McLaren in big decision whether to keep Jenson Button or not
Formula 1 constructor McLaren have stated that they will delay the announcement of their two-driver line-up for the 2015 season until December 1st, meaning Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen have been left to sweat.
It follows the expected news that two-time world champion Fernando Alonso, arguably the most gifted diver currently on the circuit, will rejoin the Surrey-based team.
McClaren said on their official Twitter account: “We know you’re awaiting news on our driver line-up. We’ll announce after December 1st – you’ll hear it here first.”
“Selecting the optimal driver line-up for a Formula 1 team is clearly an important process, and it is therefore one that requires precise and prolonged analysis,” they added.
In terms of results, Briton Button, Formula 1 winner in 2009, has completely out-driven rookie Dane Magnussen, getting 51 points more (with 106) ahead of the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi. It could also ultimately be the last Grand Prix in Button’s illustrious career.
A delay in the announcement could work in Button’s favour, though, as McLaren were expected to drop the 34-year-old without thought, as he earns a reported £10m salary, compared to Magnussen’s £500k. Alonso, meanwhile, is set to be offered a deal higher than the Brit’s.
But quotes from Button in recent weeks may have swayed McLaren’s decision, after he said: “Whatever happens next year, the money is not the issue in any way, shape or form, for me anyway. Whether I’m racing here in F1 or racing somewhere else, I do it because I love it.”
So, perhaps representatives from both parties are trying to sort out a deal that could see the team have a mouth-watering line-up next season.
McClaren are way down in fifth this year in the standings, after placing so consistently high for the last three decades. After a promising start to the season, with both Magnussen and Button finishing on the podium in the opening race, neither driver has managed to be in the top three since.
Button is currently seventh in the individual standings, but he can be backed at 7/1 to be on the podium in the United Arab Emirates, in what could be his last race in the sport, certainly for McLaren.
He is, meanwhile, a 66/1 chance top win his 16th career Grand Prix, and potentially upset one of Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, who are vying for the Drivers’ Championship.
McLaren could also overtake Alonso’s current team Ferrari in the final race, as they are 41 points behind them, with 86 available due to the double points rule.