Formula Renault 3.5 champion Kevin Magnussen has withdrawn from this week’s Abu Dhabi GP2 test.
The McLaren junior was scheduled to drive on the opening day of the test on Tuesday as part of a pre-arranged agreement with his FR3.5 team DAMS as a result of him winning the title. However, the Dane’s management has made a last-minute decision for him not to drive at this week’s test.
That means DAMS will only run one car on Tuesday, which by the terms of GP2 means the French squad will have to pay a fine of 20,000 euros to the organizers for failing to put both cars on track.
It is understood that the decision has nothing to do with McLaren, as the F1 team was happy for its protege to join fellow McLaren junior Stoffel Vandoorne in taking part in the test at the Yas Marina circuit this week.
DAMS boss Jean-Paul Driot said: “I am very surprised, and I’m disappointed. It is a shame after we have had a very nice season and won the [FR.5] championship together.
“I don’t know the reasons, but I don’t see the problem with spending one day in a GP2 car if your goal is Formula 1. Kevin would be new to the car and the tires, so nobody would be expecting him to be in front of everybody. This would not be the exercise.
“I wish for Kevin that he goes to Formula 1. For 25 years we have helped drivers go to F1 and that makes me and the team very proud. But it is too late for us to get a replacement driver, so this will be the first time in GP2 that we will not have a driver for one of our cars.”