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McLaren still undecided on F1 2015 driver line up

Jun 27, 2014
McLaren Honda 2015.jpg

Yesterday was the day plenty expected McLaren to finally announce their driver line up for next year. With Fernando Alonso all but confirmed in one seat, there has been months of deliberation on who of their current line up will stay on to partner him next year.

Both Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button have been waiting for several months for their McLaren team to decide which driver shall partner Alonso next year. Both were joined by Mika Hakkinen at a Johnny Walker sponsor event in Scotland and it seems both expected to find out their fates also. McLaren had previously declared that a decision would only be made after December 1st, therefore plenty predicted McLaren would announce a final decision after a board meeting which took place yesterday.

McLaren announced after yesterday's meeting " Today's board meeting has now concluded, and no decision has been taken with regard to our 2015 driver line-up." Now both Button and Magnussen will have to wait a while longer before their plans for next year are confirmed.

For both drivers the frustration at having to wait so long must be growing and at the sponsor event yesterday Button aired some of his feelings on the matter to Press Association Sport " It's a weird time. It's the end of the season, we haven't got a race for many months, and I have had time to reflect on many things. So I'm good, but I just want to get it done. I want to hear the decision - as we all do - so we can all move on in whatever direction."

Button also spoke of his relationship with team mate Magnussen over the year "I've spent some time with Kevin over the past couple of days, and it's been really nice doing that, This situation has been difficult for both of us, but we've shown over the last couple of days that we work so well together. It's such a shame we won't be working together in the future in terms of being team-mates."

The longer that McLaren take to come to a decision, the more damaging it will be for everyone involved. Both drivers are being left to wait their fate, which is damaging their chances of securing another drive next year. Whilst for whichever driver they choose to partner Alonso, they will not be left much time to adjust to the new Honda powerplant and new McLaren car, before pre-season testing starts early next year.

Community Question:
Who do you think McLaren should keep to partner Alonso next year and why?

Bram Hengeveld

RaceDepartment Founder
Staff member
Dec 26, 2006
I've absolutely enjoyed Button's stay with McLaren but for the future of the team its good to have a youngster besides Alonso next year.

Magnussen did a good job this year. Drove a lot of miles and has gained enough experience to become a solid McLaren driver for the coming years so my vote would go to him.

Terry Rock

Oct 24, 2009
I'd give a one year contract (with a performance clause to Jenson) and hold Kevin in testing for an additional year...unless after 5-8 races Jenson is faltering badly.
Here's why...
McLaren has been in a bit of a slump for a few years now.
That uncertainty is not attractive to major sponsors, who bring in a lot of dollars.
With the new season a bit longer at 21 races IMSMC, if Alonso is doing well with the new car and Jenson can't match to within say..2/3 rd of the points, then I'd move Kevin early.
We suspect Honda has already 'forked' over millions to buy out Alonso's contract from Ferrari and bring him... along with their engines to McLaren.
That means that the driver salary for that side of the garage is essentially handled by Honda...so no McLaren cash outlay there.
It leaves them with really only one major salary to come up with in 2015...since testing doesn't pay as much.
With Alonso and Button in the car...(if it's good), what they'll have, are two guys who have proven they can consistently score points with a decent car.
That should bring them back to the eye of sponsors, which would bring more money to help develop the car.
I'd then move Jenson next year and bring Kevin in to ensure team longevity.
The other thing McLaren must do, is stipulate no #1 driver and give them both equal 'footing'.
If they haven't, they're foolish.
Nothing will demoralize a team faster than a driver and mechanics believing themselves not treated as equal...regardless of what they may say.
It's human nature.
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David O'Reilly

A bad quali means I can go forwards in the race.
Mar 15, 2011
I reckon Alonso would prefer Button.
Magnusson is young fast and ambitious. He will get faster. Alonso saw what happened to Vettel.

Robert vd Heide

Piloting RC Helicopters and sim Racecars
Mar 13, 2013
Alonso is going to mcLaren to win the championship,and have a last try for that to happen.
Honda power seems competative after the tests done,so big chance they race Mercedes in 2015.

so it seems better to have the more experienced ex worldchampion next to Alonso ,to compete with Mercedes next 2 seasons.

this all is due to Ron Dennis who wants to proof he is in charge and wants to have influence
Alonso protected himself from Ron Dennis by getting hired by HONDA
and thus having the honda factory in between him and Ron

so now Ron is making a mess because he wants to have full control about the 2nd seat
and show the world he is boss

in spite of most of the people wanting Jenson Button
not only for his skills ,but for the face he gives to the F1 as well

actually Bernie should pay Jenson for that,like he does with Ferrari ;)


If quizzes are quizzical then what are tests?
Sep 30, 2010
With the new car/engine combo coming up.....you can't beat experience in car with your driver line up. I think Alonso and Button make the better pairing (for this year at least), I also think it would be the stronger pairing too. And if the car is competitive this year, with the two drivers above you have oodles of calculating talent to take advantage of it.


If you get a Quali Place, you can get a Race Pace
Oct 23, 2012
Yes, we all don't know how well the car will perform on the Grid, two experienced World Champions is the right choice for 2015 :thumbsup:

And I hope it happens that way ;)


Jun 29, 2013
Button should just take the decision out of their hands and announce he's going to the WEC.

Robert vd Heide

Piloting RC Helicopters and sim Racecars
Mar 13, 2013
Button should just take the decision out of their hands and announce he's going to the WEC.
in the British newspaper ,they talk about a management war,,where Ron Dennis is fighting to stay relevant.
"There may be other factors at play here, concerning both sponsorship and the security of Dennis's position " TELEGRAPH.

so even if Jenson reached agreement with Porsche
i would hope they keep it silent to let Ron sweat some more,and hold that mirror in his face

would be a blessing for Alonso too if Ron Dennis left at mcLaren

John Jorell

May 3, 2011
Dennis's still holding up the decision as to whether he would pick Kevin or Jenson. Come on Ron, make up your mind right now and choose the best driver suiting your desire to win a world championship. And if I were in his shoes, I'd pick the driver that has the experience and the better chance of winning a race or even the title and it's none other than Jenson. Kevin had a good season but not enough for me to suit my expectations if he was to be given another shot for the next season.

Kjell Eilertsen

Jun 7, 2012
I wonder, I would think that Alonso expects to be the teams #1 driver, maybe McLaren really wants to keep JB but he's not willing to play second fiddle?
Whatever happens I hope the best for JB, I don't think KMag has what it takes to become WC, or even push Alonso into performing better.
But at this point I'm almost hoping that JB will be offered the seat and just give Dennis the flick of some fingers and head off to do WEC or whatever, even if that means I won't be watching his brilliant racing anymore, I just think it's getting rather ridiculous keeping them on the fence for so long.
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Oct 6, 2014
Maybe, the conditions proposed by Alonso didn't satisfy Mclaren yet. (or the contrary)
Otherwise the expectation is awful.

My answer: I think Magnussen has to stay, he is talented. Jenson should go to WEC, this championship could correspond to his skills.
But Button is more popular than Magnussen. The choice is not easy.
Alonso wants to become again world champion. So what kind of partner must be with him ?

Kjell Eilertsen

Jun 7, 2012
Alonso wants to become again world champion. So what kind of partner must be with him ?
One that can consistently finish right behind him and help keep the other drivers a few points away each race, in other words, Button. Looking at the championship standings, I don't understand the fuzz about KMag, he did really poor imo.


Had things gone my way, who knows..
Nov 11, 2013
Again I'll say it - KMug was only causing incidents this year. After his podium in Aust I don't renember seeing more good results from him.
I don't think Button will push Alonso either. I believe Alonso is the better driver. But for McLaren, Button is a way better choice than Mugnussen

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