McLaren holding off on 2015 driver decisions until at least December

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Citing the need to keep focus on the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this weekend, McLaren has announced that it will delay a final decision on its 2015 driver lineup until at least December.

Team principal Eric Boullier had said last month that McLaren would aim to have the matter settled before Abu Dhabi. Instead, both of its current drivers, ex-World Champion Jenson Button and rookie Kevin Magnussen, will enter the final race without confirmation of a place on the grid for next season.

“Selecting the optimal driver line-up for a Formula One team is clearly an important process, and it is therefore one that requires precise and prolonged analysis,” the team said in a statement.

“That being the case, and in order to avoid distracting the race team from its primary objective during the final Grand Prix weekend of the season, which is to secure the best possible on-track results, we have decided to defer our final deliberations relating to our 2015 driver line-up until a date no earlier than Monday December 1st.”

The team also tweeted:

Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso remains heavily rumored to be returning to Woking in 2015 as McLaren flips engine manufacturers from Mercedes to Honda; the Honda power unit made its unofficial debut recently during a filming day at Silverstone.

McLaren’s statement ended with the team confirming that it would run a Honda test car during the post-race test session at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit.

“…We have spent the past nine months comprehensively recruiting and restructuring within our design and engineering departments; over the next few days, we will be evaluating and trialling a range of aerodynamic upgrades for the forthcoming Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and for the 2015 Formula 1 season,” it said.

“Furthermore, we are now only a few days away from formally commencing our exciting technical partnership with Honda, and, subject to satisfactory final bench-testing, it is currently our intention to run our interim development car, the McLaren MP4-29H/1X1, on the test days that will follow the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.”

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”