McLaren seeking F1 berths for young drivers

By on Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Kevin-MagnussenMcLaren managing director Jonathan Neale believes that junior drivers Kevin Magnussen and Stoffel Vandoorne should be in Formula 1 in the near future.

Magnussen is 36 points ahead of Vandoorne with four rounds of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series remaining.

Red Bull backed Antonio Felix da Costa, who is tipped for a Toro Rosso drive next season, is a further 43 points behind Vandoorne.

Magnussen participated in the young driver test for McLaren, after negotiations with Force India for the same test were unsuccessful. Team principal Martin Whitmarsh has previous stated that he would like to see Magnussen on the Formula 1 grid next season.

Neale says that both drivers are exciting prospects for the future.

"I'm not in a position to be specific about what's happening, but I can say that both Kevin Magnussen and Stoffel Vandoorne - who are currently dominating the World Series championship - are really exciting prospects for the future," Neale said during a Vodafone phone-in.

Vandoorne"I think it behoves us as a sport to make sure that both those two fantastic individuals find their way into Formula 1. Certainly on current performance you'd expect them both to get there."

Neale also insisted that McLaren needs to be careful when sorting out the future of both young racers.

"The step between coming through the junior series and coming into Formula 1 is pretty challenging, and we're still trying to figure out the best way for them to do that. I can't be specific, but we'd expect to see them in Formula 1 in the not too distant future."

Neale also added that in spite of the arrival of Honda in 2015, driver continuity at McLaren is not vital.

"What you really want is talent and high performance. We've shown in the past that we weren't afraid to make the changes that we felt that we needed to in the team, whether it was inside the organisation or in the driver line-up, in order to get the job done."

"I hope that it won't be too much further now before we're able to clarify what's going on," Neale said about McLaren's 2014 line-up.

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