Kevin Magnussen is set to replace Pastor Maldonado at Renault’s new Formula 1 works team for the 2016 season, Autosport has learned.
Sources have confirmed Magnussen is poised to sign a deal over the next few days, before being officially confirmed at Renault’s launch in Paris next Wednesday.
Autosport understands the move follows a disagreement between the French car manufacturer and Maldonado’s long-time sponsor PDVSA, Venezuela’s state-owned oil and gas company, that has led to the contract being dissolved.
It is believed a very small window of opportunity still exists for the two parties to return to the negotiating table, sign a new deal, and for Maldonado to retain his seat.
But with such a move highly unlikely, Renault has turned to Magnussen.
The 23-year-old is now on the brink of returning to F1 four months after being informed by McLaren, on his birthday, he was no longer required as reserve driver.
Maldonado will almost certainly end up out of F1 after five seasons, three with Williams and then two with the Lotus team that Renault has acquired.