Kevin Magnussen’s future in Formula 1 could be resolved in the coming weeks, amid speculation that the Dane could replace Pastor Maldonado at the re-formed Renault team.

Both Maldonado and his new-for-2016 teammate Jolyon Palmer were confirmed for the 2016 season under the Renault team’s former Lotus guise, and after the French carmaker’s re-acquisition of the Enstone team, it confirmed that both drivers would remain in place.

Maldonado and Palmer’s contracts come with the guarantees of sponsorship income, however Maldonado’s situation is becoming increasingly uncertain in the wake of recent political changes in his native Venezuela. The opposition party won the recent presidential elections, turfing out Maldonado’s backers, the ruling United Socialist Party led by President Nicolás Maduro.

Maldonado’s support comes from the country’s oil company, PDVSA, but this is currently in serious financial trouble because of the falling price of oil. It is understood that PDVSA has not paid its latest sponsorship installment, triggering a number of team representatives to travel to South America to urgently resolve the situation.

Magnussen does bring some of his own backing from the Bestseller AS clothing retail consortium, which has a network of over 5,700 retail stores worldwide across a number of brands.

Magnussen – also considered in the frame for one of the two currently-vacat seats at the Manor F1 squad – is known to have visited the Renault team’s headquarters in the last week.

Image via XPB Images

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Geoff Burke

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