Motor racing-Magnussen ready for step up to F1

By Alan Baldwin

GREATER NOIDA, India, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Young Danish driver Kevin Magnussen, son of former grand prix racer Jan, says he is ready to step up to Formula One and has no 'Plan B' if he fails to secure a race seat for 2014.

The 21-year-old recently won the Formula Renault 3.5 junior series and is being backed by McLaren, the former world champions who have said they want to find him a place on the Formula One grid.

"I am very hopeful it will come off. I feel very ready for it. And if it doesn't come off, then I don't know what I will do. I haven't thought about it," Magnussen told reporters at the Indian Grand Prix.

"I have had a very long junior career and winning this (3.5) championship gave me the last bit of confidence that I'm worth it," he added confidently.

McLaren have yet to finalise their 2014 lineup, with doubts surrounding Mexican Sergio Perez, but the team have had talks with Lotus, Force India and Marussia about giving the Dane an opportunity.

Lotus have made experienced German Nico Hulkenberg their top target to replace the departing Kimi Raikkonen, with team principal Eric Boullier also speaking out on Friday against taking on a rookie.

Force India have had a technical partnership with McLaren, although that is due to end when they take on the full Mercedes powertrain, while Marussia require backing from their drivers.

Marussia sporting director Graeme Lowdon was keeping his options open.

"We've enjoyed the driver line-up that we have this year," he told Reuters.

"Next year is a highly technical challenge for the drivers with the new power units so there's a lot to be said for going into next year with two experienced Formula One drivers.

"I think there's a strong argument for saying it would be nice to go into next year with the same driver line-up that we currently have. That said, we're not in control of all of the variables."

Magnussen said he could only wait and hope.

"If I get the chance with a big team then it would be because they expect me to deliver the results," he said. "I would only be chosen for a good team if they think I am the best solution, so of course they would expect that.

"I feel ready. I've won in everything I've driven so why would that stop in Formula One?" (Editing by John O'Brien)