Formula 1

Jenson Button may lose out to rookie driver in McLaren lineup

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McLaren's clarification of their driver line-up for 2015 will have to wait, as the team are still analysing the situation.

Racing Director Eric Boullier revealed that McLaren have left their drivers, including former world champion Jenson Button, in a state of uncertainty. 

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Boullier comments

But the 40-year-old is looking to make sure he gets the right men to take the team forward and speaking to the BBC, he said: "I'm in charge of McLaren Racing and we have to build the best for the team. 

"Drivers are obviously very important in the discussion and 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 our hands."

However Boullier did make it absolutely clear that it is not a case of Button needing to prove himself in the final three races of the season in order to secure the 2015 drive.

"We don't need him to deliver an extra job on track to - let's say - save his
job."

Confirmation

The Frenchman knows that he will not learn anything new about the 34-year-old in three races and everybody is aware of the qualities which Jenson offers to a team.

"We know the value of Jenson and we know he is a world champion-class driver
and he has been a world champion already," he continued.

What it seems to be the case of is a waiting game of availability of other drivers rather than anything else. And Jenson Button himself still holds hopes of one more shot at the Formula One championship.

"I would love to be in a competitive car in Formula 1 (for 2015). And that is my aim and that is what I am going to do everything to do," he told the BBC.

He went on to speak about the uncertainty around the driver positions and that it is his rookie team mate Kevin Magnussen who will be feeling the pressure more than him.

Other worries

"I think it is probably a bit tougher on my team-mate because I have been racing in Formula 1 for 15 years. I have been a World Champion and I have won 15 races and obviously my aim is to win more races, but I have had a great career.

"For him, it is a lot more difficult. There is a lot more pressure on his shoulders because it is his first year in. If he doesn't get a drive next year it is tough for him."

Should Magnussen stay?

Where as with Button, it can be almost guaranteed that he will deliver to a required level but for Magnussen, he does not have the track record behind him. That being said, he has so much more to offer in terms of potential and if one of the two were to face the chop, though it would be a little more risky, it could be far more rewarding long-term to stick with the Dane.

The 22-year-old is the 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 champion and has come through the McLaren junior programme. He has performed respectably in his first season with the team but if McLaren are to pay faith with their junior system then Stoffel Vandoorne, who had an excellent race in the GP2 series at the weekend will also be in contention.

Need for change

It is clear that they want a big name driver to take them forward into their Honda era. And it is no secret that Fernando Alonso is the number one target. If he can find the right financial package which will sort the deal, I would have thought that is the most likely scenario.

Lewis Hamilton's name will always be linked with McLaren as well for obvious reasons and a return to his home should not be ruled out for the future. But if a change to the driver line-up is made then it means a huge decision in whether they back Button with his Honda links or chose to support their upcoming stars. 

It would be a real shame if Magnussen was not given another opportunity to show his ability and I feel McLaren are quietly expectant of him. Which would be unfortunate news for Button, should they succeed in landing Alonso.

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