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Maldonado ‘will lose Renault F1 seat to Magnussen in 2016’

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Kevin Magnussen could replace Pastor Maldonado at 2016 Renault F1 Team

Kevin Magnussen could replace Pastor Maldonado at 2016 Renault F1 Team

Kevin Magnussen is reportedly in talks with Renault about replacing Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado in 2016.

Having taken over Lotus, there has been speculation the French carmaker might be re-thinking the Enstone team’s contracts with Maldonado and Jolyon Palmer.

But it was British rookie Palmer who was believed to be most in danger, as Maldonado is backed by a reported $50 million a year in the form of controversial sponsorship by the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA.

PDVSA, however, is embroiled in a corruption scandal, and Britain’s Telegraph newspaper confirms that the “political uncertainty in Venezuela” has put a question-mark over Maldonado’s race seat.

At the same time, correspondent Daniel Johnson said it is the job-seeking former McLaren reserve Magnussen who is suddenly “in talks with the new-look Renault team”.

Citing sources, the newspaper added: “Magnussen was in the team’s Enstone factory (for) two days last week for talks with senior executives”.

But the more likely role for 23-year-old Magnussen, who has recently tested Le Mans and DTM cars, is the Renault reserve role, the report continued.

Renault did not comment.

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