McLaren aiming to set 2015 driver lineup before this season’s end


McLaren’s duo of Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen had a great Russian Grand Prix last weekend, but they still aren’t sure if they’ll be around in Woking next season.

However, McLaren team principal Eric Boullier (pictured, right) said today in a media teleconference that the team is working to have its 2015 driver lineup finalized by Abu Dhabi.

“I hope to sort out our decision on the driver line-up before the end of the season, yes,” Boullier said.

“It’s true that it takes a bit more time than maybe we have to deal with, but it’s still on course to be before the end of the season, yes.”

With current Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso rumored to be re-joining McLaren next year, it would appear that both Button, the former World Champion, and Magnussen, the Danish rookie, are essentially competing for their futures in Formula One.

But at least in Button’s case, Boullier said that the team is fully aware of what he’s worth.

“We know the value of Jenson and we know he is a world-champion-class driver and has been a world champion already,” the Frenchman said. “We don’t need him to deliver an extra job on track in order to save his job.”

Nonetheless, Button’s runs in the last two Grand Prix surely couldn’t have hurt his chances. He finished fifth in a soggy Japanese Grand Prix two weekends ago, and last Sunday in Sochi, he earned a fourth-place result directly ahead of Magnussen.

Boullier appeared to try and empathize with the Brit’s current situation regarding his place in F1, but also maintained that he has to do what he feels is right for McLaren in the year ahead.

“I understand that he may not feel comfortable and he is obviously concerned about his future,” Boullier said of Button. “But again, unfortunately, I’m in charge of McLaren Racing and we have to build the best for the team and drivers are obviously very important for our discussion.

“Jenson is more than considered to stay with us for the long-term, but we are still investigating what we want to do with our driver line-up once we have all the data in hand.”