want to hamper his chances of a race seat elsewhere

As Autosport revealed on Thursday, Magnussen will leave the Woking-based outfit at the end of the year, with new GP2 champion Stoffel Vandoorne set to take on reserve duties.

BEN ANDERSON: What next for McLaren's juniors?

Earlier this month, Magnussen's hopes of a McLaren race seat in 2016 were ended when Jenson Button was confirmed alongside Fernando Alonso.

Magnussen has been linked with a race seat at Lotus, alongside Pastor Maldonado, and Manor, which currently has two vacant seats.

"Evidently, we have no space for him at McLaren-Honda as a race driver next year, but there is no shame in being edged out by two world champions, Fernando and Jenson," said McLaren chairman Dennis.

"We wish Kevin well, and will do all we can to help him successfully embark on the next chapter of his racing career."

McLaren supported Magnussen through his Formula 3 and Formula Renault 3.5 campaigns, and he was elevated to a race seat in place of Sergio Perez for 2014 after winning the previous year's FR3.5 title.

He started well with second on his debut in the Australian GP, but was demoted to reserve duties when Alonso returned for 2015.

"Kevin has always done a very impressive and professional job for McLaren in the five years since he joined our young driver programme in 2010," Dennis added.

"In 2014 he raced very well alongside Jenson, who is a hugely experienced and very quick world champion.

"Kevin's grand prix debut in Melbourne last year was rewarded with a podium that day that he, and we, can be justifiably proud of.

"Kevin has continued to work hard for us in 2015, supporting Fernando and Jenson, although he was understandably frustrated not to be racing.

"He is extremely keen to return to racing next year, and, in keeping with our tradition with our young drivers, we will not stand in the way of his ability to fulfil his ambition and potential.

"He is a very talented racing driver, and he deserves to have a Formula 1 career, as Jenson has publicly said."

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