McLaren board meeting fails to produce a 2015 driver lineup

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The wait goes on for McLaren, as a board meeting today is yet to determine the team’s 2015 driver lineup.

While Fernando Alonso appears to be all-but-publicly confirmed for a return, the fate of the team’s two 2014 drivers, Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen, remains unknown. Additionally, the late-season form of Stoffel Vandoorne in GP2 could well have put the team’s Belgian reserve driver in play.

“Today’s board meeting has now concluded, and no decision has been taken with regard to our 2015 driver line-up,” read a statement from McLaren, distributed to media (Autosport, James Allen, etc.)

McLaren had announced that a decision on or after December 1 was imminent, but this news appears to push that back even further into the winter.

It’s a difficult position for the drivers to be left in, as there are no other remaining seats on the Formula One grid for 2015, and it does not get the revived McLaren-Honda pairing off on the right foot from a PR standpoint.

There could well be commercial issues at play here, as the team is yet to reveal its primary commercial partner for 2015 either. Both Button and Magnussen were present at a Johnnie Walker event earlier Thursday.

UPDATE, 1:45 p.m. ET: Button has tweeted a simple emoji that says so much without writing anything at all.

Michael Schumacher’s son to make F1 practice debut at Nurburgring

F1 Mick Schumacher
Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images
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MARANELLO, Italy — Mick Schumacher, son of the legednary seven-time champion, will have an official Formula One drive during an F1 race weekend for the first time next week at the Nurburgring, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari said Tuesday.

Schumacher gets the practice drive in an Alfa Romeo on Oct. 9 on his home track in Germany as a member of Ferrari’s young driver program, taking over Antonio Giovinazzi’s car for the first session of the weekend.

“I am overjoyed to get this chance in free practice,” Schumacher said in a statement. “I’m going to prepare myself well, so that I can do the best possible job for the team and gain some valuable data for the weekend.”

The 21-year-old Schumacher leads the Formula 2 standings after winning races in Monza and Sochi. He won the European Formula 3 championship in 2018 and tested a Ferrari F1 car in Bahrain in April 2019. He also has done demonstration runs in his father’s old cars, most recently this month ahead of the Tuscan Grand Prix in a championship-winning 2004 Ferrari.

Michael Schumacher holds the F1 record with 91 victories, which Lewis Hamilton is on the verge of tying.

Ferrari said two other drivers in its academy program will also get practice drives in Formula One.

Callum Ilott, a British driver who is second to Mick Schumacher in F2, will drive an F1 Haas at the Nurburgring on the same day as Schumacher. Russian driver Robert Shwartzman will drive in practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Dec. 11, though Ferrari hasn’t said for which team.

The German round was added to the F1 schedule after the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the season and will be officially known as the Eifel Grand Prix after a nearby mountain range. The Nurburgring last hosted F1 in 2013.