SEPTEMBER 16, 2016
Magnussen hints power struggle behind Renault driver delay
Kevin Magnussen has admitted to some frustration about Renault's delayed decision about the shape of the works team's 2017 driver lineup.
Earlier, it was believed the team would inform the Dane of its decision in Singapore, but team boss Frederic Vasseur has now been quoted as saying the call could be made as late as a week before winter testing.
"Hopefully it will be soon," Magnussen told the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet in Singapore.
"Otherwise, I will take it (a decision). I am a racing driver and to race, I cannot wait until the week before the first test. It's not an option.
"I don't know if that's exactly what he (Vasseur) said, but if it's true that he believes Renault can wait until a week before the first test, then it will not be me," said Magnussen.
Renault has a 2017 option on Magnussen's services that will expire in two weeks.
"I cannot sign somewhere other than Renault before the option expires," he confirmed.
Asked if he would sign something after then, Magnussen added: "If I have a better offer, yes."
The 23-year-old suggested the problem could be a power struggle at the top of the team, with Vasseur and Cyril Abiteboul apparently in conflicting roles at present.
"I don't think there is so much I can do about the situation right now, and it's frustrating," said Magnussen.
"If it was quite clear who was in charge at Renault right now, I am sure there would be a decision. But there certainly is not," he added.
He said he has asked Vasseur about the situation and got only positive feedback, including about his leadership skills.
"I asked him and he said he has nothing to complain about. Whether it's true or not I don't know," Magnussen said.