Button, Alonso, Magnussen: Who should McLaren run?

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Ron Dennis’s philosophy of hiring McLaren’s drivers is simple: Obtain the two best racers available.

This has produced some of the most formidable line-ups Formula One has ever witnessed: Niki Lauda and Alain Prost, Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.

Now as the team prepare to reunite with Honda, with whom they enjoyed their most successful seasons ever from 1988 to 1992, McLaren face a difficult choice over who will drive the MP4-30s next year.

They may be about to bring back the driver many consider the best in the sport today, but one who also split with the team in highly acrimonious circumstances a few short years ago.

His arrival could displace another world champion, one who has been a loyal member of the team for five years, or the their latest star of the future.

Who should McLaren hire to race for them next year? Here are the leading candidates.

Jenson Button

He’s a world champion, the most experienced driver in Formula One today, and his history with Honda makes Button an obvious candidate to remain at McLaren next year.

While it’s true that Button is usually found wanting when it comes to one-lap pace, he reliably gets the job done on race day. It’s 9-9 between him and Magnussen in qualifying this year, but Button emphatically leads 13-3 in terms of race results.

Button has been up against a world champion at McLaren before, and on that occasion he out-scored Hamilton during their three years together. Will he find himself alongside another champion next year?

Fernando Alonso

Widely considered one of the best drivers in F1 today, the question of whether McLaren is more a matter of whether a relationship which failed so spectacularly seven years ago can be remade.

Ron Dennis has previous said a reconciliation with Alonso would not be easy: “Would I be able to eliminate in my mind the negativity that he caused to everyone? No, of course not.”

But rumours about a return to McLaren for Alonso have been circulating for over a year. Sebastian Vettel’s impending departure from Red Bull, seemingly to replace Alonso at Ferrari, is a further pointer that Alonso is about to make a move which once seemed unthinkable.

Kevin Magnussen

Second place in his first ever race start probably served to set expectations too high for what Magnussen could achieve in the rest of his rookie season. But aside from a few first-lap tangles with Kimi Raikkonen at the beginning of the year he has generally impressed with his speed and maturity.

Magnussen has finished every race bar Bahrain, where his car broke down. Although his points haul is little more than half of Button’s, it bears pointing out that while Magnussen had never raced on several of the tracks he visited this year, Button has over 250 starts to his name.

So there’s good reason to believe Magnussen can be an F1 star of the future, and he’s likely to be a less expensive option than Button.

Stoffel Vandoorne

McLaren are not short of talent in their young driver programme.

Stoffel Vandoorne finished second in the Formula Renault 3.5 championship last year – behind Magnussen – and may do the same in GP2 this season. He’s arguably been the most impressive driver in F1’s premier ‘feeder series’, winning on his debut and leading the last three qualifying sessions.

But McLaren aren’t short of options for their F1 team next year, and the prospect of them promoting a rookie for the second year in a row seems decidedly remote.

Who should McLaren hire for 2015?

Which drivers should McLaren hire for 2015? (Select two)

  • Stoffel Vandoorne (4%)
  • Fernando Alonso (41%)
  • Kevin Magnussen (18%)
  • Jenson Button (38%)

Total Voters: 789

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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241 comments on “Button, Alonso, Magnussen: Who should McLaren run?”

  1. The Blade Runner (@)
    12th November 2014, 11:53

    Easy for me: Alonso and Button.

    1. Likewise. The 2 best drivers available. Simple.

      1. Yep. And keep K-Mag as test driver.

        1. That has been my thought as well. Seems to make sense.

          1. Agreed; The two best drivers available. Like a team with McLaren’s history should always strive for.

            The fear of having two “number one” drivers drivers, I think, is completely void in this discussion. Jenson and Fernando are probably the two most mature and professional drivers on the grid. Also, both have great track records of not knocking their competitors off the track. I have no idea why they appear to actually still be debating this.

        2. This. Every point will matter concerning money. Add a new engine to the mix and McLaren will need every pence come the 2015-2016 offseason.

          Then, they can go Alonso-Magnussen or Alonso-Vandoorne for 2016 and make the most of both seasons.

          1. The money argument goes both ways, Jenson’s great drive in Abu Dhabi saved McLarens 5th place in constructors list. More than enough money extra in McLarens pocket from that to pay Button for one more year. Give Jenson a one year deal, heavily weighted towards point production…K-Mag hasnt been the greatest this year, but deserves time to progress…test/reserve slot while learning from 2 masters of the sport will do him a lot of good going forward

          2. We all know that Alonso is fast but if I was running McLaren he would never drive for me again. If was running any other team I would sign him if I could.

      2. Jenson is more experienced and a better driver than Kevin (so far) but being Jenson’s salary significantly higher than Kevin’s and because Alonso is likely to be the lead driver, McLaren might feel tempted to dump Jenson because Kevin can bring some good points for WCC too.

        I think this reasoning is behind Jenson saying “it’s not about money”… JB has made himself available for a pay cut…

        1. @jcost Indeed, if McLaren have £1m available for a second driver, and K-Mag fits that bill…. Jenson is now saying he would take a £9m paycut to continue for 2015 (£1m beats £0m).

          However, that looks like the perfect line up for a senior McLaren-Honda team, and a junior (Mugen-Honda?) team… Alonso/Button will retire soon, so up go Magnussen/Vandoorne, just in time to be replaced by de Vries and Barnicoat…

          1. Plus, if Honda really are behind, then Alonso knows he’ll need Button if there’s any hope of moving forwards quickly (or that it’ll suit him to thrash Jenson!), or salvaging a non-midfield finish in the WCC.

          2. McLaren have PLENTY of money to pay Button. Honda is paying Alonso’s slary, not McLaren.

          3. Vandoorne in my mind is a lighter, smaller version of Nico Hulkenberg . Look at what he’s done in the later race weekends in Gp2 , he’s truly the stuff of champions . He’s going to be runner up this year / sandwiched between champion Palmer whose be in GP2 for 3 years and Nasir 2 years in GP2 .

            GP2 has been completely stacked this year with some of the craziest talent.

            Getting back to the mix, Alonso / Button would be the ideal mix. However, Alonso / Vandoorne would be a good back up as Vandoorne has shown more promise than Mag .

    2. Indeed, no brainer. I can’t help but feel they are going to go with KMag tho for some reason.

    3. Completely concur. Button still has at least a couple ‘good years’ left.

    4. Easy: Magnussen and Alonso 🚗💨

      1. Would agree. Magnussen needs another year to show what he’s capable of.. just as Hulkenberg really came to life in his 2nd season.

        Between Alonso and Button it’s a no brainer. Jenson isn’t 1/3rd the driver Alonso is. Despite Alonso’s poor relationship with Mclaren in the past, they both have something in common now – the hunger to get back to winning ways.

        ALO and MAG would work best for me

    5. Absolutely. That would probably be the strongest driver-pairing in the field, quite a stunning achievement given how midfieldish the engineering-compartment of McLaren have achieved in recent years.

      Besides JB and Alo being two really strong drivers, there´s another thing which bugs me about some people thinking it should be Magnussen: Since when do people believe drivers get faster after their rookie years? They don´t, rookies may become more consistent and less prone to mistakes with experience, but I don´t recall anyone ever becoming faster. And KMag is slower than JB, even in Quali, which surely isn´t JB´s parade-disciplin.

      1. The gentleman racer in Button can do the business. Button will prove the better racer in 2015 and that said season will serve to raise his stock. The rookie Lewis Hamilton was able to spank Alonso the twice champion with several years of experience back in 2007. Jenson raced and qualified well against a mature and quick Lewis when they were team mates plus keep in mind that Alonso is not known for his qualifying powers. Mag will have to sit out 2016 or take Alonso’s seat. QED.

    6. Ideally, yeah… at least in terms of experience and security, maybe, trying to develop a new car/engine combo and bringing back McLaren good days.

      But it’d be cruel to stop Magnussen’s progress just now. I guess McLaren though Kevin would keep JB at bay most of the year so this decision was easier… but t wasn’t the case.

      Still, I’d vote Button and Alonso. Fernando because he simply is the best in the field by quite a margin IMO, and JB because he still can deliver… and McLaren needs that.

    7. Agreed. They both have so much experience which will be key in developing the car, and both are brilliant on a Sunday afternoon.

      K-Mag shouldn’t be forgotten, but I think he would be best suited to test/reserve driver for 2015 and then a return to a race seat in 2016 with Button retiring from F1 going to the WEC. (Providing Alonso doesn’t have another huge fallout with Ron and goes back to Ferrari to partner Vettel for 2016…..)

    8. Me too.

      Anyway, where will Magnussen go?
      I’m hoping for a VET-MAG SF lineup.

    9. Alonso and Grosjean

    10. And me, really easy.

  2. It’s an absolute no-brainer from a statistics point of view: Button and Alonso.

    In football you wouldn’t start a striker with an inferior record on the basis that he ‘might’ be better in 2 or 3 years time. I think the same needs to apply here to keep talent in F1 while younger drivers mature.

    1. My candidates for McL: Sakon Yamamoto and Luca Badoer. Or their grannies.
      Alonso, pretty please, whatever you do, don’t you go to McL!!!! Don’t you ever consider it!!!!!

  3. If McLaren want to be a top team again I think they need to place Kevin in another team for a couple of years and go with Button and Alonso. Kevin is a great talent but I think he should be honing his abilities in a midfield team first (similar to STR or Bianchi at Marussia). I hope they haven’t left it too late for that.

    1. This year’s mclaren was definately a midfield team

    2. There are no more teams left. If they leave Magnussen it’s end of his career. So they will do sensible thing and put Alonso and Magnussen together.

      1. Magnussen has been beaten comprehensively by Button. Now, as much as I’m a fan of JB, I have to accept that Alonso is better in nearly every area.

        Wouldn’t KM going up against FA not just end his career slightly more slowly?

        1. You have to let his talent unfold….. Yes Button beat him om points in his rookie season, but remember Buttons rookie season? He didnt beat his teammate until his third season…

  4. Would love to see Vandoorne in f1, from what little i’ve seen of him, he looks electric. His drive in Sochi was a masterclass.
    But there’s simply no room for him in a Mclaren seat at the moment, Alonso and Magnussen for me. JB is a safe pair of hands but his inability to drive round setup issues could be a big problem next year with Mclaren effectively starting afresh. An Alonso can still bring good performances in despite setup issues and he’d be a great mentor to young K-Mag.

    1. Although you can’t forget the issues Alonso brings with him, after all, He doesn’t really see the team as a team, but rather team Alonso. While Alonso is one of the best drivers on the grid, it’s never about the team but what the team can do for him, rightly or wrongly. Is this really what Mclaren need at a time like this? I’m not sure. Also while it’s clear that Alonso can make the best out of a bad car on track, nothing from his times at Ferrari has really shown he can improve a car throughout the season. Which isn’t helpful when as a team they want both cars in top positions, Mclaren have always been about winning the WCC first and then the WDC if they can. One car scoring points while another is left in the low midfield isn’t the way to win a WCC.

      1. Agree 100%… Alonso has destroyed every team he has been a part of. I wouldn’t want him on my team- he costs too much (and not just money)…

        1. I really wonder where Ferrari would’ve been now had Alonso not go there though. I think ‘destroy’ is quite an overreaction.

      2. Wow, great point actually, never really thought about it that way at all. While you’d take Alonso if he was available, maybe mclaren’s situation doesn’t require such a disruptive influence? Michael woodward for COTD if you ask me!

    2. There’s certainly no denying that Alonso, on pure pace merit, is a formidable asset. However, I do concur with the disruptive influence argument: we saw that displayed very vividly during his last term at McLaren, and I wouldn’t rule out a repeat. His ego can’t have been dampened considerably with Ferrari catering to his every whim up until very recently.

      You’d like to think that he has matured as a driver though, and will not be re-entering with the same expectations as he had previously; off the back of two world championships, hungry for a third and expecting Hamilton to play second fiddle.

    3. Did you just describe Fernando Alonso as a “great mentor” for Magnussen? This is a man whose modus operandi is to crush his teammates. A ruthlessly brilliant racing driver does not a great mentor make.

      1. You mean HAM & ROS?

      2. Hmmmmmm, that mean that you think ROS years spent as MSC team-mate were wasted? Shcumacher was very epitome of “ruthless brilliant racing driver”.Seems to me we’ve seen a few “Shumi” moves out of Nico this year ;-)

  5. Although Alonso is seen as one of the best drivers, he’s never been a good team player and he tends to demand precedence over his team mates. We’ve seen fantastic racing between the two Merc drivers this season, and I’d prefer to see all the teams follow Merc’s lead and allow their drivers to race. Alonso’s demands, when met, have led to very disappointing, boring, predictable races, and have stifled the talent of other drivers. For the sake of the fans I’d rather see anyone in McLaren than Alonso. He’s too selfish to provide entertaining races.

    If McLaren can provide a better car I’d prefer to see the two newer drivers in it. Jenson has lots of other opportunities and I think it would be kinder to let him go rather than have a threat over his head every year from now on.

    1. @f1antics Honestly, I do worry that Magnussen would get brow-beaten by Alonso, especially if he performs as well as/better than him.

    2. Like Alonso’s demands this year with Raikkonen? Especially last race?

      1. Alonso was getting priority on the upgrades over Kimi this year. Up until the point he decided he wanted to leave and they hired Vettel to replace him. It was Alonso’s team, but that cam apart very quickly.

        1. @woodyd91 And your evidence for that is… Please, Kimi got possibly more new parts than Alonso in order to suit his inability to match Alonso

          1. My evidence? I watch F1? I listen what people are running during practise sessions. As for your second comment, I should think so, given that this is an Alonso car, it was built around him and how he drives. It’s also well known that the 2015 car will be built to suit Kimi better

    3. I agree in regards to Fernando. I seriously think he might be a sociopath, and while that Is no reason to discriminate I do think he mistreats his teams and teammates. If I worked for McLaren and he was rehired after what he has done to them, I’d be inclined to look for a new job. Have some self respect for crying out loud.

      1. Thank you for a reality check!At this time there are 90 comments and only you have hit the nail on the head.And I do not think Button would want to move over because “Fernando is faster”

    4. I’m wondering If Alonso is demanding in his contract to not have a competitive teammate, and McLaren do not know what to do and it’s taking them this long. Might be the reason why Button feels disrespected.

      1. Alonso has said he prefers Button because his experience and capacity for developing the new car. McLaren who has to pay an indecent amount of money for Alonso and then they want to save some money in the other driver.

      2. Its all taking so long because Ron Dennis doesn’t want the responsibility on his head in case of another ALO meltdown. So despite Honda paying to bring Fernando back to Woking, RD is letting the McLaren board choose the lineup

    5. I hope the sticking point between McL and Jenson is not a contractual obligation to play second fiddle to ALO and as a result also accept a pay cut adding insult to injury.

    6. “… and he tends to demand precedence over his team mates.”

      Any fact? Or just an echo about what British press repeatedly said in 2007?

    7. You did not need two paragraphs to say that. You should just said “I Really hate that guy”. He is not a team player? According to who? To you? Come on! Talk about FACTS not about your imagination.

  6. In my opinion, a team should, where possible, hire the best two drivers available; in this case, Alonso and Button. Button has clearly outperformed Kevin Magnussen and while Kevin’s potential is something that must be taken into consideration, the team must put speed right now in front of speed in 3 years time.

    While unlikely, imagine if the Honda engine is on a par with Mercedes next year and the difference between Button’s consistent points and probably victories and Magnussen’s “potential” is the difference between the constructors championship.

    If Alonso is available, then clearly, they must sign him. He is, in my opinion, the most complete driver on the grid and on his day would have the beating of anyone.

    Perhaps a solution would be to rest Magnussen for a year (either place him at another team, or a regular practice driver at McLaren) and have him replace Button in 2016.

    The interesting part comes if Stoffel Vandoorne then looks like being better than Kevin and Jenson… but we’ll come to that another time; in my opinion he’s not ready for F1 in front of them at this moment.

    A tricky conundrum and while I can understand why McLaren are taking so long over the decision, I have to say I’m disappointed with how they’ve treated Button; whether they retain him or not.

    To conclude: Jenson and Fernando for me.

    1. @ben-n But Magnussen was ready? Vandoorne did a season in FR3.5 and nearly beat Magnussen to whom it was his second attempt. Then he went on to beat everyone in GP2 on his first season bar one guy Palmer who has been driving in GP2 since forever. I think Vandoorne is more than ready for F1.

  7. For Dennis to veto Button in favour of Magnussen flies in the face of his ‘best drivers available’ mantra…

    I’ve always been a Jenson fan, but I’m willing to accept his time in F1 is now limited. But, when he’s performing as well as he still is, in a car that’s definitely UNDER-performing relative to where it should be given the total package and team finances, to jettison him in favour of Alonso and Magnussen seems stupid, especially considering the shake-up going on behind the scenes.

  8. Dream world: Alonso should go to Audi to do Le Mans, Button should take the place of Massa in Williams, so the two youngsters can go head to head in the McLaren.
    Back to the real world: Alonso and Button would surely be the top two for the next one or two years, but if McLaren lets one of the young guns in a race seat develop, maybe in the long term it would favor them more. Though decision, because I’d want to see both Magnussen and Vandoorne in F1, but if the team is after immediate results it should surely pick Alonso and Button – but judging from Button’s interviews and body language in the last two weeks, I think Magnussen is close to sign the paper.

    1. Although judging from his rookie seasons in both FR3.5 and GP2, maybe Vandoorne would be even better than Magnussen, who won FR3.5 “only” in his second year.

    2. Of course McLaren should look at immediate results. Giving rookies 2-3 years to learn in F1 is so 1999 … either he delivers, or he doesn’t. There are plenty to replace him with. That’s why the experienced drivers are still attractive on the market: you know, to some extent, that they will deliver. The risk of a lost year (a crappy car obviously not taken into consideration) is therefore minimized.

      So for me: Button & Alonso/Vettel

      1. @hogee No, teams should not look at immediate results, especially if a driver has only been driving Pirellis since the start of the year. You must remember that Romain Grosjean, Nico Hulkenberg & Sergio Perez have all taken their time before finding some notable form.

        Also, McLaren won’t be running Vettel as he will be a Ferrari driver according to Christian Horner.

  9. mmm this “two best racers available” makes me think; as far as we know Vettel is still available (rumours are putting him in a Ferrari but have we forgot how Mclaren surprised everyone by signing Perez a few years ago?)

    however as much as I like K-Mag… I am hoping for Alonso-Button next year (as well as a decent car).

  10. Button and Magnussen.

    1. Yes!

      The amount of messing around Alonso is doing is rather insulting to McLaren, and sets a dangerous precedent for the tone of his relationship with the team throughout the coming season. Clearly they’re prepared to be dictated to, which as a McLaren fan upsets me. They’re also prepared to put Button through a period of uncertainty and then jettison him just so they can get Alonso. Button clearly wants to be there; Alonso views McLaren as a stop gap. I’d say there’s some value in retaining two drivers who actually want to race for the team.

      McLaren’s issue is with their infrastructure and ultimately their car. Alonso is the best all-round driver on the grid, but even he can’t win races in a poor car. I’d say his salary would be better spent on technical staff, with McLaren continuing to benefit from Button and Magnussen’s feedback.

      There’s a lot of talk about Button’s time in F1 nearly being up: what about Alonso’s? I’m sure both are around the same age. Is he really going to be of much long term benefit to the team while they struggle to develop their package?

  11. Alonso – Button for two years, then hire Vandoorne to replace Button.

    1. You have probably just cited the best option, in terms of pure performance @spoutnik. Maintaining Button, replacing Magnussen with Alonso, and allowing the experience of both to facilitate Honda’s reestablishment in F1 before replacing Jenson with increasingly Hamilton-esque junior talent Stoffel Vandoorne is probably is almost certainly the option that would yield the most points for McLaren. It would also have the longevity that Boullier has cited has a priority, with De Vries an obvious candidate to replace Alonso further down the line.

      However has Magnussen not delivered a rookie campaign that in most other circumstances would have guaranteed a second season? A podium in his first Grand Prix and as of mid-season invariably ahead of his teammate on Saturday is simply stellar, but in 2014, with victories from Ricciardo in his third full season, podiums for Bottas in his second full season and invariably better Saturday performances from Kvyat than his teammate, having never driven anything faster than a GP3 car prior to 2014, the standards of young talent is high. Whilst there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that given more experience Kevin couldn’t be a Kvyat or Bottas grade talent, I sense that greater potential lies with Vandoorne.

      The Belgian, by the most successful rookie of the Pirelli era in GP2, shone in rookie campaigns in both FR3.5 and GP2, having been beaten in FR3.5 only by second-year driver Magnussen driving for the DAMS powerhouse, having headed KMag following a dominant weekend in Moscow and having won his first ever races in both FR3.5 and GP2. There is none more deserving of an F1 drive right now, however he is looking set to spend 2015 merrily cruising towards the GP2 title with DAMS. Few stories would please me more greatly than in seeing such a sublime talent so ready for F1 awarded the 2015 seat he deserves. However Magnussen is arguably as deserving of a second year, so whilst I’d prefer to see Button retained, he will inevitably line up next to Alonso next year.

      1. @countrygent
        Indeed. It’s hard to imagine mcLaren trash all its efforts put in their young driver programme by bowing out Magnussen. It would make some sense though given the circumstances.
        I must say I’ve not been much impressed by Magnussen so far, and I did not like some reckless drives he made (I said the same thing about Grosjean, but I support him now, so nothing immutable).
        However, as a belgian, I may not be neutral :), but Vandoorne is arguably the best F1 driver since Jacky Ickx, and the first to be able to make it to the grid since the (very average) Thierry Boutsen.

  12. McLaren has always (well, at least since Ron Dennis took over in 1980) stated that they will choose “the best two drivers available” and at the moment, that’s Alonso and Button. The score between Button and Magnussen in terms of points are 106-55, a huge difference, especially since they have generally both finished most of the races this year. There is a lot of talk of “potential” and “promise” when it comes to young/new drivers, but every driver has potential and promise – the top drivers have proved things, with their results, technical feedback, fighting against other top drivers etc. Which both Alonso and Button have done, big time, both winning races for different teams, both having won the World Championship.
    Choosing Magnussen only because he might require a lower salary would be very disappointing.

  13. I think it would be good for McLaren and f1 if McLaren funded maybe marussia or Caterham like red bull with str to run their rookie drivers then all 4 drivers could run next year plus boosting the number of teams on the grid personally love the small teams hope they don’t all fad away

    1. +1
      …. and maybe put Berger or Hakkinen in charge ;)

    2. I had hopes Ferrari would’ve bought Marussia (or at least the title), if anything to keep them alive )= B-team is better than No-team.

      1. I think when Jules was racing with marussia Ferrari supplied their engines for free as he was a junior Ferrari driver am guessing since his accident maybe that stopped and maybe compounded their financial problems

        1. @bungle22. Your evidence for that assumption please?

          1. I put I think because it was something martin brundle said when he was doing a piece on this pay drivers earlier in the season but as with lots of stuff in the media its never 100% thus the I think being at the beginning :-)

        2. i haven’t seen any evidence for that, but the thought has crossed my mind too.

  14. Alonso and Button.

    Development is going to be crucial for the new collaboration with Honda and you could scarcely conjure up a better combination of drivers for that. Looking back at his time working with Hamilton, I think having Alonso on the other side of the garage would really fire Jenson up and see him at the top of his game.

    Keep an option on Magnussen and if he really does turn out to be the next big thing, they can bring him back in for 16/17.

    1. I have seen this statement countless times: “They should keep Button to develop the car”. Why?! Button has absolutely zero track-record of being good at developing cars. He spent several years at Honda, a team with no shortage in cash, and they did not improve during his stay. They were so bad they could not even get a main sponsor and had to run with an Earth-livery. His world championship is solely due to a change in regulations and a monster of a car in the beginning of the season. It would be unfair to pin the lack of development in 2009 on Button seeing as the team was pretty short on cash. Since Hamilton left McLaren after 2012 they have been a solid midfield team. McLaren showed no signs of improvement from 2012-2013, where they arguably had the fastest car on the grid in 2012. Historically McLaren has been great at developing the car throughout the season, however, this has not been the case with Button as their number one driver in 2013 and 2014. I am not close to the developing process in F1 but all evidence indicates that Button is not a car developer and trusting him to do so does not result in championships.

      1. To be fair, the awful cars that Homda produced through the years was the fault of senior management and their poor decisions – you don’t recruit someone from MotoGP with no experience with open seaters to become technical director of an F1 team but Honda did just that. Shame they realised too late by the time they recruited Ross Brawn, and looked how the 2009 car went (which was fully developed by Honda at Brackley).

  15. I think Button would make a great teammate. However, he will not be world champion again alongside alonso. Neither will Mag on current form, however Mag can improve as he is still to find top form. So, based on potentially could be, I would risk taking Mag.

  16. As I said on another article, I think that Alonso and Button in the race seats and Magnussen as test driver. One year as test driver on a team with those two will give Kevin a real chance to prove his worth and probably drive him to be a contender in 2016.
    I get that Jenson is the pricier option and lack of sponsorship for McLaren may mean it ends up being Alonso and Magnussen, but in terms of marketing, previous Honda relationship and overall F1 experience that will help progress the car then I still think Jenson and Fernando is a no-brainer.

  17. LotsOfControl (@for-unlawful-carnal-knowledge)
    12th November 2014, 12:24


    1. Which top team would want the biggest under performer this season besides Ferrari?

      1. +100, also not just underperformer – he’s really not *that* interested in F1. Forget the latest Gp, theBrazilian GP. Except Brazil he was a long way behind Alonso in every way.

  18. I voted for Button and Vandoorne. I disagree with the Ron Dennis “two best drivers” approach:
    Alonso isn’t a good team player and he’s expensive.
    Alonso wants a quick car from the off and he won’t get one from McLaren.
    Money is tight, even at the top.
    McLaren has at least one year of development to do with the new power unit.
    Button is much more likely to develop a car well than Alonso.
    Vandoorne is a youngster with lots of potential. He may have a better potential than Magnusson and he’s inexpensive.
    McLaren won’t win the championship next year, they need to think longer term.

    I don’t expect anyone to take any notice of me… but it’s what I’d do. Probably.

    1. Vandoorne is older than Magnussen. Magnussen beat Vandoorne last year. Magnussen has his rookie season behind him. He knows the tracks now and knows how to fight wheel to wheel with the other mid-field guys Alonso, Raikkonen, Vettel & Button. He is as least as fast as Button in qualifying and a good starter. Imagine what he could do in a front row car like Hamilton had in 2007.
      Why replace him with a lottery ticket?

      Otherwise I fully agree with you: Button – Magnussen it is.

      1. Vandoorne is older than Magnussen.

        … they’re both 22. Why count in months?

        Magnussen beat Vandoorne last year.

        Magnussen had a year of experience in FR3.5.
        Vandoorne came second in his first year of FR3.5, Magussen seventh.

        Vandoorne isn’t exactly a “lottery ticket”. He’s proven to be immediately competitive in both major top-level feeder series (GP2 & FR3.5) which, apart from Frijns, hasn’t happened too often the past few years. There’s enough to suggest he’s more talented than Magnussen.

        1. Sorry, messed up the blockquotes…

  19. That’s a good one.

    I obviously went, for one, for Alonso. He’s still the best driver overall on the grid, I think, so that’s a no brainer. He might have only 1-2 years in him on the top at best, but it would be silly not to pick one who can get you a victory on the ‘odd’ days when you don’t have the fastest car. He can do it, he’s proven to be outperforming his car countless times.

    The other seat is more interesting. Based on current form, and current form alone, I’d keep Button. Magnussen was sliiiightly quicker than him in Europe, but on the fly-away, both early and late season, Button held the upper hand generally and was sharper when it came to BOTH attacking and defending in tight situations. (Magnussen can defend them, but can’t really attack them, see Silverstone. And even in defense, he crosses ‘the’ line too much.)

    But despite his champion-caliber, Button is no Alonso (he only has 3-4 drivers above him, and sadly for him, one of them is Alonso), and one ageing driver is enough. As Magnussen is not as sharp as one would like, or – despite, I think, capable of victories – not ‘the next big thing’, not a championship-caliber, I’d simply go for Vandoorne in the end.

  20. I don’t know how well a Button/Alonso partnership would work. Despite their talent neither are great qualifiers which takes away the threat of putting it on pole and driving away from the field in clean air if they ever had the car for it.

    I also wonder how easy they’d find developing and setting the car up as their driving styles are so different. JB likes the car to come to him and Alonso’s much more likely to take a car by the horns. I accept that Fernando would likely find it easier to adapt his style but as a team do they develop towards Jenson’s narrower sweet spot or towards where Alonso can get absolute performance?

    What they both are is consistent, they make very few mistakes and at least recently the McLaren has been bulletproof so they’d both be able to accumulate good points totals which is good for a team looking at getting back up the constructor’s championship.

    If I’m Ron Dennis and struggling to find major sponsors I’d want someone who that could win a race that they had no business winning, in Alonso and Button they might have just that.

    1. @alec-glen
      “Despite their talent neither are great qualifiers which takes away the threat of putting it on pole and driving away from the field in clean air if they ever had the car for it.”

      There were some front row lockouts from McLaren between 2010 and 2012, and without Hamilton, it would have been Button on pole. The same goes for Alonso in 2007, and sometimes he even beat Hamilton, I know he was a rookie, but still cant say they cant get poles, because they can. And even if they don’t get pole, those two are the best overtakers in the business.

      1. Hmmm, 2 of the best overtakers….. not the best, think Ricciardo has proven in 2014 to be the man you least want in your slipstream

  21. Thinking about it dispassionately, they should pick the best possible drivers: Alonso and Button.

    The problem with this is that it leaves Magnussen out in the cold after one year in F1. Is there anywhere for him to go? He’s not been spectacular, but he’s not been awful either. Does he really deserve to be thrown on the scrap heap? It would seem rather heartless to do so. (But since when has F1 had a heart?)

    Button and Alonso wouldn’t be a long term solution, though. How long would they remain in F1? Three years? So maybe a young guy (Magnussen) and an older guy (Alonso) would be better, leaving Button to go to WEC or something.

  22. If you have a world champion at your disposal you can pair him with Fernando, The Youngsters can go to any team which is available or be a test driver for a year to see his future. Kevin deserves to be in F1 but i don’t think he can do that in expense of Jenson.
    My 2015 Mclaren team will be Fernando(#14) and Jenson(#22)

    1. “The Youngsters can go to any team which is available or be a test driver for a year to see his future”

      The problem is that there are no seats available (Especially since it looks like we have lost 2 teams) & been a test driver is largely pointless as there is no meaningful testing to do.

  23. Button & Alonso in next years McLaren Honda then McLaren should invest in Caterham or Marussia and treat them asa B team the same as Red Bull do with Toro Rosso in order to bring their drivers along…anyone remember that crappy HRT team and their young driver Daniel something or other?

  24. Nando and Jense, easy.

    They’ll have to knock JB down a bit, he’s a bit overpriced at £16m I feel (if that figure is correct), though they may have been able to knock Alonso down a bit too after Seb screwed his negotiating position.

    1. JB’s salary for 2014 is 16m euros which is about £12.5m.

      If you feel that’s overpriced then what do you feel about Alonso’s rumored £25m a year contract?

  25. The problem is that if they drop Magnussen where does he go? If you have him sit out a year+ doing nothing but sim-work then your losing time where he could be gaining further experience in an F1 car which will help him improve where needed.

    The kid clearly has a ton of speed & potential & given a year under his belt can only improve for 2015. Its also not as if he’s been nowhere this year. In terms of raw speed he’s often been faster than Jenson but Jenson’s experience has helped in races as he has more experience on the Pirelli tyres which has helped with the tyre management.
    Its 9 all in qualifying but Kevin has made Q3 more than Jenson. Both have 12 points finishes & Kevin has a higher top finish than Jenson from his 2nd place at Melbourne.

    Sticking with Button may be a good move for the short term, But how many years does he have left at the level he’s at? Is it worth keeping him in for a year or 2 where he could potentially start to decline when you coudl have a talented kid in the car who’s already shown good speed & potential & can only further improve & be someone that will bring the team success over the next decade?

    I’d go with Alonso & Magnussen, Both are faster than Button in terms of pure speed & Kevin is a star for the future who could learn a ton of Fernando.

    1. “’I’d go with Alonso & Magnussen, Both are faster than Button in terms of pure speed”

      No. In qually they are equal (JB/Magnussen). In race JB is 14/4 to the good. Stop making things up.

  26. I would run all three drivers. Alonso in the big seat, whilst having Kev and JB sharing the other car like Mike Conway and Ed Carpenter did in Indycar this year.

    Either driver will inevitably end up running number 2 to Nando anyway (probably even a contractual point following his last outing at McLaren).

    They may as well nip this in the bud straight away so that they can continue to hone Kevins skills (i believe he is a great talent and has been harshly penalised for Schumacheresque defending this year), whilst keeping JB for his Honda relationship, his PR work, and what he can bring to development.

    Is there anything in the rules preventing this kind of car sharing? I don’t see why there should be, surely its the teams prerogative, provided they have a superlicence its none of the FIAs business who they chose to run in the car.

    1. Nothing in rules preventing that, teams are allowed to use up to 4 drivers/year ( which includes sneaking them into FP1, etc.) just have to think would be a horrible thing for team morale, which after the year McLaren has had, needs to start going up, not further down

  27. Past few races have changed my mind. If I was Bouilllier a few weeks ago I would of ditched Button, but he’s really showed he still has it the last few races. So I’d go Button & Alonso. I’d keep MAG as reserve driver, potential seat again in 2016, if he wants to stick around.

  28. K-Mag + Alonso. End of story. But the British bias is on full show here. Really starting to dislike this community with its pro-British, pro-Western agenda.

    1. I also believe Magnussen is a driver of Vettel’s mold, as he showed in Australia. What I mean is that he is not too aggressive, and his racecraft isn’t particularly amazing in the middle of the pack. But give him a championship winning car, and I do not doubt he will be just as good as Vettel, if not better, in controlling proceeding from the front.

      1. Not too agressive? The stewards seem to think otherwise this year, costing him many points… including the 20 seconds he took post-race at Spa for running Alonso of the track

    2. Because Denmark is not in the west, right?

    3. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
      12th November 2014, 13:11

      I try my best to be anti-Western, but it’s harder than you think once you start looking at the alternatives.

    4. @himmatsj … Which is why Alonso currently has the most votes out of everybody? He’s very British, you know.

    5. @himmats What’s wrong with a little patriotic fervour by the Brits? Do not understand your comment. It is a British site, so it is to be expected! Actually, I believe that in general, the British sports fan is pretty generous to all nationalities – it’s our sense of fair play, don’t you know!

      1. Well said lol

  29. I don’t know why you (F1 media in general) keep using the tag “considered one of the best” when describing Alonso. It’s so boring and safe.

    Alonso is considered by many to be THE best driver. Just say that – much more definitive.

    1. And many don’t agree. “Considered one of the best” is rather flattering towards a guy that hasn’t won a championship in 8 years despite clear #1 status in his teams (mostly ;-) )

      1. @kroonracing but alonso hasn’t had a car worthy of the championship in a year that he didn’t win, with the exception of 2007, where had he not blocked Hamilton’s pit box in qualy, he would’ve won the championship

    2. That’s your opinion BillC. While I respect it, I disagree with it. Yes, Alonso is one of the best, but THE best? A man who hasn’t won a WDC in almost a decade, couldn’t beat a rookie in 2007, never a team player and always wanted to be the #1 driver, sometimes couldn’t even pass Felipe Massa and needed team orders because of that, and is also very bad at choosing teams? He is definitely one of the best, but not THE best.

      1. Well it’s not my opinion either, but my point wasn’t whether he is or not, but the lazy writing that goes along with describing the F1 scene. What does “one of the best” even mean? That Alonso is in the top-half of the talent pool? Top-3? It’s anyone’s guess, so it doesn’t mean anything.

        Whereas saying “many consider him the best” is precise.

        And fwiw who cares how long someone went without winning a championship. If you follow F1 you know the car is more important than the driver…

        1. He’s also considered by ‘many’ to be the second-best, so it’s still not precise really. Another ‘many’ will tell you his wdc’s were lucky and down to Michelin and Symonds.

          The statement is meant to be approximate, just there to add a bit of colour and context. It can’t be precise unless it quotes a survey, when it would become distracting and genuinely contentious. As it is, it’s pretty much unarguable.

      2. @Uzair Syed. Interesting comment as there are people out there saying ditch Button as he hasn’t thrashed K-Mag. Personally i would go with Vandoorne as i feel he’s got more potential than K-Mag. K-Mag shown nothing to me to suggest that he’ll be much better than his father in F1

  30. I would really want to see Vandoorne in F1. I have been following him for 3 years now, and I know that this guy is good enough for F1. For the last three years, he has shown that he could be quick immediately in any series (he has won the first race he entered in F3.5 and GP2), and if everything goes his way, he could be unbeatable (like in thr Russian round of Formula 3.5 last year). He isn’t a perfect driver : he makes mistakes, he can’t always find the best setup, and he hasn’t showed brilliant overtakings. But despite all this, with experience in F1, I believe he could overcome his weaknesses and be solid F1 driver.

    But despite all these good things, I don’t believe he is the best choice for McLaren next year. The team now should focus on finding the best drivers to be able to race at the top of the field. That is why Alonso and Button are my picks for the lineup. It’s a shame for Magnussen : this driver is as good as Vandoorne, if not slightly better. But his promotion to McLaren in his rookie year was a mistake. McLaren desperately want to find the next Hamilton, and believe they can find a driver who is super quick from the very first race. I don’t believe there are a lot of drivers like that. Drivers take 2 or 3 years before they are competitive and consistent. They should have placed him in a slower team, or they should have prepared him like Williams did with Bottas, with a lot of free practice runs.
    But, there is no point in speaking on what should have been done, but we should look what was actually done with Magnussen. Overall, he has been a disappointment. He has shown only a couple of good races (and incidentally, his first race was exceptionnal). But in the long run, he hasn’t been exceptionally quick and consistent, and he has now less than the half of Button’s points. He shows signs of improvement, but I don’t believe he will show fireworks next year if McLaren keeps him.

    So my choice would be to keep Button, sign Alonso, and try to prepare Vandoorne for F1 (with regular practice runs). If Magnussen could get another seat in another team, that would be great.

  31. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    12th November 2014, 13:09

    I still can’t fathom how Alonso could possibly go back to McLaren under Ron Dennis. Is there a human factor to racing?

    1. @freelittlebirds Ron and Nando are equally desperate to win. They’re natural partners really.

      And time is the great healer.

    2. I still can’t fathom how McLaren under Ron Dennis could possibly go back to Alonso.

    3. They’re both desperate to win. These are guys that can push every emotion aside to do anything they have to do to win even if that means working with someone you hate. Ron can run a team and has had this year to clean up the mess Whitmarsh left putting them in a good position for next year. Fernando knows that and knows that with Ron at the Helm, they can give him a good car. Ron Knows Fernando can get more out of a car than any other driver he can get right now. That matters more to them than any personality problems.

  32. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
    12th November 2014, 13:09

    If I were McLaren I’d go for Magnussen and Alonso: youth and brilliance. As a fan I want to see Button and Alonso: there will be massive rivalry between the two, I’m sure Jenson would love to beat a driver regarded as perhaps the best in F1. If I were Jenson I’d probably walk, McLaren haven’t shown him a great deal of respect this year, he deserves better.

  33. @McLarenF1 @JensonButton
    You are one of my favorite teams in F1 for a long time now. But if you trade Button for Alonso… no more :O

    Alonso is a politician, not a driver – He should have been thrown out of F1 with Briatore in 2009…
    He’s the one who should go away, not Button…
    I’m tired of these guys who think they are more than others and screw everybody else…

    Screw Alonso, this time!!!

    1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      12th November 2014, 13:22

      @win7golf I hope Alex Kendrick, who hasn’t been an active user in F1F, suddenly wakes up from his cryosleep and replies your comment.
      The @ we use here is not linked to Twitter.
      (and if you are wondering who Alex Kendrick is, just click your @McLarenF1)

  34. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    12th November 2014, 13:20

    Now, @keithcollantine, can you send the poll’s result to Ron? I hope he understands Button is still full of skills and commitment. Kmag is in my opinion just as good as SPer. And he got fired needlessly for this “whim” to get a “new Hamilton”. I’m not an insider, I know Lewis had more testing time, but definitely Kevin is not “the new Hamilton”, maybe he can be “the new Hulkenberg” and that’s all.
    Jenson and Fernando.

    1. You shall eat your words. K-Mag is no Ham, but he’s on Seb’s pace.

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        12th November 2014, 14:08

        @himmatsj right, because we can compare Seb, Kmag and Button, they have been teammates for… oh wait!
        Seb is having a terrible year, I know. It’s like comparing Hamilton 2011 (quite bad for Lewis standard) with Seb 2013 (awesome year for Seb). That would be unfair.
        As I said, this is MY OPINON, you should learn to be more polite instead of suggesting me to eat my words. You shall read more good books ore something like that before releasing your sharp comments.

    2. Magnussen is not the new Hamilton, but the 2nd in his debut race says that he is pretty close. The major difference is the car.

      In 2007 Hamilton had a front row car, and he did not have to spend his rookie season midfield, where experience really pays off. If Magnussen was in a Mercedes this year or Hamilton in a mid field car in 2007, the difference would have been non-existing.

      1. I still think it’s tyre management and fuel consumption that are the biggest issues for rookies today. You have very aggressive drivers coming from the feeder series. And in F1 they basically have to learn to drive slow and smooth. And I think it is such a different approach compared to how they are brought up that it takes a long time to learn. F1 today is punishing aggresiveness in many other ways too. I don’t think any rookie will set F1 on fire under the current rules.

        1. Absolutely correct

      2. @kroonracing
        He was lucky to get that fluke result at his debut race, but look at his results after that. I think he is a good driver, but everyone said last year it was too early to bring him in, and it would be a make or break season for him. Right now I can see the potential in him to win races in a good car, maybe even a WDC if he learns from his mistakes, but potential =/= points.

  35. I suspect the answer is all 3! McLaren are preparing for the 3 car teams next year :)

    I would like to see Alonso Vs Button, I think this would be a much closer match up than people expect.

    1. Haven’t McLaren said that they won’t run 3 car teams even if Red Bull, Ferrari & Merc do?

  36. Putting aside any sentiment, Alonso and Magnussen. They need to look to the future, and Button just won’t be a part of that. And if they’re spending £25m or whatever on Alonso, the last thing they want is another ‘number one’ taking attention away from him.

    But I really, really want to see Vandoorne in F1. As much as anyone since Hamilton.

  37. Definitely Alonso and Button. It seems quite an easy decision to make.

  38. Very hard poll but after a lot of thought I went with Alonso – Magnussen. If they were able to find a seat in a smaller team for Mag then I would’ve said Button but it doesn’t look like that’s possible.

  39. ALO and K-Mag: SUPER!

    BUT is a smart and safe driver, but the winner/killer instinct is long gone!

  40. I haven’t followed Magnussen’s season all that closely, but if I were Eric Bouillier I would be seriously worried about his apparent lack of race pace. There have been flashes of qualifying speed (and what is more important than a racing driver’s speed), but I do not recall a single impressive race performance outside of Australia. If McLaren are convinced his race pace can be fixed (something to do with Pirelli tyres, or the car not suiting him?), then they could keep him. However, based on this season’s race performance, I voted Alonso and Button.

  41. Tough one if you really don’t care for McLaren (at least with Ron Dennis in the lead), but support Alonso. To maximally over-simplify my views: Alonso > all the rest. So, for their own best, McLaren should pick the best driver they possibly can. Alonso.
    On the other hand, I really, really doubt McLaren would be the place to be for Alonso. The team have been making an even worse job than Ferrari, building a car that has been shockingly off the pace for most of this season, especially for a car powered by a Mercedes power unit. The switch to Honda could be advantageous, as McLaren would be the sole Honda-powered team, thus being able to work hand in hand with their engine supplier. On the other hand, Honda weren’t making too brilliant a job during their last venture into F1, and rumour has it that they’re already behind on their own schedule. So giving up the Mercedes power unit may even turn out to be a major setback.

    I personally used to side with Ferrari, although not unconditionally. This has started to change since Massa has been kicked in favor of the useless Räikkönen, whose only impact so far has been to produce even more negativity, since his failure obviously can’t be his own fault. Dumping Domenicali for the very unlikeable Mattiacci, whose qualifications are more than doubtful, has been another blow to the stomach.
    BUT (as in “but”, not “Button”):
    I still think Ferrari is the place to be for Fernando. With the obvious arrival of Vettel, Ferrari have a unique chance of getting rid again of their biggest mistake (Räikkönen) and attack with two of the best drivers (although I very much can’t stand Vettel).
    So, at the end of the day, I’d say McLaren should stick to their drivers. I don’t think Button is on the same page, or even chapter, as the likes of Alonso, and that Magnussen still needs to improve quite a bit, but they’re solid drivers who aren’t too prone to wasting points. And McLaren may find itself in a position where they need every point they can gather.

  42. Total no brainer – Button has out performed Magnussen and with a good car will give Alonso a good run for his money. The two best drivers available to McLaren are Button and Alonso, even if Alonso is getting to big for his boots.
    Everywhere I have read about this 95+% of people want Button retained, McLaren and Ron need to hear/see this too.
    Jenson has a good few years left in him yet.

  43. The most interesting question of the year, because I think it highlights a lot of issues with F1 at the moment.

    Firstly, the old adage of Youth vs. Experience.
    Button and Alonso both have the benefit of over a decade of F1 experience. Both were taken on in the gravy days when F1 teams had money to burn and were run as long-term projects by racers. Both were taken on with the assumption that results would take time, and judgements would be made carefully. Button came 3rd in 2004, but said in 2009 when he finally became champion that he became a much better driver in the intervening years. Alonso says every year that this is his best season ever.

    However drivers like Magnussen don’t have that opportunity anymore. It’s now “deliver on day 1 or you’re out”. There is no nuanced view, no context to the judgement of a driver’s potential or performance. To start in a top team, and survive, you’ve got to be Lewis Hamilton. Once out of a top team, you’ll never get in another one. You’ll only last so long in a backmarker team because another young talent, or a pay driver will come along. And once out of F1, your career has very very few places to go.

    So, what real benefit does youth have, other than the fact it is continually replaceable?

    Next, we can look at metrics and points.
    Alonso, from his results since 2007, has not done as well as he should. No more championships, not a lot of poles, or wins either. However he was stuck in a series of rubbish Renaults, and then a succession of slightly less rubbish Ferraris. (his own fault).
    But his results do show that he’ll drag your car as far up the grid as it will go, probably farther than you thought, and he’ll do it every day, every time, no excuses.

    Button has (to the amazement of many, and the qualified snorting of others) beaten Hamilton over the course of 3 years. However, it’s pretty clear that he’s not the man to get the car on the front row, and he’s anonymous in the first half of any race, until the fuel burns off. He’s beaten off two young teammates in the past two years on race results but even his fans would admit he lacks the aggressive instincts of Alonso or Hamilton.

    However there has only really been one year of genuine competition between F1 teams in the last 6 seasons: 2010, where we had multiple winners. The rest of the time it’s been a whitewash (Red Bull, Mercedes) or a 2-horse race between a dominant team with problems and a team who should be doing better (Red Bull vs. Ferrari or McLaren in recent years).

    All this proves is that the car is probably more important than the driver nowadays. Would you pick Magnussen over Lewis? Never. Would you pick Magnussen in a Mercedes over Lewis in a Sauber? Every time.

    Finally, we can look at why you’re employing drivers.
    Drivers are there to score points, the most points they can every time. So how many points can these drivers score? Button can clearly outscore the rookies, and he can outscore someone like Hamilton if the wind blows in his favour (Lewis’ 2011 meltdown counted for a lot). Alonso can haul in double the points of anyone, but that comes at a cost: namely that the other driver is deliberately hamstrung by internal politics or explicit #2 status.

    However McLaren have been in the technical doldrums for a few years now. 2012, 2008 and 2007 were the only years they’ve had championship winning cars recently. They threw away 2007 thanks to spygate. Never mind a driver’s championship, they need to win the Constructors. Having the two best drivers available (Lewis and Button, Lewis and Alonso) didn’t deliver it before.

    Could it be different this time, no matter who they choose?

    McLaren’s problem is the car. It’s been the car for a very long time. And when it’s not the car, it’s very bad personnel management (2007 debacle, 2012 pit crew disasters, Ron treating drivers such as Kimi and Montoya like dirt, losing Newey and Podromu to Red Bull).

    If McLaren want to win next year, their choice of driver is actually immaterial.

    It’s their engine supplier and aerodynamicsts who HAVE to deliver…

    (But I’d choose Button and Alonso to be safe.)

    1. Furthermore, there’s the issue of costs.

      Alonso and Button are large ticket items. There are only a few drivers on the grid who have been able to make a case to justify a large salary. The number of teams prepared to pay one is shrinking fast.

      McLaren are one of the very top names in the whole world of motorsport and in 2 years they haven’t managed to get a title sponsor. Reportedly FOM are now stealing prospective deals out from under the teams by offering sponsors trackside or paddock club deals which offer more tv time for less money. Then blaming the teams for not making ends meet.

      This is one of the major danger points for F1: the powers that be are stuck in the 1970’s and 80’s, when much, much smaller amounts of money had to be brought in, where the pool of sponsors wasn’t limited by anti-tobacco or alcohol rules, where the people making the deals were individual businessmen doing it on a handshake (drunken or otherwise), and where F1 still had global exposure.

      Through their own incompetence, they now expect teams to raise 100 times the amount of money, from fewer sponsors, in a scenario where they have less to offer in terms of visibility or prestige, and where the economy is in a worldwide multi-year severe depression.

      Why haven’t they realised this? They’re rich, old, mostly white billionaires who live in a tiny bubble which has never, and will never be touched by reality ever again.

      1. @hairs Great post….

    2. “However there has only really been one year of genuine competition between F1 teams in the last 6 seasons: 2010, where we had multiple winners.”

      What? In 2012 we had eight different drivers from five different teams winning, and the WDC was decided by three points. Hell, even 2011 and 2013 were normal F1 seasons in terms of competitiveness.

      1. The issue with 2012 was that who did well each weekend was purely down to the tyres, Thats the only reason we had 8 winners in the 1st 8 races it was a complete tyre lottery.

        A car that dominated one weekend was rendered mid/back of pack the next purely because of tyre operating windows.

        2012 was a completely contrived & artificial season with very little genuine racing.

        1. I wouldn’t go so far as to say completely contrived, but the statistics certainly don’t present a whole view of the season. In 2010 there were a number of competitive teams who were consistently in with a shot of winning or placing on the podium all year long. While red bull had the fastest car, it wasn’t unbeatable.

          That was only the case in other years when red bull were crippled by a rule change (off-throttle blowing) or had reliability issues.

  44. I presume McLaren are obviously thinking of a long-term decision. For that reason, I’d choose Magnussen over Button. I just feel Magnussen will be stronger in 3 years time than Button would be.

    Although from a fans point of view, I’d still rather see Button remain at McLaren. But if I were in charge of McLaren, then I’d pick Magnussen.

    The other driver is Alonso, obviously.

  45. if they follow the “best two available drivers” rule. It is obvious, JB and Alonso

  46. I’d say Button. Even for just one more year – and that might make it possible to drop Magnussen to the bench. Ron’s done it before with Mika Hakkinen, and there may be opportunities for Kevin to race near the end of the season, or if JB (or Alonso!) misses Canada to do Le Mans (not sure Honda would approve, unless it’s a Honda-powered LMP2)
    Kevin’s presence might keep Alonso on message as well, and give Button some extra motivation – though I suspect he’d raise his game against Alonso, just as he did with Hamilton.

  47. They just can’t get rid of Jenson. He is the best choice they have to drive there var next year.

    1. Totally agree, but just to muddy the waters more, Montoya recently stated that he and Ron are friendly now (as opposed to Ron Dennis still holding the past over Alonso’s head)… Juan coming back to F1??? Jenson/Alonso…or Alonso /Montoya? :-O

  48. I chose Alonso and Magnussen.

    People point out that Button’s experience can help ease McLaren’s transition from Mercedes to Honda engines, but wasn’t something similar said of this season, that Button will help McLaren score consistent results this year after the rule changes? However, did McLaren actually improve that much from 2013 (excluding the two podiums in Australia this year)?

    No doubt Button has been the better performer this year for McLaren so far. However, if Alonso is in the team already, surely he can ease the engine transition a lot better than Button, since he is generally rated as the most complete driver in F1 currently? If you have a driver (Alonso) with lots of experience in the team, why not go for someone with potential as the second driver? This is like 2007, Alonso (experienced) and Hamilton (potential). Hence, Alonso and Magnussen are my choices.

  49. Voted for Magnussen & Vandoorne. Why? Because I could. And I think this would not make things much worse than they are now. Both are good and young drivers (yes, I know, I would be such a bad team boss).

    For “McLaren is all for getting the best drivers” talk – I would go for Alonso and Button

    What I think will happen is – Alonso and Magnussen.
    I like Alonso. I think he is a great driver and a fierce competitor. But, I just don`t understand this move. And really nothing new here, still that espionage controversy in 2007 and the 100 million fine. Okay, it`s not just Alonso, but still.
    But then again, I was a bit surprised when Ferrari signed him in 2010. Ferrari being the victim in that very same case.
    And yesterday I read a story, that a whole bunch of people are coming to McLaren from Ferrari. And also that Pedro de la Rosa is making a comeback to McLaren (also one of the names involved with that spy-case. But he remained with them for years).
    In this scenario Kevin – because he is young, fast, still learning and like reported “cheap.”

    What I would like to see is – Button and Magnussen. First of all we all know about the history between Button and Honda and his love for anything Japanese (no pun intended). He is a loved character in F1 and a geat “PR-face.” – intelligent and quite funny.
    And for Kevin, I think he is a great driver. Of course there is a lot to learn still, but I think is OK. Sacking him after his first year in F1, would be quite awful. Like the man himself said in (I believe it was for BBC) that if a team like McLaren are not happy with him – he doesn`t see a point of staying in F1 for some other team.

    Just for my own “fun” – compared the first seasons of both Jenson and Kevin. Jenson had 12 points in total and 6 DNF-s (5 mechanical). Kevin (with the point scoring of 2000) 8 points and 1 DNF.

    1. Button was 8th in his first season. His teammate 5th with twice the points of Button (and 7 DNF’s).
      Magnussen is 10th this season. Button 7th with less than twice the points of Magnussen.

      I would argue that this year is a lot more competitive than 2000. One argument would be that this year you have 5 WDC’s in the field versus only 3 in 2000. Another is that while DNF’s were par for the course in 2000, the cars are much more reliable in 2014 and there is hardly any “free” points to be had.

      1. @kroonracing

        But you forget the very fact, that in 2000 only the first six drivers got points, Magnussen has 2 top six finishes this season whereas Button had 6 in his rookie year.

  50. Alonso and Grosjean, most consistent driver and someone with the raw speed to push him.

  51. It would all depend on Honda’s power unit for me if they are confident it’s able to compete or even eclipse the Mercs performance than it would be Alonso and youth. If they’re worried their behind I would pick the best drivers available (Button/Alonso) to protect against a PR disaster. Honda can’t afford to be running around the back and realistically there is no more back markers anymore. Ever team on the grid accept Force India has proved it’s capable of winning a GP, BTW it’s a pretty good view up here on the fence, few splinters but

  52. I really hope Button gets to stay in Formula 1, but I think Magnussen should stay as well. If they take alonso and Button, which I’m hoping they do, there will not be many places for Magnussen to go.

    Mercedes has two drivers and so does Red Bull and Williams. Ferrari seem to be taking Vettel alongside Räikkönen and Force India are looking like retaining their drivers. Toro Rosso are looking for a driver in their own young drivers’ program and Sauber have four drivers in line already. Judging by Grosjean’s recent tweets, he’s likely to stay at Lotus as is Maldonado and his money. There is no guarantee that Marussia and Caterham are going to be on the grid next year and they are looking for money more than talent. Of course McLaren can give them some money as well as technical support in exchange for giving Magnussen a drive, but I don’t think that will happen.

    They could give him a 3rd driver role for a season and have him back in 2016 if there is a seat available. It worked out well for Alonso and Massa. Three car teams would be the best solution for McLaren’s driver line up.

  53. Is only me that thinks this but but morally why should McLaren hire alonso again the same thing will happen again. Why do i think this ? because if you pair alonso with kmag it could potentially be another lewis alonso moment kmag has nothing to loose he is ron dennis’s golden boy if its close and i believe it could be alonso could last 1 year again . Alonso/button we all know how button faired against lewis for 3 seasons he wasnt afraid of him (beat him on points something alonso couldnt manage )and actually drove better with the challenge that will be no different if these two paired up Jenson thrives on a good challenge and because of his experience he knows how to play the political game, Jenson also has a point to prove with alonso as beneton hung Jenson out to dry in favour of alonso way back when ,Now thats a challenge something i think alonso would struggle with,I dont rate alonso in any way every team he has been too except renault he has failed to bring any form of championships home and has just caused trouble with team-mates and not worked with them to create a good car this is a major weakness in my view .I believe McLaren should of stuck with the two drivers they have .

    1. The story on the great vine is Alonso will be a Honda employee not a McLaren one. So if Ron wants Honda’s power units they will come with a seventh component ….. Alonso

      1. Yeah, I’ve been reading that too. That said, it’s pretty hard to imagine Ron Dennis allowing Honda to have authority over who drives for them. I mean… Ron Dennis.

  54. Button/Kobayashi
    Yeah I know……. :(
    Hey I can dream can’t I?

    Seriously though the Japanese marketing/sponsorship potential of this team would be incredible.

    1. I want to see that line up at McLaren sooooooo badly!

  55. McLaren need to think of their future. Button and Alonso are not young anymore. With Magnussen they have a safe bet for their own future. Demoting him as test and reserve driver will ruin his career. The best thing McLaren can do at the moment is field either Button or Alonso alongside Magnussen. Also, keep Vandoorne as test driver and let him race in junior categories or better yet, get him an F1 seat in another team.

  56. Have Williams confirmed their drivers?

    1. Yes.

      Massa’s got 2 more years left on his contract & Bottas has 1 more year.

  57. If you can’t have Hamilton, then it has to be Alonso. But Alonso is bound to insist on being number one and that won’t sit well with Ron (probably the reason for the long decision-making period, in fact). Most likely McLaren will decide not to risk Alonso again and stick with what they know – Button and Magnussen. Unless they decide to poach Hulkenberg…

  58. The big prize money is in the Constructor’s championship. JB has outperformed KM to the tune of 51 points. If KM had managed to get close to matching JB’s points tally McLaren would be above Ferrari and 4th in the constructors. How much prize money is that worth?

    Then again factor in JB’s salary v KM and is the difference nullified?

    It’s a complex decision. Yes it’s great to have the best drivers, but if you have arguably the best driver of the lot in Alonso, is it worth spending circa £15million on an extra 50 constructor’s points a season, when Alonso himself may make up the difference himself?

    KM will be on a fraction of JB’s salary so perhaps represents the better value option with the possibility of future improvement

    1. Interestingly enough McLarens #2 Magnussen is holding his own against Ferrari’s #2 Raikkonen. It’s Button who is not even close to Ferrari’s #1 Alonso.

      1. That is not even close to apples-to-apples, but it is an interesting observation :-)

      2. That’s probably telling you more about Raikkonen than about Magnussen.

  59. Easy question, easy answer. Alonso-Button at McLaren next year with Magnussen as test driver.

  60. Alonso & a rookie. worked before …..

    1. Ha! I tip my hat to you, sir.

  61. They should run their current two drivers. Button clearly still has it and Magnussen will only improve. We must remember that this is his first season on Pirelli tyres (note that some drivers seem to take a while to get used to them) and his first season in Formula One in general. Button may not be the best driver in Formula One, but he is a very good yardstick. If I was McLaren, I wouldn’t want Alonso in the team because of him potentially upsetting the harmony at the team, as we have seen before from him.

    That doesn’t mean it will happen however. Alonso is pretty much confirmed at the team now, and it will probably be either Button or Magnussen. If they retain Button, which is the logical step, then McLaren must ensure that Magnussen gets a top drive in another category AND a Formula One seat for 2016 to compensate for ditching a rookie after one season, something which should not happen.

  62. Massa.
    His Interlagos stop showed how much he wants to work with the McLaren pit crew – that’s worth a few seconds every race.

    1. SennaNmbr1 (@)
      12th November 2014, 17:42

      You’re on to something there! And while we’re on the subject of Massa, I think he’s underperformed this year and should graciously make way for Susie Wolff.

  63. SennaNmbr1 (@)
    12th November 2014, 17:20

    They should hire Alonso and keep Button, but I don’t think they will.

    Do McLaren have to pay for their engines next year? If they do then I think they will ditch Button and have a cheaper driver.

  64. I think mclaren should hire Alonso and Vettel and than we gonna all start to see real race with equal machine. That would be much closer fights on race as we see Hamilton and Rosberg, and considering that Alonso and Vettel them both have agressive style. That would be a lot of fun to watch.

  65. Button and Magnussen.

    Magnussen has shown flashes of brilliance and just needs to learn a bit more racecraft, but it’s clear he has the speed, as long as they’re willing to invest in him.

    Button, on the other had, has tons of experience, and has been driving quite well in the awful cars McLaren have provided the last two years. He’s still hungry and he was able to keep Hamilton quite honest in their time as teammates (he’s the only teammate to have EVER beaten Hamilton in any series). If the 2015 McLaren-Honda is a good car, Button can bag the silverware in it.

    Alonso would be a huge, costly mistake for McLaren. History shows that he does NOT like to have a level playing field with his teammate, and McLaren is not the type of team to bestow #1 driver status. And there is already animosity between Dennis and Alonso, which would be toxic for the team’s ‘culture’. Lastly, for all the praise Alonso gets (most of it deserved), he’s a hugely disruptive force in a team and never takes accountability for his own mistakes. If he cannot be a team player at Ferrari when given #1 status, why would he be any better at McLaren?!

  66. Massa was just checking Mclaren pitstop to give Alons`s a feedback. hahahhahahaha

  67. with Alonso and Vettel At Mclaren Button would have a chance to drive ferrari alongside of kimi

  68. Magnussen got to take a year as a reserve driver like bottas just done and than comeback to f1 2016 maybe with Haas and join a pretty good new Audi engine in 2016.

  69. Hülkenberg and Grosjean.

  70. Alonso – Vandoorne

    Alonso is a safe bet and Vandoorne looks like he’s got more potential than Magnussen.

    Alonso at McLaren coupled with a rookie, anyone?

    1. Vandoorne was beaten by Magnussen last year in Renault 3.5.

      1. @kroonracing

        But it was Vandoorne’s rookie year while it was his second season for Magnussen.

        Finishing runner-up in your rookie season is more impressive than winning in your second one IMHO. That’s why I think Toro Rosso should hire Pierre Gasly next year instead of Carlos Sainz, Jr.

        1. So McLaren should do much better with Magnussen in his 2nd F1 season than with Vandoorne in his rookie season :-)

  71. It seems obvious that Alonso will end up with McLaren for 2015. Who will be the driver in the sister car though? Oh wait! That reminds me of something! Alonso in a McLaren and a rookie as his teammate….Hmmm…Magnussen may not be a rookie next year but if McLaren really consider him as one of their future stars they have to keep him alongside Alonso. Jenson is a very likable guy and a great driver but he’s a spent force I’m affraid. The future is with Kevin and the best for his evolution as a driver is to spend a couple of years next to the best driver in the grid today. I think the Ronster knows all about it. Besides the vibe I got from JB’s statements during the Brazilian Grand Prix is that he is about to pull a Webber and race in another series.

  72. Remember what happened to Alonso after his first year at Minardi. Briatore wanted him to take the year off be the test driver, then guaranteed him the seat for 2003 at Renault. McLarencan do that with Magnusen. That would guarantee him the seat for 2016 and he can help develop the car in the Simulator.

    1. You are right about Alonso’s year off back in 2002, but those were different times. Just like Lewis was the best prepared rookie in the history of F1, with countless miles and hours in the simulator before he made his debut. Alonso tested pretty much non-stop throughout 2002 and therefor had the perfect preparation for the 2003 car. He was the main test driver and he got both the mileage and the knowledge of the car.
      In 2015, you have only a fraction of testing they had in the mid 2000s.
      But still, Button is much better, so Mag should be grateful for test driver role. Between himself, Alonso and Button, he didn’t deserve to keep his seat, and he did have a whole year to prove himself.

  73. This is so easy – Alonso and Button. And I don’t buy this age argument. At 33 and being a one of the best drivers, I think Alonso has at least five years left at the top. It’s more a question of loyalty with Alonso. At 34 and still as reliable as ever, Button could have another three years in F1, which is long enough for McLaren and Honda.

    I know it would be pretty harsh on Magnussen (they were willing dump Perez undeservedly), but it just seems logical if McLaren want good points being scored nearly every week by both drivers, it has to be Alonso and Button.

    1. *every race

    2. Schumacher won his 7th and last WDC at the age of 35. Alonso might have a shot at winning again in the right car, but Button is not going to win the WDC again. He might have 10 more years in him, but none of them will be at the top. Is that really good enough for McLaren?
      Racecraft is not winning WDC’s. Speed is. Button doesn’t have that speed. He was lucky that he was the best of two average race drivers in the Brawn in 2009. A good driver in the Brawn would easily have beaten both of them.

      1. But if Alonso is going to be able to challenge for a title with McLaren, having a team-mate like Button, who can regularly take points off other drivers, would be absolutely vital, even if he doesn’t challenge for the title himself. And rest assured, Button would be scoring good points and podiums regularly if the car was good enough to allow Alonso to challenge for the title. It is an absolute no-brainer to have those two as team-mates.

        Can Magnussen be relied on to take those top positions from rivals? From what we’ve seen, it wouldn’t be as regularly as Button.

  74. Button and Alonso. The two most experienced drivers on the grid, both of whom have great race pace.

    I think Magnussen is good as well, but isn’t worth Button leaving F1 for, and as many have rightly said, it’s the points that Mclaren need next year, not potential, as I highly doubt it will be on par with Mercedes and possibly Red Bull.

    Button has said in the past that he would love to partner Alonso, and I think he is mentally strong enough to take on that sort of challenge. We’ve seen what Alonso can do to other drivers.

    As for the pay difference, Jenson has shown and said in the past that he is willing to take a wage cut in order to continue doing something he loves.

  75. Hold on, Jenson Button only out scored Hamilton once in their 3 seasons together – 2011. I’m not dissing button, I am a huge button fan. Just saying. Get facts right first please :)

    1. What’s written in the article is correct, and it’s also referenced to an earlier article so you can see that.

  76. Alonso is a good choice. He is considered one of the best drivers, he has won a lot, he is a multiple world champion. That’s exactly what Honda wants for its F1 return. But Dennis and Alonso will have to swallow their pride, because what happened in 2007 is very serious.

    I’d put Button on the other seat. He is fast, he has a lot of experience and he can help develop the car. He’s doing a better job than Magnussen at the moment, so it’s logical to keep him here. Besides, if Mclaren leaves him without a seat, he’ll probably leave F1 (there are not a lot of empty seats) and that would be sad. I mean, Button is definitely not one of my favourite drivers, but he’s a world champion and he’s probably better than most F1 drivers.

    It’s a bit sad to leave Magnussen behind, though. His rookie season has been reasonable, but not very impressive (except his second place in Melbourne). He deserves to stay in F1, without a doubt, but if I had to choose between him and Button, I’d pick Button.

  77. Magnussen and Vandoorne. If you’ve got two (excellent) talents coming up what better occasion to bring them in than in a year when: their car is likely to be uncompetitive unless it’s a radical change from the MP4-29; the engine is a big unknown: if it’s fast it could be enough to become competitive, but if it isn’t having Alonso or Button driving it won’t make it any better. Kevin has an year’s experience, which is nothing compared to what Button or Alonso can say about themselves but it means he’s not a rookie anymore. And if all rookies finished 2nd in their first race that’s surely the way to go! Vandoorne may not have won in GP2 but his great results show he has little more to learn, and at this point he can do so in what may be a “gap year” for McLaren before they return to competitiveness. By 2016 or 2017 Alonso and Button won’t be the best option anymore, why take these drivers when your plans are for the long-term? Magnussen has tried this year’s Mercedes engine, Button and Alonso’s experience of V8s can’t be really that much more useful to them when they’ve all had one season using V6s. Magnussen can learn from Button, of course, but he can learn by an experienced team and by working closely with another young driver, and tutoring him when he can. McLaren’s decision to bring Magnussen in F1 proved a great choice, surely Vandoorne will keep that trend going; why risk losing him to a rival team? After a further season in GP2 would he be ready to replace Button/Alonso? If so, it’s worthless to wait for another year. If not, unless McLaren can buy their young drivers seats in another team, they’ll be wasted talents (or at least they will have lost one season) or become opponents. And while Alonso and Button certainly won’t get any better, these two might well become stronger than both. They have the best young drivers available, why throw away such a long-working co-operation?
    If Vandoorne was to wait for a further season I’d keep Button alongside Magnussen. As I said, Alonso would be there for as short a time as possible unless the engine proved winning, but Vandoorne wouldn’t get his deserved opportunity. Replacing the “old” driver with another “old” driver is pointless, but worse is replacing your future champion with one.

    1. Very good analysis.

  78. If they don’t keep Button, that’s it he’s fine from F1. The young guns are going nowhere and can sit as reserves for a year or two.

    He might cost more, but you get what you pay for.

  79. I don’t see what benefit they get long term from Button.

    Lets be honest when the cars right Button can be one of the best drivers on the grid, But if the cars off then he’s usually nowhere complaining about understeer & locking brakes.

    Magnussen as a rookie has had a good season, His debut at Melbourne showed his potential & he’s shown that speed a dozen other times over the season. He’s clearly a talent for the future & kicking him out of F1 after only 1 season just hurts that potential.

    Look at it this way, Magnussen has for the most part been a very good match for Button’s pace this year as a rookie who’s had to learn about the Pirelli tyres & Tyre/fuel management & F1 in general while Button has 14 years of experience in F1 & 4 years of Pirelli tyre experience.
    If Magnussen was able to be as competitive to Button’s pace as he has been while learning, He’s only going to be better next year & the years after.

    Looking at Alonso he’s always getting the most out of whatever car he’s got, He’s already towards the front & given a half decent car he’s showed he can fight for wins/championships on a consistent basis.
    I just don’t see Button doing that, As I say he can be stunningly fast when the cars right but if its a bit off he’s usually nowhere.
    Given the experience he’s gained this year I could see Magnussen growing into that, He’s clearly got a ton of talent & a lot of potential.

    Of those 3 I’d have to go with the driver I consider the best all rounder in F1 right now (Alonso) & the kid who’s got a ton of potential & more than likely will be fighting for wins/championships over the long term (Magnussen).

    1. Lets be honest when the cars right Button can be one of the best drivers on the grid, But if the cars off then he’s usually nowhere complaining about understeer & locking brakes.

      I would point out the season 2013 & 2014. The car is off, and he still brings the points. His only slump was in 2012 where the new upgrades from the Mugello changed the concept of the car and he could not get the tyres to the optimal working temperature. He and his engineer were trying to find a setup to help him get heat in to the rubber, but it did not work. After they used Lewis’ new setup as a base, they were able to get him back on pace.

  80. ColdFly F1 (@)
    12th November 2014, 21:27

    A bit against the grain here, but let me explain.

    The 1st choice is easy, as I would go with Alsonso. He has proven over the years that he is (one of) the best drivers around constantly getting further than where we expected it to be.

    Button is the stronger driver of the current lot, but I would still not take him.
    1) he is too expensive for what he has delivered over the past years (even his WDC was more due to the car than due to his skills). I still think he is very good, but not in the league of Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel (pas years).
    2) he has never really taken an leading role in the team, he seems more to take the package and get a solid performance, rather than drive it to its extremes. A like McLaren which is in development needs somebody who takes the car to and beyond it extremes, rather than safely drive it below full capacity.

    I would take Magnussen over Vandoorne, as he has proven in his rookie year that he is fast and daring. We just need him to continue to improve and stop making the small mistakes. Magnussen will be more of a challenge to Alonso than others on the list would be.

    1. (even his WDC was more due to the car than due to his skills) I won’t disagree with your statement because there is definitely truth in it . But would you apply this caveat to this years champion, that it was more the car not skill that won the championship . I would say this years championship carries less weight than Jenson’s as he beat his team mate and raced others on the gird . Where the Mercs have been in their own two horse race all year

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        13th November 2014, 12:38

        @terro55, yes it’s unfortunate that in many of the past year’s we had dominant cars which makes it difficult to test exactly how good (deserving) the WDC was.
        Valid for Vettel, and Hamilton (probably) this year as well.

  81. I would like to see that Magnussen gets another chance.

  82. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    12th November 2014, 22:08

    Well Alonso going to Mclaren is all but confirmed, and possibly the worst kept secret in F1 right now. So it becomes a question of who gets the remaining seat.

    Personally, I think Button should get it. He’s proven this season he’s still a high quality Formula One driver, and has beaten his teammate fairly thoroughly.

  83. Schumacher is the best! (@)
    12th November 2014, 22:39

    I feel most people underestimate Button. Yes Alonso may be able to handle a dog of a car better than some, but, IF Jenson stays on @ McLaren & IF Alonso is his teammate AND they have a car perfectly suited to Jenson… Then Alonso will likely be beaten by Button. I really think Jenson is similar to Mika Hakkinen- he needs confidence in the car to do it but when he has the car sorted, boy is he quick. I bet many people don’t recall how good Jenson was in 2009 races that he won Barcelona anyone? He ruined Rubens that day- Button was on Schumacher level that day… and, back in 2004 he was second talent-wise only to Schumacher who is THE greatest driver ever. So Button does have talent in spades, he just needs to re-discover winning that’s all.

  84. Alonso wants Button, hence the hold up, Dennis wants Kmag. Think about it, the last thing Alonso wants is a repeat of 2007 with a Ron favored Young driver as teammate.

    I believe Fernando got his way, he’s signed a 2 year deal and Jenson has 1 year, pay linked to results.

    We’ll see next Monday.

  85. If Mclaren want success Big Ron has got to suck it up and hire Alonso – clearly the best driver out there right now.
    Button’s driving has been thoroughly inspired this season so I truly hope they hold onto him. The only one who could have done any better with the MP4-29 IMO is the aforementioned. I also think Button has the maturity to deal with things if it does get ugly (politically wise) and he is a marketing dream.
    K-mag doesn’t deserve to miss out so I hope something comes his way.

  86. Button has done well in The 2nd Half of this season. However, those who favour him for beating K Mag on points in 2014 need to understand that if the same Logic had been applied to Button after his first or second season he would not have had a podium not to mention a World Championship.
    K Mag is a better rookie than Button was. All that said tough call. I would go for K Mag and Alonso.

  87. McLaren should keep Mag as a test driver, in a few years both Button and Alonso will retire and Magnussen can have his seat back. McLaren really needs 2 top class drivers to make a return into the top of the field, they will have to work really hard next year to make things work and no one better than those two. Maybe they can buy Caterham and put Magnussen there for maybe 2 or 3 years and then bring him back to McLaren, he just can’t be wasted like that.

  88. I know most people are saying Button and Alonso, but i would drop Button and pair Alonso with Magnussen for 1 more year and give him a shot with a good car or promote Vandoorne if they don’t think Kevin has the right stuff. Button can go to WEC where i think he would shine and McLaren has probably the best “experienced” driver in the field to help them develop the car and a young future champion that can learn from Alonso and be the future of the team when Alonso retires.

  89. Fernando would be better in the seat, Button has outgrown his seat at McLaren. And this would be the best time to let someone in that can utilise the car and use it to it’s ability.

  90. Button & Magnussen
    Button because he has experience both in race craft AND with HONDA, plus he speaks Japanese.
    Magnussen because he is a ‘young Gun’

  91. ALO & Vettel if is to expensive for Mclaren, ALO & Hamilton to expensive too, then Button still no affordable then Gutierrez he will pay some.

  92. Button and Alonso

  93. Are the teams hedging their bets on needing three drivers in 2015 ?

  94. Keisoglou Alexandros (@)
    13th November 2014, 16:35

    Very nice article and an even much more better debate here, good afternoon from me. I’ d stick with the experienced line-up for 2015. If there was only Button or only Alonso from the experienced pool, then they should keep Magnussen. But that’s not the case here, so i think Mag. should be better as a test driver for now. For 1 or 2 years, perhaps, depending on how long both ALO & BUT will remain. Or, to be honest, depending on how long they can both bring good results home. Last 2 years were totally midfield for the British team, so they need 2 great, mature drivers who can show a good Development Path that can bring McLaren back to late ’80s – early 90s glorious days.
    As for Vandoorne, he’s a natual young talent, but McLaren already have 3 great drivers, so he has to waitat least ’till a seat is open in the British team in order to earn his shot in F1.

    1. This would make sense if Alonso and/or Button had any skills in developing a car. Fact is they don’t. Both of them are known for being driving a mid-field car above it’s weight due to their racecraft skills. Button was 6 years at BAR/Honda and 5 years at McLaren. In both cases the teams has gone backwards during his tenure. The lucky punch at Brawn stands out, but that car also went backwards during the season.
      Alonso has now spent 5 years at Ferrari, with the team going backwards.
      Good luck to McLaren in developing a car with an Alonso/Button line-up. And good luck replacing Alonso (33) and Button (35 in Jan ’15), after having failed to develop the talent you had available. With the very limited tests available, developing a driver through tests is not really possible.

      1. Alonso has now spent 5 years at Ferrari, with the team going backwards.

        Not because his fault, or did you expect him to fix the wind tunnel and make the engine with his own hands?.

        1. Not his fault “only”, but if he’s not part of the teams development – negative or positive – it’s no wonder he is not winning.

  95. Don’t forget Button has said that even if McLaren offer him a contract, he may refuse it and go other ways. For me, those other ways are the WEC with Toyota – the comment from Webber on Twitter suggests to me he knows about something, and I think Button should pursue it.

    So yeah, may McLaren pick Button, he refuses it, they then pick Magnussen to be alongside Alonso, and that would be it.

  96. This all about Alonso Button and Magnussen is WRONG! Ron Dennis and McClaren, what are you thinking!? Why is it that it seems the prople that shout the loudest get what they want all the time? Have you no sense of loyalty and decency? Jenson Button has been, is and always will be a quietly dignified superb driver and expert at getting the best out of a car. The ammount of support he has with the true fans of F1 is testament to his being an outstanding driver and thoroughly decent person. Traits some other personnel involved with F1 cannot claim to be. Do the decent thing McClaren and retain Button, you won’t regret the decision.

  97. Would love to see Hulkenberg with Alonso. Best of the old school and best of the young guns.

    1. Hulkenberg us not a young gun – he is 27.

      1. I agree Hulk is overrated big time as a promise F1 Top Driver.
        if we average podiums vs races and compare that to top drivers :

        Establish drivers ranking
        Vettel, Hamilton, Alonso, Raikkonen, Button, Massa, Rosberg, Grosjean
        Young divers ranking
        Riccardo, Bottas, Perez, Magnussen, Maldonado

        Magnussen 1 podium in 18 races at 22- 0.055
        Perez 4 podiums in 70 races at 24- 0.057
        Riccardo 8 podiums in 68 at 25- 0.119
        Bottas 5 podiums in 37 races at 25 – 0.135
        Vettel 66 podiums in 138 races at 27 – 0.478
        ——Hulkenberg 0 podiums in 76 races at 27—— 0.0
        Grosjean 9 podiums in 63 races at 28 – 0.142
        Maldonado 1 podium in 76 races at 29 – 0.013
        Rosberg 26 podiums in 165races at 29 – 0.157
        Hamilton 69 podiums in 147 races at 29 – 0.469
        Alonso 97 podiums in 235 races at 33 – 0.412
        Massa 38 podiums in 211 races at 33 – 0.180
        Button 60 podiums in 257 races at 34 – 0.233
        Raikkonen 77 podiums in 212 races at 35 – 0.363

        1. All times greats still out of reach !
          Amazing Fangio has 68% chances to end up in the podium any race !

          Fangio 35 – 51 – 0.686
          Prost 106 – 202 – 0.524
          Schumaher 155 – 308 – 0.503
          Senna 80 – 162 – 0.493

    2. Actually if we regard Hulkenberg as Young gun we should do The same with Vettel as they are same age. I think Vettel is better than Hulkenberg – feel free to disagree.

  98. Look which one of the three has turned up at the WEC Six Hours of Bahrain today…
    Bahrain pre-race notebook (Sportscar365)

  99. Alonso and Vettel

  100. An interesting scenario, Tom Kristensen has just retired at Audi. I think Audi would be very interested in doing a deal with Button, – they could probably even get sponsorship from the organisers at LeMans to sign him, Imagine the press coverage LeMans would get from British fans of motorsport. The favourite driver at LeMans would always be a British driver ( Button ) – if they sign him now, he may even get a chance of winning more Lemans races than the living legend (Tom Kristensen) himself.

  101. The gentleman racer in Button can do the business. Button will prove the better racer in 2015 and that said season will serve to raise his stock. The rookie Lewis Hamilton was able to spank Alonso the twice champion with several years of experience back in 2007. Jenson raced and qualified well against a mature and quick Lewis when they were team mates plus keep in mind that Alonso is not known for his qualifying powers. Mag will have to sit out 2016 or take Alonso’s seat. QED.

  102. Steve Bartoli
    3rd December 2014, 17:01

    It is so easy, Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso in that order. Button should have another 2 year’s, keep Kevin as a test driver!

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