McLaren duo in the mix for future seats

Tuesday 22-October-2013 15:22

McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale has hailed Kevin Magnussen and Stoffel Vandoorne as "mouth-watering prospects", saying the duo are part of their plans over the next few years.

The Woking squad are looking for seats for the highly rated pair on the 2014 grid with Marussia and Force India mentioned as possible destinations in recent weeks.

The 21-year-old Magnussen, who appears to be closest to a drive for the 2014 campaign, won this year's Formula Renault 3.5 title with Belgian Vandoorne finishing second.

Neale says McLaren are determined to keep the pair in their "future plans".

"For our own young drivers of course with Kevin Magnussen winning the Formula Renault 3.5 series we're delighted for him, and Stoffel Vandoorne winning the rookie Championship and also finishing runner-up in the series are mouth-watering prospects for us for the future," he said during the latest Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in.

"That's all going around the mix at the moment as we decide what we're going to do with our driver line-up over the next two or three years, and we're working very hard to make sure that those two are part of our future plans."

While McLaren are set to give their youngsters another season before handing them race seats in F1, Toro Rosso went one step further by promoting 19-year-old Daniil Kvyat for the 2014 campaign.

Kvyat competed in GP3 and the FIA European F3 Championship this season and Neale warns that the step up to Formula One is a big one.

"I think stepping out of either the GP or Formula Renault series in to Formula One is still a very big step," he said. "The weight of expectation, the technology in particular of the transition from this year to next year where we ourselves are trying to really work out how these packages are going to operate effectively, how do we run efficiently, how do we overcome the aerodynamic and powertrain challenges; it's difficult enough for us without throwing a young driver in to the mix.

"It has been done successfully, historically, by the exceptional candidates, but Formula One is a very high-pressure environment, very unforgiving, and that's what makes it so exciting. But we do need the young drivers coming through. I think that some of the work that's been done around the reintroduction of testing will help some of that, and it is an exciting prospect watching the next generation of drivers ready themselves on the horizon."

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