Magnussen loses legal battle with ex-manager

Haas F1 driver Kevin Magnussen has lost a lawsuit brought by his former manager Dorte Riis Madsen.

Madsen brought the case against the Danish driver claiming unfair dismissal and a breach of contract that the pair had originally entered into in 2008.

Magnussen broke from Madsen in 2015 citing ‘internal conflicts’ between them about the direction of his career. However the contract was reportedly never officially terminated and Madsen has been seeking compensation for lost earnings dating back two years, plus future earnings.

According to the Ekstra Bladet newspaper, the Copenhagen court has now decided in favour of Madsen and ordered that one fifth of the driver’s earnings from 2015 until 2020 should go to his former manager.

She had also been seeking 20 percent of a company formed to finance Magnussen’s Formula 1 career jointly owned by Magnussen and billionaire partner Anders Holch Povlsen. Sources last year suggested that the claim could run up to 20 million Danish kroner (approximately $3 million).

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“We did not expect this,” admitted Magnussen’s current lawyer, Claus Barrett Christiansen, after the conclusion of proceedings.

“Having said that, the result is probably more of a victory than a defeat,” Christiansen continued. “Dorte Riis comes out of it with much less than she hoped for.

“But it’s a shame for Kevin that his former lawyer does not have to pay compensation for his bad advice.”

The decision means that Madsen can expect to get a 20 per cent share in Magnussen’s new contract with Haas, which is expected to be confirmed in the next few weeks.

“We’re making very good progress,” team principal Guenther Steiner said of current contract talks. “We’re just going through the motions. We did a lot over the break, but we haven’t come to the complete conclusion.

“Nevertheless, I think we’re in a good place, it’s just like I cannot say anything yet because we are still working through a few bits and bobs.

“I’m very happy with the progress that we made, but we’ve just not come to the conclusion. It isn’t far off, what we’re going to do.”

“Contracts are always difficult,” Magnussen added this week. “If you agree 98 per cent, the last 2 are the most difficult. At the moment I’m just waiting.”

“Last year there was no discussion about the contract and I’m still enjoying not being part of this madness.”

However the position of Magnussen’s current team mate Romain Grosjean looks much less certain.

“This weekend we are here at Spa, next week we are at Monza and then I think the team will have more time to think about it,” Grosjean said on Thursday.

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