Kevin Magnussen will permanently close his chapter in Formula 1 in Abu Dhabi according to a report from Danish media BT.
The 28-year-old Haas driver is expecting to be dropped from the US outfit along with teammate Romain Grosjean as Haas refreshes and likely rejuvenates its line-up for 2021.
BT's well-informed F1 correspondent Peter Nygaard believes his countryman's exit will be permanent, barring any unexpected turn of events.
"I am 99.9% sure Kevin Magnussen’s Formula 1 career will end with the season finale in Abu Dhabi on December 13," said Nygaard.
"His career thus becomes another victim of the corona crisis. Without the financial problems that have followed in the wake of COVID-19, Haas, Williams and others could have afforded to look more at the drivers’ talent than their financial backing.
"Haas, which just a year ago felt too inexperienced to entrust a car to a newcomer will now likely race with two rookies, which underscores how hard the crisis is hitting."
Nygaard recognizes Haas' need to shore up its finances at the expense of its potential ability to score points with an experienced driver.
"Nobody, not even team manager Guenther Steiner or owner Gene Haas, can believe that, for example, Nikita Mazepin, Callum Illott or Robert Shwartzman can gain more points for the team in 2021 than Magnussen.
"But they can contribute to the budget with hundreds of millions, and that is unfortunately most important in these times."
"That’s why Magnussen leaves Formula 1. It’s been seven years since he won a race [Formula Renault 3.5 Series] and there is no prospect it will happen in Formula 1.
"It will be exciting to see where he continues his career, but he told me at the Nürburgring that in any case he will not settle for a reserve driver job. He will run – and win – races in 2021."
Regarding Haas' 2021 line-up, the latest rumor from the grapevine is that F2 racer Nikita Mazepin will be paired with a Ferrari junior, either Robert Shwartzman or Mick Schumacher, although the latter is also being considered for a seat with Alfa Romeo.
"Mr. Mazepin wants his son to drive in Formula 1 and his son wants it probably even more so," Haas team boss Guenther Steiner said at the Eifel GP.
"But we have to decide first where we want to go. Only then do we sit down with people who are interested in working with us.
"We work very closely with Ferrari, so if we get drivers out of Formula 2 they will most likely be Ferrari drivers.
"I would definitely not be against that. Who wouldn’t want a Schumacher back in Formula 1? Especially in the form he is currently in in Formula 2.
"But the decision on who Ferrari send out is up to Ferrari, not us. We can say we want one or the other, but I don’t know the contracts Ferrari have with their juniors."