Button, Magnussen remain in limbo as McLaren decision awaits


Yesterday’s non-announcement of the 2015 McLaren driver lineup only served to frustrate, rather than answer the single biggest remaining question of the current Formula One offseason.

While it remains a difficult decision to pick between Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen alongside the yet-to-be-officially-confirmed Fernando Alonso, the fact remains both 2014 drivers have been done a disservice by the team’s handling of the decision.

Either has upside for the future. Button, all class ’til the end and a prior World Champion, would no doubt be an asset from Japanese culture (prior Honda experience), car development and outright points-scoring standpoints.

Magnussen, the young Dane, was heralded as F1’s “can’t miss” prospect a year ago, yet after an up-and-down 2014 failed to fully live up to his potential. Still, only 22, Magnussen’s likely a cheaper and more viable long-term prospect who should be able to improve in year two.

Were Magnussen to be dropped, he’d be the second young driver in as many seasons dropped after a single season with McLaren. Were it Button, he would not have had a proper sendoff season – or even a proper sendoff Grand Prix if a decision was made known prior to Abu Dhabi.

So they’re both cast into a no-win situation from here.

McLaren finds itself a bit on the back foot heading into the offseason. It’s endured two test days with an interim chassis, and only completed a handful of installation laps. It’s failed to confirm its lineup in the time frame it planned to do.

Most of all, it finds itself now up against the backlash of public opinion in the face of how it’s handled the driver announcement, or lack thereof.

It will be last among the nine confirmed teams (Caterham is still a questionable squad for 2015) to answer the call for who will be in its cars, and traditionally, that doesn’t bode well for any team the following season.

You hope things can get better for McLaren, but it’s difficult to imagine them getting significantly better overnight.

Here was the Button/Magnussen Twitter conversation on Thursday. Note a pairing that doesn’t seem like it wants to get broken up, but it feels inevitable…

Final 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona results, points


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona overall results were all streaks: two consecutive victories in the endurance classic for Meyer Shank Racing and three in a row for Acura.

And Helio Castroneves became the second driver to win three consecutive Rolex 24s and the first to win in three straight years (Peter Gregg won in 1973, ’75 and ’76; the race wasn’t held in ’74 because of a global oil crisis).

Starting from the pole position, Tom Blomqvist took the checkered flag in the No. 60 ARX-06 that led a race-high 365 of 783 laps with co-drivers Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud and Colin Braun.

RESULTS: Click here for the finishing order in the 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona l By class

POINTS: Standings after Rolex 24 at Daytona l Michelin Endurance Cup standings l Daytona endurance points

Meyer Shank Racing now has two Rolex 24 victories and the 2022 championship since entering the premier prototype category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2021.

“I think what’s so special about this team is we are a small team compared to some of our opponents, but the atmosphere, the way we work, enables people to get the best out of themselves, and I think that’s why we’re such high achievers,” Blomqvist said. “I think there’s no egos. It’s a very open book, and that just enables each and every one of us to reach our potential. I think that’s why we’ve achieved so much success in really a short time at this level of competition.”

It’s the 16th IMSA victory for MSR.

The 61st running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona marked the debut of the Grand Touring Prototype category that brought hybrid engine technology to IMSA’s top level.

In other categories:

LMP2: James Allen passed Ben Hanley on the final lap and delivered a victory in the No. 55 ORECA by 0.016 seconds. It’s the second IMSA victory for Proton Competition, which last won at Sebring in 2012. It was the first Rolex 24 victory for Allen and co-drivers Gianmaria Bruni, Fred Poordad and Francesco Pizzi.

GTD Pro: Cooper MacNeil won in the last start of his IMSA career as the No. 79 Mercedes-AMG GT3 scored the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for WeatherTech Racing and the team’s fourth career victory.

MacNeil, who co-drove with Maro Engel, Jules Gounon and Daniel Juncadella, earned his 12th career victory and first at the Rolex 24.

“Winning by last IMSA race is tremendous,” MacNeil said.

GTD: The No. 27 Heart of Racing Team delivered the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for Aston Martin, which has been competing in endurance races at Daytona International Speedway since 1964. Drivers Marco Sorensen, Roman De Angelis, Darren Turner and Ian James (also the team principal) earned the victory in the English brand’s 13th attempt.

It’s also the first Rolex 24 at Daytona win for Heart of Racing, which has seven IMSA wins.

LMP3: Anthony Mantella, Wayne Boyd, Nico Varrone and Thomas Merrill drove the No. 17 AWA Duqueine D08 to victory by 12 laps for the team’s first class win in IMSA.


Fastest laps by driver

Fastest laps by driver after race (over the weekend)

Fastest laps by driver and class after race

Fastest lap sequence

Lap chart

Leader sequence

Race analysis by lap

Stint analysis

Time cards

Pit stop time cards

Best sector times

Race distance and speed average

Flag analysis

Weather report

NEXT: The 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season will resume with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring March 18 with coverage across NBC, USA and Peacock.