Jenson Button, McLaren, Suzuka, 2014

McLaren tipped to announce Button will keep seat

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: McLaren are tipped to use their announcement today to confirm Jenson Button will remain at the team and be joined by Fernando Alonso in 2015.

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Jenson Button, McLaren, Suzuka, 2014Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Jenson Button wins McLaren reprieve for 2015 season (The Telegraph)

“The Briton’s management and Dennis did not speak for nearly two weeks after the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi, with many feeling the team have not shown Button the respect he deserves as a former world champion.”

Caterham in talks with three buyers (Caterham)

“Caterham’s administrator says talks are ongoing with ‘three interested parties’ as they look to get the team on the Formula One grid next season.”

Williams: Our season defies cost crisis (ESPN)

Claire Williams: “From where we were last season, it’s such an amazing achievement against the likes of Ferrari which is operating on a budget twice the size of ours.”

Hulkenberg sure chance will come (Autosport)

“We didn’t work good enough or efficient enough but I think if we can do that, if we can be better there and bring the updates as we wanted, then I can see us getting stronger again.”

How to drive a real F1 car (AutoWeek)

“There were three real F1 mechanics and a whole squadron of support personnel. Our 2005/2006 Renault had a Peugeot V10 it because Renault will not let GP Experience use its engines for this.”

F1 Teams To Be Consulted Over New Chairman (Forbes)

“The replacement for Mr Brabeck-Letmathe would take over these responsibilities so it seems unlikely that he would end up becoming Mr Ecclestone’s successor as one of his duties is to find a suitable candidate.”

Leading F1 into the future (Crash)

“A good manager and marketer, a canny financial officer, and a man who preaches social responsibility? If [Paul] Walsh can’t make F1 look attractive to potential investors, the sport may be a lost cause.”


Comment of the day

There’s been a lot of discussion over McLaren’s driver line-u0 – which may come to an end today – but don’t they have bigger problems to worry about?

In my opinion McLaren’s main problem is not their drivers, but it was their chassis. They had best engine this year plus reliability and they were still fighting in most races for low points-scoring positions.

Next year, even if Honda is the best engine I doubt they will have huge leap from this year. And then they treated badly both Button and Magnussen along with some blunders. I’m huge fan of McLaren, but my respect seemed lost time over time.
Mcl88asap (@Deongunner)

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  • 74 comments on “McLaren tipped to announce Button will keep seat”

      1. Finally – Alo v But — it’s the match-up that should have happened at Renault (really, Trulli?)
        Jenson’s not going into the lion’s den, this time the lion comes to him… But should, in theory, being established at McLaren have the upper hand, esp in the first year, however the “Teflonso” factor (i.e. wanting assured #1 status) will be interesting. I hope it’s a relatively clean competition without the gamesmanship exhibited by Freddo (Fernando is faster than you) in past team-mate competitions. So what will it tell us if Alonso destroys Button like he did Raikkonen? Given a fair contest, I’d say that would cement him as the best driver of this era, hands down. If But shows 80% or greater of Alo’s point haul, then Jenson’s stock would have to be on the up and would reinforce my belief that there’s really a extremely narrow margin between the top 10 drivers in terms of talent. Alonso big scalps so far – Trulli, Massa, Kimi – (not all fair or 100% clear cut). Ham v Alo 2007 was a push IMO (87 HAM v 85 ALO) but Ham was only a rookie… Politics probably played some part, Alo’s desire might have gone off toward the end as well (after the relationship with the team broke down and he started looking at Renault again). Hopefully this will be one of the great intra team battles that ALO v RAI turned out not to be. :)

    1. I would find it immensely funny if McLaren announced an unchanged lineup tomorrow.

      I have an ominous feeling that Alonso is joining his pal Mark Webber at Porsche next season.

      1. I do hope so. F1 needs more Buttons and less Alonsoes, if I’m honest.

        1. Why? Alonso is probably the most exciting driver in F1 right now alongside Ricciardo whereas Button is just…thereabouts.

        2. So more slower drivers and less faster drivers? That’s what F1 needs? ;)

          1. lifelong mclaren fan i hope they leave teflonso without a drive it would make my year i hate that spanish tosser

        3. What F1 needs is less fans like you and more fans that can appreciate one of the best talents of the last decade.

          1. No point arguing. It is obvious these people have not enjoyed any race with FA involved. /s

      2. Talks whith Porsche where abruptly ended according to “auto motor und sport”. Guess why…?

    2. If JB stays (and that’s good news for me because I really like him) I wonder what will happen to Kevin’s career. Surely that’s a big blow, given how fast Stoffel is getting in GP2. If Stoffel wins the championship next year and Kevin’s role is limited to test driver, what will McLaren do?

      1. Bet RB YDP isn´t looking that bad now. At least their drivers get two years.

      2. I know, Kevin’s career had only just begun so what does he do now? I had always thought that he must have known he had got a guaranteed place at McLaren next year because surely he can’t afford to sit around until December before looking for drives next year. I’m not impressed with Jenson or Kevin in the sense that they have waited this long for one single option, but for Kevin this is even worse because he should have been pushing to find something for next year. What does he do now? Perhaps he should have found that out earlier in the year. I’m actually struggling to have sympathy for him.

      3. @fer-no65 I am going to be really unpopular and say keeping Jenson is the wrong decision. Earlier this year Boulier claimed that McLaren were looking for a long term line-up, but this preference appears to have been defeated by external pressure and JB is set to have his third new teammate in three years: oh how difficult is has been to fill Lewis’ shoes, Ron, but hiring Hulkenberg over Perez back in 2012 might have helped you out…

        And so we are set to add Magnussen’s name to a list that also includes Michael Andretti, Heikki Kovalainen and Sergio Perez, after a rookie campaign that failed to deny the fact that with development and nurturing the Dane could fight for race and championship victories. I would like to think that the reason he is set to lose his drive is the immense drivers lining up behind him, with the fact that Vandoorne and De Vries potentially have greater talents a more satisfactory reason to end a promising young career than the mere fear of retribution. With my Button and Vandoorne fan cap on, this is good news (Stoffel’s path to a seat alongside Fernando is now clear), but young driver cap on, it just looks like McLaren have done it again: parachuted a young driver into a A-Grade team and then surprisingly find that they’re not a another Hamilton.

      4. @fer-no65 and what is the guarantee that 2015 would be JB’s swansong? It could a multi-year deal again. It’s a tricky mess for McLaren.

        1. @neelv27 I think it is virtually certain that with Vandoorne performing so excellently, not only in GP2 but in the tests where he has managed more than two out-laps, Button can view 2015 as his final year. Interestingly though, Jenson told AUTOSPORT about a week ago that there was no gaurantee he would accept a McLaren offer…Alonso-Vandoorne then?

          1. @countrygent I agree that to a large extent, that should be the situation however, if the Board is not in agreement with the same not to forget the role of Honda in all of this, it could turn out to be messy.

            I personally would prefer Jenson to have the 2015 as his final season at least at McLaren as I am more excited by the prospect of Stoffel entering Formula 1 not to forget that KMag hasn’t been too shabby.

    3. lol, come midnight and every media outlet is with news of Button retaining seat. News embargo lifted it seems.

    4. So, it’s all over for Kevin M. then.
      I don’t know how I feel about that. McLaren has been upsetting with their decisions lately.

      First, two years ago I though they should have picked Kobayashi instead of Perez.
      Ok, they chose Perez and that’s ok – but they dropped him after only one year.
      Now, they are likely going to drop Kevin after only one year.

      It feels like they are blaming their drivers for the poor performance. They keep replacing drivers in the hope someone will come with super powers and win a championship with any car.

      1. I don’t think this was a case of Kevin under performing. When a driver of Alonso’s caliber becomes available, you’d be crazy to pass on such a opportunity and you do your best to make sure that you make room for him. He was just rather unfortunate that his team-mate happened to be Button who has an immense amount of experience and is a former champion. He did well for a rookie, but only the best remain in F1 for a considerable amount of time and Button was just outright better.

        Putting that aside; it’s not even official that Button will be the second driver. I’ll believe it when I wake up in morning and read it here.

      2. i hope its all over for alonso he is a sneaky cheating (word i cant use her)

      3. The Blade Runner (@)
        11th December 2014, 8:38

        BUT + ALO = DREAMTEAM for this McLaren fan!

        Throw in a (rocket) red and white car and a title sponsor beginning with “M” and I might just need to lie down…

    5. Hope its correct that Button stays. However, if Dennis was keen on K-Mag, and was looking for Danish backers to help him buy in to McLaren, does this mean he failed? If so, is Ron likely to go?

    6. I think Jenson will really be up for this. I think a lot of drivers would like to compare themselves against a driver like Alonso (in the same machine) before they retire. It should be an interesting benchmark. It will be especially interesting to see how quickly Alonso gets up to speed!

      1. @mach1

        It will be especially interesting to see how quickly Alonso gets up to speed!

        Alonso got pole position and finished on the podium in his second race with Renault (Malaysia 2003).
        He won his second race with McLaren (Malaysia 2007).
        And he won his first race with Ferrari (Bahrain 2010).

        Unlike Vettel or Raikkonen, Alonso isn’t someone who needs things to “suit him” or “adjust” to the car to be fast. The guy is just fast right off the bat no matter what car he drives.

        1. After watching him drive the twitchy Ferrari’s without crashing as little as he does, I start to question whether he is human or not. I don’t see how they could have suited anybody.

        2. @kingshark: Back in 2007 and 2010 the drivers were able to test the car before season start and during the season to a level, where we discussed if the drivers health were at stake. So those seasons can hardly account for being “just fast right off the bat”. But lets see if he starts in a McLaren come march.

        3. @kingshark Interesting article here about how Alonso adapted completely to the Michelin tyres in his Renault days, then had to revert back to a ‘normal’ driving style very quickly when he joined McLaren.

        4. and you know what goes on behind the scenens how?

        5. And Jenson won his first GP with Mclaren in his second race of the season in 2010.So he obviously adapted quickly to the car also.

      2. I hope all these early headlines aren’t like the IT’S A GIRL! ones just before someone has a baby boy…

        It’s also good for all the young drivers (who haven’t been kicked out of F1 by their teams) – they can compare themselves with Button and Alonso, and if they can say they beat those two, it’ll mean something.

    7. This feels like echos of the Ferrari team-up last year. A very strong driver line-up that people believe can push the team to challenge when in reality the car is a dud an no one really cares about seeing two top talents fighting for 6th.

      1. @davef1: And sadly the epic battle between Kimi and Alonso we hoped for, didn’t materialize either. But looking at Alonso’s history of dominating his teammates, he only previously had problems at – McLaren – probably because this team didn’t accept to use the Briatore method of choosing one driver and favorize him re ressources, new developments etc. Also Merc has proven in 2014, not to use the preferential treatment.

    8. All McLaren have done is ensure that there in the exact same position in a year’s time but this time with a driver hot off GP2 in Vandoorne & a driver who’s race rusty after a year on the sidelines in Magnussen.

      They should have gone with Magnussen for next year as he’s bound to improve now that he’s got a year under his belt & they would then also have a better idea on which way to go for 2016 & beyond with regards to him & Vandoorne.

      This is good new for Button & his many fans, However its shot McLaren in the foot for the longer term & is going to do harm to Kevin Magnussen’s promising young career & he’s going to be sitting in the garage next year losing track time which will do nothing but hurt his learning process & take a year or 2 off the improvements whihc he woudl be making if he was racing.

      1. And like the BBC article says-

        “McLaren had intended to retain Magnussen on the basis that the team’s data had suggested he was fractionally quicker and had youth and promise on his side.”

        1. That’s rather odd. I’d believe it if Magnussen was within a few points of Button, but he was quite a bit off. I’m not familiar with all the DNF’s between them, but I can’t tell whether it’s the truth or if someone is pushing their agenda.

      2. On a personal note, Magnussen will still have a future, but if Button is dropped now all he will have is a past, which would be the greater injustice.

        1. Not to mention that Button is great value for sponsors and off course to Honda as well. And his experiece (including having to push Honda forward on the engine side) should help a good deal with getting a good car going for 2016 I would think @hohum.

    9. It looks like my “sticker prediction” yesterday is about to become true! Good for Jenson!

    10. Thank you Pirelli, you’re heading in the right direction, keep it up.

      1. Agree, Thought the tyres were for the most part about right through this year.

        I hope they don’t decide to go all crazy with next year’s compounds & take the tyres back to how there were in 2012/13 where they were the primary talking point every weekend & where they gave the impression that the tyres were the deciding factor much of the time.

        1. I think they need to go further still.

        2. They were the deciding factor much of the time. Mercedes could barely make a qualifying lap until their test, Lotus got lucky and could do one less stop than everyone else, Force India lost a lot of performance after the tyre change.

    11. if this is true & they have ditched K-mag, I hope mclaren have there worst ever year!

      jenson has had his time, he’s won a championship & his career will be winding down.

      k-mag showed speed, he showed a lot of promise & his career is just getting started, he deserved the seat for next year & would have shown much better next year given a year of experience.


      1. Amen to that! this swede is hoping for Kevin!

    12. Is this what McLaren mean when they say “5 year plan”? Or a driver lineup with “one experienced driver and one eager young driver”? Which is what Boullier has been saying over and over for months.

      1. Maybe it’s what Ron meant when he said “the 2 best available drivers”.

        1. Exactly.
          Potential come and goes. Some live up to the expectations that great potential brings, and some do not. KMag was always going to get sacked after 2015. There is no way Stoffel is not going to drive in 2016. He is “the” guy with the great potential now.
          For those being upset, I would recommend reading McLaren season review further below… check out the charts; etc…It doesn’t really get much more one-sided. This is such a crazy competative field(I’d easily say the most ever). You need more than potential to stay onboard…

      2. In McLaren’s defense, Alonso is younger than JB (by 18 months and 10 days).

      3. At this point STR are looking better than Mclaren regarding young drivers.

    13. Hahaha I ‘ve just got that hairdresser joke. If you look at Fernando in 2006 and 2007, you can see THAT difference.

      1. It’s definitely not Kevin’s dad preparing for his son’s announcement!

    14. Im inclined to believe AMuS. They’ve always been quite accurate with their “predictions”.

      According to Benson, the Danish media has been invited too, hence its got to be KMag? Why else would they make them fly all the way?..take home bad news?

      Alternatively, it could be Alonso-Button but with a Danish title sponsor with the view that KMag will be a reserve-3rd driver for 15 and getting him back in the race seat for 16, when Jenson cab be given a proper farewell.

      I would love to see Alonso-Button go head to head. There’s a lot of respect between the two and it will be a good clean fight.

      Once again, none of this will matter if Mclaren produce a dud for next year!

      1. for the news that Magnussen is retained as … 3rd driver I guess @jaymenon10. And off course not inviting Danish media would do even more damage to their reputation as well as giving away the secret almost officially up front.

    15. I think the ALO/BUT is the best combination for this first year. Two extremely experienced and supremely talented drivers to sort things out, get the team and the car really moving in the right direction for future development and as Jay mentioned, give Button a proper farewell at the end of the season and move MAG back in for ’16.

    16. As an Alonso fan, I wanted Jenson Button to keep his seat at McLaren, but everytime I look at it from McLaren’s point of view, I really don’t understand why Kevin Magnussen wouldn’t be the better choice. Magnussen has proved time and time again that he has got the speed over Button. The problem is that people keep comparing the two through the statistics or the final few rounds of the season. But I was re-watching the Austrian, German, Belgian and Italian GP, and to be honest, Kevin Magnussen annihilated Button. I understand it’s an exaggeration, but it does show that he undoubtably has the speed. And this is where Magnussen is better than Perez, in my opinion. There was never a race weekend where Perez was out-and-out the fastest McLaren driver, unlike Magnussen this season. And don’t forget, he will only get better in his second season. Are they effectively any better than Helmut Marko, where they ditch drivers like Vergne from a seat. No, they’re worse. They have given a rookie just one year to prove to them he’s mature? Isn’t that like saying (in a simple example) “you’re very good at racing games, so jump onboard F1 2014 Codemasters alongside the guy who has already been playing for several years, and try to beat him almost immediately. Ridiculous, right? And thus, I’m happy they are keeping Button, but don’t really understand their logic. Please understand that this is just MY opinion. I’m not a fan of either so I don’t have any bias. I want Jenson to stay, but that’s solely for pushing Honda to greater lengths so Alonso can win a 3rd championship.

    17. Come on, McLaren. This is not hard. Least talented world champion in the history of motorsport or hopeful Danish talent? This is not a choice anyone can screw up, guys … well, if the British media is right, they obviously can.

      1. Least talented world champion in the history of motorsport

        I don’t think they plan on bringing Villeneuve back. For that matter, I rate Damon Hill lower than Jenson as well.

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          11th December 2014, 9:20

          @gicu – good one!

          1. Keke Rosberg limped to the title with a single win and was prone to melting, bit like Nico.

    18. I think Mclaren will be pretty strong next year. Having a Mercedes engine might have limited their freedom in designing their chassis. With Honda being their dedicated engine for 2015 Mclaren can have the engine get suited to their chassis perfectly.

      Honda started their development on the 2015 engine in early 2014 and they know the tricks that Mercedes have used this year, so I’m really sure they’ll come up with something that’s better ore on par with the German engines.

      Yeah maybe for the first five races they might not get the results that they want . They need a lot of feedback in terms of how the car responds to the engine and how well the electronics work with it but yeah in the long run they’ll be right along side the Mercs in the constructors.

    19. Oeiiiiiiiiiiii! (another davidnotcoulthard account) (@)
      11th December 2014, 6:13

      I wish Marussia tried crowdfunding, not Caterham……

    20. Wow that’s my first COTD, thank you @keithcollantine

    21. I’m confused. I thought that Kevin Magnussen was a once-in-a-generation talent and that McLaren had to move hell and high water to sign him up or else the universe would implode. Now they’re going (presumably) to sack him after a single year? And far too late for him to take his allegedly world-beating talent to another race seat.

      Good job, McLaren. A slow hand clap for you.

    22. So, is this the oldest lineup on the grid or what?

    23. I’m sure Honda had a role in picking Button too.

    24. I’ve said it already, currently McLaren have a young and an experienced driver. Why would they want two “oldies”? Sure they both are still quick, but they’re going to have to be replaced soon and Magnussen (maybe Vandoorne as well) won’t be ready, having had no experience, or will have found a seat somewhere else. Hiring Magnussen was never a one-year project, I hope, just like signing Hamilton. Magnussen, as the only young driver, should be the only one sure of his seat, in my opinion, with two experienced drivers like Button and Alonso battling out for the lead role. Alonso is faster, Button is also a World Champion and has worked with the team for long. Perhaps Jenson is also better at developing the car, maybe not. Either way, Ferrari’s line-up of two experienced drivers didn’t work out and may set McLaren alert.
      Either way, I prefer Button to Alonso, I’ve always had. But after so many years in the sport and results which came lately, and with luck, he should be grateful for his career and give up (he will have to do so soon anyhow) his place in the sport, if McLaren prefer Alonso. Someone who has achieved what he has shouldn’t be put in such a situation, but Magnussen is in the same one and hasn’t been bragging about it every day or two. He possibly faces the end of his F1 career after a single season, and doesn’t have the same open doors his teammate has. And, again, Magnussen can go on for several years (if he improves), Jenson can neither improve nor stay there forever. Alonso here, in my opinion, brings nothing more – he might be quicker than both, but that is hardly going to give McLaren a better shot at the championship or a solid base for the future.

    25. ColdFly F1 (@)
      11th December 2014, 9:25

      Alonso, plus

      – Button for the first half and a proper farewell at Silverstone.
      – Magnussen from Germany onwards!

      (and Alonso obliged to give up his seat to Magnussen for the Korean GP)

    26. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
      11th December 2014, 9:34

      Great news over Button, the pairing with Alonso will be fantastic to watch. However, I’m really appalled by McLaren’s handling of this affair – and I’m surprised by Jenson’s willingness to put up with it.

    27. Claire Williams: “From where we were last season, it’s such an amazing achievement against the likes of Ferrari which is operating on a budget twice the size of ours.”

      Just rub it in a bit more, Claire!

    28. If next years Mclaren is bad (which i want) then i prefer Alonso and Button. Why? Alonso will just move and Button would retire, then 2016 could be magnussen vandoorne

      1. If Alonso isn’t convinced by Suzuka next year at the latest he’ll jump ship and Mclaren will revert to the 2014 driver line up. However, If the pair work well together they’ll be retained for 2016 whilst KMag or Stoffers takes a pew at Force India until 2017 when Button retires to WEC. Either way, I see Button doing 2 more seasons.

    29. I must say I find the Williams comments on low budget success ludicrous. Yes their budget is smaller than some, but way bigger than any of the Teams not on the strategy group, and of course they also automatically get a $30m annual payment from the F1 Group just for being Wiiliams. If they had achieved it on a Sauber budget then the comments might have been valid, but not on their budget.

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