McLaren delay driver announcement until next month

2015 F1 season

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McLaren say they will not announce their driver line-up for next year until December.

“Selecting the optimal driver line-up for a Formula One team is clearly an important process, and it is therefore one that requires precise and prolonged analysis,” said the team in a statement.

“That being the case, and in order to avoid distracting the race team from its primary objective during the final Grand Prix weekend of the season, which is to secure the best possible on-track results, we have decided to defer our final deliberations relating to our 2015 driver line-up until a date no earlier than Monday December 1st.”

Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso has been linked with a place at the team, potentially replacing either Jenson Button or Kevin Magnussen.

McLaren say their priority at the moment is to “ensure that every element of our competitive package for 2015 and beyond is also specified to the fullest extent”.

“We have spent the past nine months comprehensively recruiting and restructuring within our design and engineering departments; over the next few days we will be evaluating and trialling a range of aerodynamic upgrades for the forthcoming Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and for the 2015 Formula One season.”

“Furthermore, we are now only a few days away from formally commencing our exciting technical partnership with Honda, and, subject to satisfactory final bench-testing, it is currently our intention to run our interim development car, the McLaren MP4-29H/1X1, on the test days that will follow the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.”

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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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124 comments on “McLaren delay driver announcement until next month”

  1. McLaren missed the memo explaining that it’s now a mid-field team. Button deserves better than this. If I were him I’d walk. As if he’s got a shot at the championship with McLaren. If they’re winning next year, Alonso will demand to be number one. He should have gone to Ferrari to replace Raikonen.

    1. as engines are such an important factor, if the new Honda engine is on par with mercedes from the get go and the aero is improved in the way that Mclaren have proven themselves in the past to be successful in doing, they could have a top 3 car next year.

    2. Don’t make me laugh.

      Mclaren has the potential to become a championship winning team again, but Jenson doesn’t have the ability to win another championship unless he has a car a second a lap faster than anyone else.

      Half the field is hungrier than Jenson for a WDC. If any of those drivers are his teammate, I don’t expect him be pushed down to #2 driver status… I expect his inability to perform will keep him at the #2 driver status

      You’re saying Jenson should go to Ferrari?!? Ferrari would not even consider him.. especially if they have Vettel as a replacement for Alonso

      Jenson should just retire

  2. I’m past caring at this point.

    1. I got the distinct impression that JB also stopped caring @junior-pilot!

      1. You’re both spot on.

      2. Why can’t they forget about Alonso, sign up Hulkenberg, and be done with it!

    2. I still do care … about the wonderfull “ronspeak” in that press release @junior-pilot, @bosyber, @f1bobby!

      But yeah, after reading how they were announcing their new sponsor for more than a year now, and then their drivers etc, this is getting as old as Ferrari saying they will be better next year.

      1. @bascb Yes ronspeak is hilarious – and their lack of title sponsor (and no sight of one on the horizon) is even funnier! Especially with Williams snatching Martini from under their noses, and Force India signing up Smirnoff mid-season … I wonder what the highly paid people in McLaren’s marketing department are doing!

        1. Just a point – I doubt Martini was ever interested in sponsoring McLaren. They are supposed to be a title sponsor, but pay as little as 10 million USD for the pleasure. Ron would never have even considered such a deal (he’s thinking 40-70 million a year). And Smirnoff is just another brand that got put on the car because of tie ins with Mallya (or rather the company who is buying his liquor empire)

      2. Sniffpatrol did a rather good impression of ron reacting to the announcement to ‘ronify’ it a bit more

  3. Yawn. Does anyone care anymore?

  4. Hopefully Jense & K-Mag know sooner. It would terrible if they are left with no drive due to McLaren & Alonso taking so long to confirm the inevitable.

  5. There’s more to this than meets the eye. Vettel hasn’t announced anything except leaving the red bull team, Alonso says all will make sense soon. They’re all clearly waiting to find out about 3 car teams.

    1. I wonder if there is a feeling that there are not enough competitive cars for all the WDCs in F1?

    2. or waiting for the result of the constructor championship to determine the pay out to Alonso as a percentage ratio of his contribution to Ferrari income this season.

      But you are right, 3-car teams makes a big difference to the driver market in which case Alonso to Mercedes and forfeiting half of his entitlements with Ferrari. Just a hinch.

    3. 3rd car is reserved for rookies, isn’t?

      1. @oletros No, that was one suggestion which was put forward, but nothing is confirmed.

        1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
          18th November 2014, 22:13

          Yeah a suggestion put forward by Hamilton as he is scared of Alonso joining Merc in a 3rd car & destroying him this time round…

          1. wait sorry…. did you see WDC 2007? i’m a fan of alonso but where on earth did you find that?

          2. Everyone saw that, and everyone saw Alonso’s driving after that. I don’t think anyone is denying that Hamilton is brilliant, but the way Alonso has been driving at Ferrari makes one wonder whether Hamilton can come up top. Do keep in mind that since then, the cars are longer, heavier and are now equipped with Pirellis.

            I’d love to see the two fighting it out again.

    4. I’m still pretty certain that 3 car teams would require a rule change, with unanimous support. That would certainly present a good bargaining chip for the smaller teams…

      1. ‘bargaining chip for the smaller teams’ – they need to be around to bargain though!

        It is not beyond Bernie to drive smaller teams out of F1 to get his way with 3rd cars.

    5. The only thing I wonder in case of 3 car teams is who will RB promote in 3rd car? Vergne??? Or get someone like Grojean, Hulkenberg? Kvy will become the kinda rookie.
      If there are 3 car teams and some rules in place, and even then RB doesn’t give Vergne a chance, then he’ll be furious!

      1. Maybe Button — Horner has said good things about him in the past.

    6. It’s not Alonso who’s holding this up, it’s Hamilton. Ron wants him back and Honda want Alonso. Ron won’t have Alonso without Lewis. Even though Alonso & Vettel are good to go, no one can move till after the Abu bubble once Lewis & Toto have a chat.
      This makes sense as Lewis is the only one with the non negotiate till season end deal & Alonso, Vettel, Ferrari & Honda would like nothing more right now than to talk up next year rather than shine on about being down on power to the media.

    7. I guess that Hamiton is the key to the drivers market. We all know that Vettel left RB and Alonso is on the go as well, so why can’t both of them finally announce their future team?
      1. In the case of Vettel:
      – He could join Ferrari as everybody expects
      – Less likely but he could surprise everybody and go to McLaren. I know that it’s a long shot but nobody expected that he would left Red Bull in the first place. All the focus was on Alonso and yet Vettel managed to make the first move. I mean who knows, right?
      2. In the case of Alonso:
      – He said that he would chose the obvious solution. That would staying in Ferrari as he has valid contract for next year. Do Ferrari have the ability to convince Alonso of next years car potential? If he has time and patience for driving another winless season?
      – Going to McLaren is the one that is written in every F1 site/blog. If it’s that simple why all the secrecy? Is it about the money? The new cars potential? Is that the reason of pushing the test with Honda engined car in Abu Dhabi? He costed that same team 100 millions and title in 2007, if we believe that it was all his fault, but for the sake of getting the best available driver and commercial benefit could erase all that?!
      – Going to Mercedes?
      Now enters Hamilton.
      – If he doesn’t get the WDC title because of problems with the car or thinks that his team would rob him with bad race strategy, then everything is possible.
      – He could easily go back to McLaren and that would leave a mess in the paddock.
      3 car teams would solve a lot of problems if it happens though.
      So much combinations. Anyway. We will find out in a couple of weeks.

  6. They should turn this into a reality show and sell it to Fox. Make it like the Bachelor. After a few episodes of “dates” with Ron Dennis (talking about Santander monies, mostly, or lack thereof) on December 1, have Button and Alonso stand before Ron Dennis at the candle-lit MTC lake. He will give one of them a single rose, while the other, in tears, is hustled into a limo with his packed bags. Actually, for a twist, he may give neither of them a rose. Instead, Sebastian Vettel will pull up in a P1, emerge in a McLaren driving suit, and give everyone the victory finger.

    1. This is half of my enjoyment of F1. (Not that I want it peppered with reality TV clichés.) I love the off track drama. This stuff is gold to sit back and watch.

      Remember a few years ago when the team threatened to split off and form their own series. That was just awesome on the drama front.

      However I also love the racing. To date I do feel these dramas have ever hurt the racing. I’d hate for that to happen.

      1. Sigh. “To date I don’t feel…”

    2. Its Hammer Time
      19th November 2014, 8:47


    3. The Girls Next Door is the more like reality show :)

  7. Another speculation – this might actually be about Lewis.

    Either directly, or more likely indirectly because Alonso is waiting to see if he has any chance at a Merc seat

    1. Exactly, hence the urgent talks on Monday.
      Lewis either accept much reduced salary/terms or Alonso takes his seat.
      Mercedes have the car so they can set the price and the DWCs come running to them not the other way round.

      1. Wait, you think Alonso would have a lesser salary than Lewis??

        1. He would accept 15mil as opposed to Hamilton’s $20mil BUT he probably would insist on #1 status after 1/3 season if ahead by more than 40 points.

          Schumacher had this in his contract according to Eddie Irvine. If he gets 40+ points he becomes #1 and all eggs go in his basket.

        2. Methinks Alonso wants to win desperately, money is not an issue for him or he would not have moved back to live in Spain where he pays much higher taxes.

          1. Senna himself offered to williams for free for the 93 season! there’s a point when money just don’t matter anymore, and this people (f1 drivers) are ferocious and ultra competitive, so, when they already have more money that they can spend in a lifetime, then they go just for the glory, i guess..

    2. MB have announced that they are going to ink a deal with Hamilton next Monday and no signs point to a contentious negotiation. Lewis quit that entertainment marketing firm as his managers so I’m sure that makes things much easier.

      1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
        18th November 2014, 22:16

        Didn’t they just say they will hold some talks (rather than actually sign him)?

    3. I thought MB had a contract for next year with Lewis, and the discussions were about 2016 on.

      1. @drmouse – That is correct.

        But I, and perhaps others, imagine that if Hamilton hesitates to sign past 2015 then the team could buy out Hamilton pursue Alonso for 2015 who would surely sign for whatever duration Merc is offering. Or Merc could simply sign Alonso for 2016+ and have Hamilton for 2015.

  8. This is awful. Considering this may be Jenson’s final Grand Prix, a retiring veteran and former World Champion should be allowed to bow out in style. No respect.

    1. They way Button was treated publicly by Dennis and Boullier this year is awful and disrespectful altogether.

    2. Agreed, he shouldn’t have to race his last Grand Prix not knowing it’s his last. He deserves to celebrate it properly.

      1. Well I hope this means Jenson could be staying on. If not then it denies him, the team and his fans any chance of an official, public goodbye. This would be very shabby behaviour after 15 years in the sport. Nothing would surprise me though about the people who run this sport.
        There must be something going on though rather than McLaren just not being sure.

      2. Rubens approves this message!

    3. Because it’s impossible he already knows, and is simply keeping quiet?

    4. @meander – Good point, however woefully lost on McLaren and the way the team is run these days has not much to do with respect or honor. As a fan of McLaren since the days of Bruce McLaren I find little to be a fan of left there today and it has been that way for some time. The hopes of Honda and McLaren reuniting has been a reason for guarded optimism. But, it seems like for every step forward there are three steps backwards. F1 is a tough business to be in and Ron Dennis has a tough job to do. If this is the best way to run McLaren, then I wouldn’t want his job.

    5. Mark Webber did great! Retired himself properly from F1, chose a decent series to race, avoided F1 politics and business. Now JB might do the same but in totally different fashion.
      After seeing all this, I bet Kimi will retire again by the end of next year and go enjoy some fun racing elsewhere.

      F1 attraction is mostly ‘coz of Alonso, Button, Lewis, Vettel, Kimi, their fan-base- All of them move to some other series, F1 suddenly will become unpopular.
      I’ve watched some of he best era of F1 with all these guys, V10s and V8s.
      So in 1-2 years time, BUT, RAI, ALO will be gone

      LOL, I might as well voluntarily retire from F1 as viewer in 1-2 years time [I know RIC, BOT, HUL, GRO will win some of them in future ] :)

      1. @functor – Regarding Kimi re-retiring after 2015, maybe. But he’s already said he may stay longer now. And considering his friend Seb is joining him in a few days, he just may stick around.

        1. If next year’s performances are same as this year’s I don’t think he’ll get the chance to stick around

    6. bow out into the side of rosberg jenson lad do it for england

  9. I’m going to laugh so hard if it turns out that it’s just Ron paying Alonso back for ’07 and that he really had no intention of signing him.

    1. That would be the fairy-tale of the year for sure!

      But would also be a shame to see a driver of Alonso’s caliber without a seat.

      anyway, i dont understand how all the pundits say Alonso is in his ;prime’ at 33years of age, and Button is at the end of his career at 34years of age. According to my math-concepts that gives Alonso 1 year before he is also old, and past his prime…

      but i said it before, and i will say it again, the drivers are just awaiting the final decision on 3-car teams.

      This golden handshake of alonso i dont feel is such a problem. fezza can pay.
      They might actually be considering Button for a few bucks, and spend 80million on development of making sure Button is faster than Alonso even when he running on only 4cilinders xD

      1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
        18th November 2014, 22:18

        I have a feeling Button to Ferrari, Vettel to McLaren, Alonso to McLaren & Hamilton to McLaren…

        1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
          18th November 2014, 22:19

          Sorry Alonso to Merc ^^^

          (based on 2-car teams)

        2. Button is either staying at Mclaren or wont be in F1 at all. Also, why would Lewis be silly enough to leave one of the most dominant cars in recent histoy?

      2. “anyway, i dont understand how all the pundits say Alonso is in his ;prime’ at 33years of age, and Button is at the end of his career at 34years of age. According to my math-concepts that gives Alonso 1 year before he is also old, and past his prime… ”

        I get what you are saying, but surely you understand that drivers do not exist on an objective timeline that is the same for everyone. Everyone is on their own career curve and some trail off sooner than others. I don’t know that Button is at the end of his career, but I don’t see him winning any more titles and probably not races either. But that’s just my opinion.

        1. Al he needs is a winning car to win races — the last time he had one, he won.

          1. Button had a winning car in 2012 but he didnt

          2. Of course he did!?

  10. 2024 F1 season – there’s a vision for you :-)

  11. By the way, looking at the scores 334 vs 317 as it stands, 317 ones is a prime number:

    Such numbers are called repeated units (1 is the unit) and the only known prime repunits have the following number of digits in them:
    2 19 23 317 1031 49081 86453 109297 and 270343

    Good luck both men but I cannot help bu love primes :)


    1. you should check ‘numberphile’ on youtube. Fun channel about numbers. (of which primes are a reoccurring topic)

    2. I guess I am no no mathematician but I would have thought all numbers were multiples of 1.

      1. Are you being facetious or don’t you get it? He means a 317 digit number where all the digits are 1. ;)

    3. So you’re saying you don’t want Rosberg to score any more points? :P

  12. 2024 eh ?


  13. This announcement by Tom Kristensen tomorrow could be connected: Tom K. indkalder til pressemøde: Er det slut? (snigger)

    1. No! Tom! :(

  14. I don’t expect Jenson to accept this long for an eventual renewal of his contract. If he ends up being sacked by McLaren, his options in another championship next year will be quite limited.

    At the end of the day, maybe McLaren will have no other choice than an Alonso-Magnussen line-up.

  15. So, after Dec 1st… meaning just before Melbourne at the latest.

  16. I think I see what’s going on here… The world champions are organising a mass exodus from F1 for the world endurance championship.
    Meanwhile Ecclestone has decided to give racing a go again and is in the process of signing with Mclaren….
    You heard it here first.

    1. And a new rule introduces age based starting positions with the oldest driver on pole, the second oldest driver starts 10 car lengths per year of age difference behind and so on down the grid.

      1. I’m sure he’s up to something like that. Of course it would only work out the way Bernie wants (with him winning), if the older drivers in the sport are gone (Button, Alonso etc) and that the other drivers, no matter how good, are kids (Verstappen)…

        Bernie if you’re reading this, we’re onto you!

    2. Ecclestone was a driver, you know!

      1. he never qualified.

      2. Yeup, hence the ‘again’ in my original post.

  17. I thought they knew at least one of them! The one who’s staying if Alonso is arriving, and who will certainly remain if Alonso doesn’t arrive. This means they still don’t know whether Alonso will come and whether to keep Button or Magnussen. Or they have a fourth driver worth considering and that all depends on who takes the first seat…

  18. We’re still waiting upon their announcement of title sponsor for 2014 so I’m not holding out for a driver announcement until 2017.

    1. I was under impression Honda was the announced title sponsor, just not til 2015, so they ddidn’t want to spend time/money searching for a temporary sponsor.And tthat’s why they rotated sponsors on the side pods

  19. I have lost a massive amount of respect for McLaren this year for keeping their drivers hanging on for this long, no class whatsoever.

    1. I lost a massive amount of respect for them when they had such a poor driver line up in the 1st place

  20. Didn’t they also promise to announce the big new title sponsor that replaced Vodaphone? If I recall, they were going to announce that after December 15th….2013….. still waiting… I don’t think revolving sponsor logos counted….

  21. This sort of reminds me of the title sponsor which they are still yet to announce. They keep putting it off and off. I just hope they don’t do what Toro Rosso did in the 2011 / 2012 season break with their drivers.

  22. I have always admired McLaren (and Ron Dennis) for being a very serious and meticulous team, this year’s antics (driver and sponsor announcements) disappointed me a lot; not a good sign for a team which ‘should’ have a clear direction

  23. Anthony Woodall
    18th November 2014, 21:25

    I have a theory…..

    Apparently Honda were willing to buy out Alonso’s contract for approx. £25m. Subsequently it was suggested that McLaren were negotiating F1’s largest ever contract (also approx. £25m). Are Honda/McLaren really prepared to pay £50m to secure Alonso’s services? Or have they offered something less from which Alonso will have to buy out his own contract? Understandably, Alonso would be unwilling to take a pay packet that was less than his existing contract at Ferrari. Hence, Alonso and Ferrari have a Mexican stand-off: Alonso won’t give way because he doesn’t want to fund his own release, and Ferrari won’t give way because they don’t want to sack Alonso and then be liable for paying off his existing contract. Alonso won’t blink because he knows that Ferrari now have a four-times world champion signed up who needs to drive; plus they have Alonso and Raikonnen on contract – three World Champions after two cars. And Ferrari won’t blink because they believe dragging things out for too long will mean Alonso losing the only competitive drive currently available – McLaren.

    A compromise, therefore, might be for Ferrari to pay off Raikennon (who is currently embarassed by his inability to drag a competitive race out of his car) for a sum much less than Alonso needs for his release. And then retain Alonso for one more year.

    Meanwhile, Grosjean announced his contract at Lotus and then quickly rescinded his tweet. So, perhaps this seat is still available – perhaps for Raikonnen who had his best recent days there.

    This could then mean Gosjean for McLaren, where Boullier might fondly imagine that his ex-protege might be a Ricciardo to Button’s Vettel. And Gary Paffet has recently left McLaren leaving a test spot for Magnussen.

    See? It all makes sense:

    Ferrari – Alonso and Vettel (though not a happy place to be until Alonso leaves in 2016)

    Lotus – Maldanado and Raikonnen (a proven Lotus driver able to take advantage of a new Mercedes engine)

    McLaren – Button and Grosjean (a World Champion and a pretender. A combination of partially-proven potential and experience. Magnussen stays to pick up the pieces in 2016).


    1. All quite feasible, 1 point though, Alonso had a clause in his contract with Renault allowing him to leave if they did not provide a competitive (winning?) car, this is apparently a common clause in drivers contracts and I doubt Alonso would not have it in his Ferrari contract, therefore if Alonso wants to go there is no payout to Ferrari to be considered.

      1. @hohum But Ferrari and Alonso have mutually agreed to part ways, meaning that Alonso won’t have to pay them, contract clause or not. But Alonso was, until a few weeks ago when he signed for McLaren, not allowing Ferrari to break his contract, so that if he does indeed take a sabbatical or fails to find a seat for 2016 (after the sabbatical), he will still be paid around $30,000,000 (note the dollar sign) per year from Ferrari like Kimi was in 2010!

    2. Makes sense, especially the part about the Mexican stand-off.

      The outcome of the push to remove the minnows from the sport might have a bearing though…

    3. Anthony Woodall
      21st November 2014, 0:33

      Theory blown out of the water already! And only three days after my initial post.

      My new theory is that Ron Dennis doesn’t want either to demotivated JB (if he’s leaving) or make him complacent (if he’s staying), so he’s holding off any announcement ’till after Abu Dhabi. If he is leaving, though, I agree with everyone else that to retire him without a proper race send off would be especially shabby, and would sour further my already poor opiinion of the McLaren management style.

  24. Very poor PR for the team……..think Bob Geldorf has a word he uses on SKY for this………….

  25. At least the original Fernando and Ron Show began well. The 2015 version seems to be starting with somebody holding someone else hostage over something. Which one is making the demands the other refuses to accept? Or is it both of them? Surely if McLaren are dumping Button they don’t really care enough to take this long to do it.

    *Or*, are the main parties to this show and other interested parties all waiting for the 3 car teams shoe to drop? Then make their deals.

  26. Hearing that there’s some internal politics at play & the team is split on which direction to take as while Jenson’s experience is seen as a asset they have also been seriously impressed with Kevin this year.

    Everyone see’s Alonso as been the guy who can help lead the team over the next few years & lead the development of the package through 2015 to be strong title contenders from 2016 onwards.

    The problem then comes that the team have been highly impressed with Kevin Magnussen this season & there are many who see him as been someone who will stick with the team long term & who will learn a lot from been alongside Fernando & who will continue to grow into a driver who many within the team see as a future world champion.
    There is concern that putting him on the sidelines for a year in a test/reserve/simulator role will be detrimental to his longer term progression & could see him tempted away from the team if another top drive offer comes up.

    Its like I have said a dozen times before, Fans watching on TV only look at the statistics & some drivers are more popular than others which brings in fan biases etc… For the fans/media they look at which driver is ahead in the championship & how many times each driver has out-qalified/finished ahead of the other & they make decisions based solely off that.
    The team have all of the data, They know the strengths & weaknesses of there drivers, They know which is better in what areas & thats what they will be looking at. The other stats do play a role but for them the data is the main thing they look at.

    1. Going to my last paragraph, An example is Daniel Ricciardo.
      When Red Bull signed him to the main team last year a lot of fans didn’t really rate him as been someone who could really push Vettel & there were many who felt Vergne was better & that Daniel had only been pisked to be an easier #2 for Vettel.

      Well Red Bull had all the data & they went with Daniel based purely off that data which they believed showed he was the strongest of the Red Bull backed guys available.

      It was the same with Danill Kvyat, Many fans felt he was too young & that others in the Red Bull program were better.
      Red Bull went with there data & I think he’s proved that he was the right choice & again he was the driver they saw as the best option to move upto the main team in place of Vettel for next year.

    2. I wonder if McLaren would have been quite content with Button/Magnussen for 2015, but Honda forced the issue with Alonso for 2015 as has been rumored so often. It seems to make sense if this whole delay in naming Alonso’s partner for 2015 has been over which driver to keep. For the long term it does make more sense to keep KM if they really believe he is that good. It would be more honorable to let Button know before what is potentially his last race in F1 rather than after. Since they have all the data, I wonder what is taking this long?

    3. Is it possible that they are waiting for Alonso, who is in turn waiting to see if there might be a chance of signing for Mercedes for 2016 to determine how much he wants to insist on a get out clause (and its precise wording) to be able to do so @gt_racer (implying that McLaren would already know with whom they would like to continue, that is in case Alonso does finally sign)?

      Or is that deal clearly done and dusted and they really just cannot make up their minds between Button and Magnussen?

  27. Perhaps Ron Dennis has hired Lord Sugar to point the finger, and he’s not available until Christmas Day.

  28. Some breaking news that I just made up…

    Button and Alonso to leave F1 and join Webber as an all star lineup for one of the Porsche WEC entries.

    McLaren now have a last minute panic to find somebody to partner Magnussen that Honda would be happy with.

    Based on McLaren mucking about and not confirming anything, and leaving Button not knowing if this is his last race, this would be pretty funny.

  29. Surely the key factor thats holding things up is Alonso’s existing 2015 contract with Ferrari, and the financial penalty associated with breaking his contract? You can only presume that each party is waiting on the other, mexican stand-off style. Alonso and McLaren have probably already agreed on their own deal, but getting Alonso out of Ferrari is the key. In the meantime they keep JB and KMag in play just in case.

    Ferrari have already committed to paying Alonso, Kimi and now Vettel in 2015, so are reasonably set from the drivers side.. but would want significant dollars back for losing Alonso. Ferrari would want Alonso to blink first and force McLaren to pay for Alonso’s 2015 contract for next year. On the other side, Alonso would like Ferrari to announce Vettel, break his contract and force Ferrari to pay for 2015 despite driving for the other side.

  30. And there goes respect to Mclaren through the window… they act like children. How on Earth anyone gets management positions out there. They clearly don’t know how to make decisions!

    1. Or there is more to this situation than even the speculation in the comments on this site….

  31. Maybe El Torero wants more dow than they can come up with. By using fancy language they try to hide this.

  32. I get the impression Button has had enough. I would imagine he’ll probably come out this weekend and say he is leaving Mclaren regardless, he’s made enough noises about feeling unwanted and I don’t think he is that bothered about staying in F1 if that is his only option. Button is still plenty young enough to go and drive in GT’s next year and join Williams for 2016 and we know Frank is a big fan.

    I hope McLaren suffer for all this, however I cannot believe they’d put anybody up against Alonso who is got any chance of giving him a hard time.

    So how about a shock Alonso & Raikkonen to McLaren? With Vettel and Button to Ferrari! Pigs might fly.

    Vettel has been to the McLaren factory twice though, I don’t think his Ferrari deal is signed yet.

  33. @keithcollantine Between the title and the time published on the top of the article it says “2024 F1 season”. I think it is supposed to say “2015 F1 season”. It will be 2024 before we know it, but let’s not rush it along!

  34. Seems like waiting if there will be 3 car teams or not.

  35. Both Mclaren & Alonso have become part of a boring news cycle. No offense to either of them, just that the media kind of over-reported on them.

    I feel really sorry for JB. He is a World Champ. He deserves at least some respect. After this point if he ends up driving for McLaren in 2015 it is probably because he was desperate.

  36. It may not be McLaren’s fault that they haven’t announced anything. If the top drivers are waiting to hear if three car teams will happen next year then they won’t want to commit to any team just yet. This is possibly why Alonso hasn’t confirmed with McLaren, Vettel hasn’t confirmed with Ferrari, Hamilton hasn’t confirmed with Mercedes, and why Button hasn’t confirmed that he is off to the WEC.

    If three car teams become a reality then you will have Alonso and Vettel fighting for the third seat at Merc I would have thought. That would mean Button would stay at McLaren along with K-Mag and Alonso or Vettel. (depending on who gets the Merc seat)

    I don’t think any of the big three (Alonso, Vettel & Hamilton) would really want to go to Ferrari due to politics and current lack of form, which is why Vettel hasn’t announced anything, as he would really rather go to Mercedes.

    If it stays as two car teams then I think that Alonso will go to McLaren, Lewis will stay at Merc and Vettel will go to Ferrari. I think the main reason that Vettel is leaving Red Bull is that he knows Ricciardo is quicker than him and that he would have been under pressure from Kyvat as well. If he can get a Mercedes seat then great, if not then going to Ferrari where he will be guaranteed #1 status wouldn’t be so bad, even if the car isn’t as competitive.

    It’s all speculation of course, which is great fun!! But I do honestly believe that it’s the drivers who are playing the teams, rather than the teams hanging out decisions.

    1. “I don’t think any of the big three (Alonso, Vettel & Hamilton) would really want to go to Ferrari due to politics and current lack of form, which is why Vettel hasn’t announced anything, as he would really rather go to Mercedes.”

      Was it not reported that Vettel made comments in German media confirming that he is going to Ferrari. He might prefer Mercedes but may not be an option

      1. He may well have done, but what I was speculating about is “if” we go to three car teams then you can bet he will fight tooth and nail to get that third seat at Mercedes. We all know that contracts/promises mean little in F1 ;)

  37. McLaren are going the same way as Force India when it comes to procrastinating over drivers. Remember a couple of years ago when Paul di Resta was sat on his lonesome on the wheel of the car at the launch?

  38. I still think Mclaren are hankering after Lewis,that’s why Mercedes are pushing for a deal to be signed straight after the decider in Abu Dhabi . Methinks the Wolff is worried his all singing all dancing Superstar might be persuaded to rejoin Mclaren. Lets hope he wins the title then watch them relax more ….. Why would you leave when your winning…. Yep Big Ron is definitely hankering for a super line up ,I can’t see it being Jenson that takes that place

  39. I have a horrible feeling that there is another driver in play somewhere which is why McLaren cannot decide. Maybe they have already decided between Jenson and Kevin but they could be willing to drop both if this mystery third person says yet? Lewis, Vettel even?

  40. The situation at Mclaren is very simple. It has nothing to do with Jenson Button. Mclaren wants Alonso on a long term contract but Alonso is not willing to commit long term. They are probably negotiating performance get out clauses and this does take a while. JB’s career at Mclaren is over if they do get Alonso, his only chance to stay is if Mclaren and Alonson can’t come to an agreement. Besides that, Mclaren has all the telemetry data of Button’s performance and the fact they haven’t signed him up for next year speaks for itself. Button was never top of food chain and thats undeniable.

    1. Well if this is correct and it could well be, it’s a very shabby way to treat Jenson. Not to even allow him to have a proper farewell with the team and in front of the fans. He sounds very upbeat as well judging by his tweets. Who knows though!

  41. I think that JB agreed to leave around a month ago – but McLaren included a clause (and payment) for JB to remain quiet whilst other negotiations with Alonso are on-going. I think that McLaren will announce something this week about JB – but just want to divert any media interest by saying it’ll be next month … then McLaren will re-gain respect for doing the right thing …. (I hope)

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