Racing

McLaren hires Magnussen as new driver for 2014

LONDON (AP) — Kevin Magnussen was promoted to McLaren's driver lineup for the 2014 Formula One season on Thursday, replacing Sergio Perez as the partner for Jenson Button at the British team.

The 21-year-old Dane has been McLaren's development driver for the last two seasons, winning this year's feeder World Series, and will be the first F1 debutant at McLaren since Lewis Hamilton in 2007.

"It's been my dream to drive for McLaren ever since I was a small kid," Magnussen said, "and it's no exaggeration to say that I've dedicated almost every day of my life to achieving the goal." He is the son of former F1 driver Jan Magnussen, and will become the fifth Dane to drive at the sport's top level after Tom Belso and Jac Nellemann in the 1970s and Nicolas Kiesa in 2003.

Magnussen is looking forward to learning alongside the 33-year-old Button, who won the F1 title in 2009. "In Jenson, I have absolutely the ideal teammate. He's extremely quick, obviously, but he's also very experienced and superbly capable from a technical perspective," Magnussen said. "I'm determined to learn as much as I can from him."

Team principal Martin Whitmarsh expects Magnussen to successfully make the step up. "Kevin is clearly very talented and very determined, and we therefore have high hopes for him," Whitmarsh said. "Moreover, every time he's tested our Formula One car, he's been very quick and very methodical, and his feedback has been first-class."

McLaren has had a poor 2013, with two fifth places their best results. There are two races left in the 2013 season, in the United States and Brazil.

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