McLaren has only managed to accumulate 95 points so far this season, and its drivers have fared even worse, with Jenson Button sitting on a total of 60 points with two races to go, and Perez only managing 35 points.
The next season will be Magnussen’s first in F1. Like most of the current crop of drivers, Magnussen started his racing career in karting. Most recently he won this year’s World Series by Renault 3.5 Championship. The 21-year-old will race alongside Button at McLaren.
“I’m absolutely overjoyed to be making my Formula One debut with McLaren,” Magnussen said in a statement. “It's been my dream to drive for McLaren ever since I was a small kid, and it's no exaggeration to say that I've dedicated almost every day of my life to achieving the goal of becoming a McLaren Formula One driver.”
Kovalainen, 32, is currently a reserve driver for Caterham, and it’s not decided yet whether he will race for Lotus next season. The decision will likely depend on his performance in the next two races. For Kovalainen, it’s a bit like coming home, since he performed various test duties for the squad between 2004 and 2006 when it was Renault F1. He will be on the grid this weekend at the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.