McLaren Chooses Jenson Button And Fernando Alonso To Drive In 2015

Illustration for article titled McLaren Chooses Jenson Button And Fernando Alonso To Drive In 2015

The wait is over, per BBC Sport. McLaren's Formula One driver lineup for 2015 includes two world champions in Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso.


"Fernando and Jenson have started a combined total of precisely 500 grands prix between them - a mighty aggregate - and have won 47 of them," explained McLaren chairman Ron Dennis to the BBC. "I can safely say, therefore, that we now have by an order of magnitude the best driver line-up of any current Formula 1 team."

Experience ultimately trumped age, as twenty-two-year-old Kevin Magnussen was the other contender for the McLaren seat. McLaren's internal data suggested that Magnussen was slightly quicker than his older teammate, but Button was better at turning his pace into points.

Thirty-four-year-old Button scoring 126 points over Magnussen's 55 ultimately tipped the team in favor of keeping their older driver.

Magnussen will remain at McLaren as a test driver for 2015.


This will be Jenson Button's sixteenth season in Formula One.

However, his contract is believed to be for only half the approximately $18.8 million salary he earned this year.


Teammate Fernando Alonso will be one of the highest paid drivers on the grid, with a $40 million a year deal for two years with the option of one more. If things do not pan out as hoped in 2015, however, sources say that Alonso will be allowed to leave.

Fernando Alonso is thirty-three years old.

Let's hope that's not the case, though. Formula One needs another engine supplier in the mix that is competitive with the Mercedes power units, and everyone wants to see McLaren back near the top.


McLaren will be the first team to use the new Honda power units, and both Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button are excited about the prospect of running them next year.

"Like Fernando, I am certain that McLaren and Honda will achieve great things together and I feel sure that, working together, all of us will pull incredibly hard to create a brilliantly effective winning team," said Jenson Button to the BBC.


This is the last driver announcement of the silly season before 2015, and is promising news for McLaren. Allowing experienced drivers to help develop the new car and the new Honda power units was a good move, as is keeping Magnussen around as a test driver. Keeping Magnussen in that role gives McLaren the opportunity to develop his talent further and gives them a solid young driver should either Button or Alonso leave the team in 2016.

As for the brutal wait? Per Craig Scarborough's tweet from McLaren's media event today:


Sounds excuse-y, but whatever. We're glad it's finally decided.

Photo credit: Getty Images

UPDATE: We initially said that Jenson's contract was only for one year based on information in the BBC's report. However, Will Buxton's tweet from the media event where McLaren is making its formal announcement about their driver lineup confirms that both drivers have multi-year deals:



Common, you can do it.