AUGUST 31, 2016
Pundit hopes crash doesn't dent Magnussen chances
Danish racing driver Jason Watt hopes Kevin Magnussen's huge crash at Eau Rouge doesn't dent his chances of staying at Renault in 2017.
Despite hurting his ankle in the 40-plus G impact, Dane Magnussen is uninjured and will travel to Monza for mandatory FIA checks on Thursday.
"I'm feeling much better, which is very good news," the 23-year-old said.
"I've had several checks that show I am fit to race in Monza and I am sure I will be in the car this weekend," Magnussen added.
But the timing of the crash was bad news for the Danish driver, who is pushing to prove to Renault that he should be kept on board for 2017.
Magnussen had qualified 12th and was running comfortably in the top ten when he crashed.
"It is of course not ideal," fellow Dane Watt, a former F3000 driver, told Ekstra Bladet newspaper. "Far from it.
"It was a golden opportunity for him to strengthen his position relative to Jolyon Palmer," he added.
"But I think the people who must evaluate Kevin also know that accidents can occur and realise that he was clearly much faster than his teammate in both qualifying and the race.
"I don't think he has damaged his chances," said Watt. "I don't think he is any worse off today than he was last week."
However, there remains a strong chance that Magnussen will be ousted at the end of the season, as multiple candidates line up for the two seats at the French works team.
"As I see it, it is a battle between Kevin, Jolyon Palmer, Sergio Perez, Esteban Ocon and Felipe Massa as an outsider," said Watt.
"Perez is looking strong in a Force India and even has lots of money in the luggage. I believe he will be in one of the (Renault) cars next season," he added.