On his first visit to an F1 paddock for several weeks, the Woking team’s ‘supremo’ hit back at Magnussen’s recent claim that being ousted via email on his birthday came as a surprise.
“It is simply ridiculous that Kevin said he did not know (beforehand) that his contract would not be renewed,” Dennis is quoted by the Danish newspaper BT.
He explained that McLaren made the decision to sever its ties with the 23-year-old because the driver failed to sufficiently shine.
“He (Magnussen) got every opportunity,” Dennis insisted, “(including) a season in formula one with a number of very clear goals he had to meet. And he didn’t meet them.”
When asked what those missed goals were, Dennis answered: “It would not be appropriate to go into details. But Kevin knows in his heart that he did not perform as he should have.”
He denies that it is McLaren that failed to fulfil its promises to Magnussen.
“You try to be constructive and helpful, just as every McLaren driver has had our support — if he wants it,” said Dennis.
“We supported and paid for many drivers’ careers,” he added. “Kevin, also Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg. Drivers come and go in formula one.
“Kevin’s career was in his own hands, but he didn’t deliver what was expected of him.”
Now, McLaren has replaced 2015 reserve Magnussen with the new reigning GP2 driver Stoffel Vandoorne, as Dennis said: “Kevin is a good, talented driver who certainly can succeed in formula one.
“But there are many drivers who also could, without ever getting the chance to do so. So they simply have to find other places to make their careers.”
TV2, a Danish broadcaster, said Magnussen will not race at Le Mans with Porsche next year because the German manufacturer has decided to no longer run a third car.
Magnussen will test Mercedes’ DTM car at Jerez next week.