Kevin Magnussen has hailed Haas’ departing performance engineer Jose Manuel Lopez, saying he “deserves” the rumoured McLaren promotion.

Lopez has been with Magnussen for three years at Haas, the Dane’s performance engineer in a total of 62 grands prix.

But Sunday’s Abu Dhabi race was his last.

Lopez is believed to be off to McLaren, replacing Andrew Jarvis as Lando Norris’ engineer.

Magnussen says he “deserves” the step up the grid.

He told Ekstra Bladet newspaper: “He deserves it.

“He is an insanely skilled engineer who I wish all the best.

“I’m sorry to see him go, but I always felt that a guy like him would be hard to hold onto.

“He’s the engineer I’ve had the longest in my racing career. So that means a lot and we’re going to share a beer or two tonight.”

Haas has yet to announce Lopez’s replacement.

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