McLaren initially said that they'd announce their Formula One driver lineup for 2015 on December 1. That date came and went. Then it leaked out that McLaren's board would meet today to finalize their driver list. They did, and they apparently got nothing nailed down at all.
"Today's board meeting has now concluded, and no decision has been taken with regard to our 2015 driver line-up," said a McLaren spokesman, as quoted on Autosport.
YOU HAD ONE JOB, MCLAREN.
ONE MAJOR, IMPORTANT JOB.
Okay, that could be a bit of an oversimplification. Ron Dennis is looking to take a controlling interest in the team, but still needs to secure additional outside funding to do so. Per James Allen on F1, the deadline for a decision on that move has been pushed to January.
That isn't the decision that has two drivers' careers sitting in limbo right now, though, and it's not the one that McLaren should be focusing on.
Jenson Button's tweet after the meeting says it all:
While Fernando Alonso is all but publicly confirmed to have one of the two driver's spots for next year, neither Jenson Button nor Kevin Magnussen know whether they will stay on with the team for next year.
Many fans and Alonso himself would prefer Button to stay, as the former world champion would bring a host of experience and technical knowledge to the table that would be valuable in McLaren's first year back with Honda.
Button also destroyed Magnussen in championship points this year, scoring 126 to Magnussen's 55.
Ron Dennis, however, is rumored to favor youth over experience. Kevin Magnussen is only 22, while Button is 34. Magnussen was brought up through McLaren's Young Driver Program and could be a decent talent to continue developing alongside experienced racer and two-time world champion Fernando Alonso.
Another factor to throw into the mix is cost. The younger talent of Kevin Magnussen would receive a lower salary than Jenson Button.
David Coulthard recently called McLaren out in the Daily Mail for letting shareholder shenanigans affect the driver lineup decision for 2015.
If you just look at results then Jenson is the guy who should be in that seat next year.
He has outperformed and outscored his team-mate and that has nothing to do with personality or his nationality. But unfortunately for Jenson, the business of Formula One is what funds the sport so he may well be a casualty.
I don't know this for a fact, but there are all sorts of behind-the-scenes shareholding wrangling which is all about funding.
I believe some of the partners already involved with McLaren are Danish companies so they are going to be supportive of Kevin.
He is a nice lad and has a bright future ahead of him, but Jenson has got a lot of public support. He is a well-known, recognisable, likeable face, an asset to Formula One and to McLaren.
Between the Danish backers and Ron Dennis' possible takeover, the McLaren board is letting too many outside interests influence their driver decision for next year to disastrous, indecisive results.
Commercial interests may be necessary for keeping the team afloat, but more weight needs to be placed on the needs of those who deal with the day-to-day operations of the team itself. It isn't just the drivers who are inconvenienced by this indecision, but rather the entire team who needs to know who they're working with for 2015 and how to develop the new cars to best suit those drivers.
Whoever they choose, absolutely no one is amused by McLaren's continual stalling, which needed to have ended BEFORE December 1.