Jenson Button, Kevin Magnussen, McLaren, Spa-Francorchamps, 2014

McLaren criticised over delay in driver decision

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Jenson Button, Kevin Magnussen, McLaren, Spa-Francorchamps, 2014In the round-up: McLaren’s delay in naming their drivers for next year draws criticism.


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Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen made to wait for McLaren decision (The Guardian)

“There had been hope of an announcement on Friday following a board meeting on Thursday involving Dennis and two other senior shareholders, the Tag co-owner Mansour Ojjeh and Mahmood Hashim Al Kooheji, the chief executive of Mumtalakat, Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund. Dennis, though, is not prepared to be rushed despite the anger being expressed by many fans over how they feel both drivers have been treated.”

Jenson Button McLaren delay disgusting – Warwick (BBC)

“They’ve invested heavily in Kevin Magnussen. He’s obviously someone for the future, so I think it’s a difficult situation for them.”

Lego turns down offer to sponsor Magnussen (The Copenhagen Post)

“Danish toy giant Lego has turned down an offer to become one of the sponsors of Kevin Magnussen in his attempt to retain his place in the Formula One team McLaren for next season.”

Thanks @aks-das for the tip.

FIA won’t ask teams to run third cars (Autosport)

Jean Todt: “I remember in Moto GP there were 16 motorbikes and it was still a good race. It is clear – the action is more at the front than at the back.”

Max Verstappen Q&A (Crash)

“Do the tyres surprise you? How crucial they are?
Yep! Compared to all the other classes I’ve run before it’s quite tricky!”

Steward enquiries (FIA)

“Q: Do you think the penalty points system work?
A: I’m not sure. I think it’s up for discussion really. No one got up towards the 12 points that would lead to a race ban, but I think we’ll need look at it again.”

Hamilton deserves better than exile over his tax status (Mark Gallagher)

“Hamilton’s biggest mistake, it seems, was to excuse his initial move from the UK to Switzerland on the grounds of avoiding excessive public and media attention. Better if he had simply said it was a good idea for tax reasons in order to save money for life after F1.”

The First Time – with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen (F1)

“When was your first big accident in a race car?
KR: It was with Sauber at a test. One of my first outings in a Formula One Car!”

Treatment of Button bordering on a disgrace (The Telegraph)

“If it is taking the shilly-shallying suits at McLaren this long to decide on a driver line-up, on the future of one of Britain’s most revered and respected sportsman, then it is difficult to see the team returning to competitiveness this century.”


Comment of the day

Well at least McLaren have given us something to talk about…

I get the feeling that McLaren just genuinely don’t know what the best direction to go in is for the second driver.

Button brings experience, consistency and a good level of speed which will all be a benefit for next year given it will likely be difficult as they work with Honda on the new power unit.
Magnussen lacks experience and was a bit inconsistent through this season but he did show that the raw speed is there and with the opportunity to continue in F1 he gain that experience and his consistency will improve and his speed can only get better.

McLaren’s choice is to stick with a known quantity in Button or go with the future potential of Magnussen.

The only real downside I see to either is that by going with Button there possibly going to be in the same situation a year or more down the road and by leaving Magnussen on the sidelines for a year+ he’s not gaining the race experience which will help him improve so that he’s better when/if they do have him back in the car later on. There’s also Vandoorne to consider and again by leaving Magnussen on the sidelines and not gaining that experience and improving how do you know which of the two to go with a year or two from now?

This is one of the downsides to not having a strong midfield/rear of the grid. There’s nowhere for these young drivers to go to gain F1 experience any more as the midfield is starting to fill with pay drivers as the teams are desperate for cash and the rear of the grid doesn’t really exist now that Caterham and Marussia/Manor are seemingly gone.

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  • 107 comments on “McLaren criticised over delay in driver decision”

    1. It is a tough decision for McLaren, you have one seat taken by Alonso (rumor) and the other one is still open to Button and Magnussen.
      But which driver will you take? A less experience driver who maybe has a bright future in F1 or a World Champion driver with plenty of experience to go along with another world champion???

      1. But you think about it for a day or two, talk it over with the senior staff, weigh the pros and cons, and make a decision. There’s no point in thinking about it for months. The lingering issue must be something else, most likely sponsorship money being negotiatied.

        1. Or possibly who is in control of McLaren depending on whether Dennis raises the money. The potential controlling entities may not agree on who to take so they have to wait for it to settle out.

        2. @ironcito agreed. If you keep weighing the pig it doesn’t get any lighter!

      2. Isn’t the bottom line that the force was strong with Hamilton as a wookie, while it
        appeared to leave Magnussen after the first race last year.

        Hamilton proved that as a wookie he could fight at Alonso’s level. Magnussen has failed
        as a wookie to match Button’s. So I say Mclaren should either stick with Button, or
        try out a newer and potentially better wookie, perhaps Vandoorne. Personally, I’d like
        to see Button vs Alonso for one year, and then throw in a new wookie the following year.

        [Even though helicoptered in, and all the other complaints people issue about Hamilton’s entry, he was helicoptered in with good reason. He matched Alonso in his first season and darned well nearly won it, probably deserved to win it and should have won it had Mclaren not thrown it away with a bum
        call on tyres in China and a gearbox issue in Brazil.]

        1. @boylep6 What’s a wookie?

          1. Should say “rookie” as a “wookie” is a large hairy gorilla thing from Star Wars.

            But I made a typo when I first typed it and thought it was funny so left it in throughout the post, and added a “force” reference.

            1. @boylep6
              I thought it was hilarious. +1


          2. It is a STAR WARS character.

        2. Hamilton didn’t have the deal with the pirelli tyres as a rookie which by all accounts take time to figure out.
          there was also all the other car management which rookies have to deal with now that Hamilton did not.

          you come from the Non-pirelli junior categories where you have durable tyres that can be pushed all race & where you don’t have to manage fuel, energy recovery & stuff & then have to try & figure all that out in f1 & it takes time.

          1. And also I think I read somewhere that HAM had something over 10,000km completed before driving his first race whereas MAG had at least 300km…

          2. This might take Max Verstappen a while to figure out… but it won’t take him too long, he’s the fastest adapter since someone like Alonso.

    2. I never pull this one in arguments but all this criticism comes only because it’s a british driver and a british team.

      The delay means nothing now that every other seat in F1 is filled (except Caterham if they continue). JB surely has seats available at every other motorsport series he desires to contend, but his only option in F1 is McLaren, or a test drive, which I doubt he’d take.

      It’s not like they are throwing him out of the door homeless with no place to go. They’d fire him (or not renew his contract, which was signed in 2011) and he’d still be able to compete… it’s not McLaren’s fault that there aren’t many spots available for him.

      I love the guy, but… it’s a very tricky situation. JB isn’t the FUTURE of McLaren, that’s for sure, putting a youngster alongside Alonso makes so much sense. They are not replacing him with a pay driver…

      I think McLaren are delaying things that much further… there’s no point in rushing it up now.

      1. “I never pull this one in arguments but all this criticism comes only because it’s a british driver and a british team.”

        Then how do you explain that I’m an American and I agree with all the criticism? Maybe it’s just because they’ve effectively ended the career of one driver or the other just to sit around and make a decision they had all the information to make months ago. Disgraceful is right. And I’m a McLaren fan.

        1. I’m an American as well, and I think the reason that britishness has anything to do with it is that the majority of F1 news in English comes from the UK, so UK teams are naturally under more scrutiny. As an example, Green Bay journalists report of the minute details of the Packers, but where I am (Sacramento, California) journos don’t care much about the Packers

          1. no one cares about the packers :D (just kidding!)

      2. German here and completely annoyed about the delays and the way they treat Button. This is a F1 world champion who has plenty more wins and maybe even some more titles in front of himself.

        Also, this has been a daily topic in german motorsport news.

      3. I don’t think it is purely down to the fact that it is a British driver in a British team, but the way in which this is being handled so poorly.

        If McLaren had decided several months ago to fire Button, whilst the British press would have been critical of McLaren at the time, McLaren could have put forward their case to the press and they could have dissipated at least some of that criticism. As it is, we are treated to the spectacle where McLaren are still trying to milk Button’s advertising potential (with Button being rated by independent advertising agencies as a far more globally marketable driver than Magnussen) whilst still trying to push him out of the team.

        Asides from that, it is the fact that many feel that, whilst Button may demand a higher salary, he has paid for himself by ensuring that McLaren didn’t fall behind Force India in the Constructors rankings, with the resultant higher payout from FOM more than offsetting his wage demands.
        His performances in the tail end of this season has effectively salvaged some of McLaren’s prestige this season and, in the races, he has usually finished ahead of Magnussen (sometimes a considerable number of places ahead of him), not to mention a long way ahead of him in the WDC. To outside observers, there will be those wondering why McLaren would want to pick the worse performing driver of the two and one whose performances only showed limited signs of improvement over the course of the season.

        1. Kinda like Vergne did for Torro Rosso in front of rookie of the year Kvyat.

    3. I used to love the “traditional” way many a driver would move up through the ranks.
      Berger: ATS – Arrows – Benetton – Ferrari…
      Boutsen: Arrows – Benetton – Williams…
      Barrichello: Jordan – Stewart – Ferrari…
      even Ricciardo in a way: HRT – Toro Rosso – Red Bull
      With the dying out of the “small team” this practice can no longer take place.
      I’m no fan of helicoptering a talent into a top team like Hamilton, but I understand how and why it happens and that it has always happened to a degree. The problem is however, that at the moment it seems like the ONLY way to make it into a top team, unless you’re a proven top driver or in Red Bull’s academy.
      Notable examples are drivers like Hulkenberg getting stuck in the mire that is the mid-field, drivers like Button or Magnussen who will have no place left to go next year, and drivers like Frijns not ever getting a seat at all.
      There is no natural flow.

      1. don’t forget that Button started his career at Williams! i’m not sure if it’s a bad thing to start in a top team. They were lucky, but i can’t say it’s unfair. Look at football: some great players started in really low teams, and then blossomed to top teams, and then, there are players who started in top teams and went downwards from then on. if you got the talent, it will eventually take you were you belong (with some notable exceptions, like Hulkemberg…)

        1. @matiascasali True, but that was only as a stopgap for Montoya. If he wasn’t focussed on dominating in the USA for two years, he might have done better than Zanardi and Button in 1999/2000 Williams. Button then did Benetton/Renault-BAR-Honda-McLaren. @meander

          However, it opened the dawn for Raikkonen and Alonso to follow after Button, which kick-started that generation (after Fisichella and Trulli started with Minardi; Ralf at Jordan)/the move towards younger debuts that has now finished with Kvyat and Max Verstappen.

          However, I do agree that players/drivers peak at different times, either earlier or later. It’ll be interesting to see if Vettel has peaked, or if he can rediscover his top form at Ferrari.

      2. Don’t forget Alonso…Minardi – Renault test driver – Renault Driver – nice one

      3. @meander We now have the odd situation of Vandoorne being 4th in line for 2 McLaren seats. So even the top young driver programs are useless unless there is a junior team for them to flow out into! That would also resolve the Button/Magnussen debate….

    4. Todt not concerned by 16-car grid

      It would make the online mode of Codemasters games more realistic to be fair.

    5. I’m sure McLaren’s delay is not because they cannot make a decision about the merits of each driver. I suspect each board member has a very clear opinion about who they would give the seat to.

      However, there are politics at play, and a board decision (and announcement) won’t happen until Ron’s efforts to acquire majority ownership of the company have been resolved, one way or another.

      1. My perception is that all this is extremely disrespectful to the drivers.
        McLaren bosses are behaving like cowards that cannot make a decision. Really sad.
        McLaren has lost a ton of credibility for me.

      2. I’m not convinced it is politics to be honest.

        The only logical explanation for McLaren not having made a decision already is that they can’t afford the driver they want. If it really was 50/50 between the 2 drivers, they’d go with Magnussen because he’s younger and will get better. By Button won’t get cheaper.

        I reckon Ron Dennis is trying to persuade the board to stump up some more cash to keep Button.

        For that reason, it’s Magnussen I feel sorry for – either he gets a drive in McLaren next year knowing he’s not wanted, or he doesn’t and his career in F1 might be over…

      3. I think the issue is more financial than driver based. There is no contest really in terms of who would score the most points. I reckon it could be to do with who will attract the most sponsorship income. The board may have said to Ron, if you can raise some money to back Magnussen then you can keep him. If not or it’s not enough. it makes more sense financially to go with Button.

    6. I reckon it might have gone down something like this at McLaren regarding driver choices…

      They sign Alonso, or rather Honda do, to be their number one driver in 2015. They then decide they are going to sign Magnussen as his number two about the same time as they sign Alonso. However – Button then starts destroying Magnussen for the rest of the season so that by the end of the year he is clearly outperforming Magnussen and is the logical choice to be retained by everyone outside of McLaren. Being a British team and with so much of the F1 media being British McLaren do not want to appear to be sidelining the second most popular driver from the UK after a pretty good season with a pretty ordinary car. The backlash will be huge from the media, both specialist motorsport and mainstream, if and when it is announced that Button has been dropped, and McLaren are trying to ‘find a window’ of opportunity to announce this without a massive public backlash. In the meantime they are hurting both Button and Magnussen’s chances of a drive in 2015 elsewhere by delaying their decision.

      Something else I had thought of was that with the rumoured signing of Alonso with Honda, instead of with McLaren, could it be that Alonso is not guaranteed to be long-term with Mclaren after the exclusivity of using Honda engines expires in 2016? For example, could Red Bull switch to Honda engines in 2016 and Alonso be partnered alongside Ricciardo? If this occurred, McLaren could put up with Button/Alonso for a season and then re-install Magnussen alongside Button for 2016 without risk of losing Magnussen elsewhere (although to be fair where else could he go?). Button can then retire at the end of 2016 and McLaren will then have Magnussen and Stoffelen (probably misspelled his name but you know who I mean) for 2017.

      I’ve thought this might be the situation for some time. I’m no Mclaren or Button fan, but if he loses his seat when clearly the evidence says he should keep it that to me is just not right. It’s a bit like when Williams dropped Hill for Frentzen early (late ’95/early ’96) before Hill won the WDC. Frentzen worked out so well for Williams didn’t he? Hopefully Mclaren learn from past mistakes of others… Button deserves the drive.

      1. And one more point – he deserves a proper send off, as a former WDC and having performed so well in 2014. For his F1 career to end like this would be very poor form from Mclaren. If they do drop him, they should have manned-up and told him early, so the fans could have paid their respects at the last few rounds of 2014. I think the fans and Button deserve that.

        1. I definitely agree. You would think a team held in such high regard would have this sorted out by now. It would be cold for them to just let a WDC go without giving him a chance proper send off. It hurt to see him do donuts at Abu Dhabi because he didn’t know what’s to come.

        2. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
          6th December 2014, 8:53

          One of the most balanced and fair comments I’ve seen on an F1 forum. I’m a huge Jenson fan, have been since 2000, but even more so in 2004 when Jenson had the great season and Schumacher said that Jenson could well be the second best driver out there.

        3. Do we know that Mclaren havvent told Button they are letting him go? In Abu Dabhi he kinda said goodbye to the team, didnt he?

      2. for example Red Bull will never switch to Honda anytime soon…they are now a works team with Renault…the amount of time and money that is going on to make that happen is frighening…they have made their bed, and it will pay dividends soon enough…McLaren is a works team with Honda…Red Bull have no desire to be a customer supplied team like they have been…gonna be interesting to see if Renault kick Honda’s back end next season.

    7. So Ron Dennis visited Denmark to see if he could find some sponsors…

      I bet he feels a bit silly now for having sacked Pérez last year, he did better when compared to Button and brings a lot of money with him, specially now that Gutiérrez is gone and there’s a new race in mexico.

      1. @mantresx maybe that’s why they ran around all year long without a main sponsor. BTW, they promised that announce for July 2014.
        If that’s their delay rate, what can you expect now?
        Not so British-punctual as I see it.

        1. Actually it is a perfect example of British punctuality; our trains are always late, our flights are always delayed and I have never been to a meeting that started on time !
          If you want punctuality try Germany or Japan :-)

    8. Jenson Button and Magnussen are facing a situation similar to Vergne and Kvyat. This case is, I know, different, because they aare not being promote to a better team, but to what they hope will be the return of the phoenix (Honda engines). So let’s see if the move resembles the one by Toro Rosso, they have:
      – An experienced driver who has outscored his rookie partner.
      – A driver moving into one of the seats, considered as THE talent
      – A driver who is left without a drive in F1 next year.
      – Media attention and fans who claim experience is better than young talent
      – The “oldie” gets the sack

      1. who ever they choose will still be handicapped by the fact they are a number two driver never to be a NO1 while Alonso is their team mate,
        who really could put up with that?

        1. If, as some would expect, Alonso completely smashes his team mate next year, anybody could argue that McLaren made the wrong choice.

    9. I think the interesting thing is that it is not a matter of whether or not they are going to retain both drivers, but which one deserves the other seat. I am not sure if JB is in Mclaren’s long term plan

    10. Totd could care less, as long as there are 10 cars in the points the FIA get their $millions in fees, and since Delta Topco have been creaming it in for decades on the back the cute little deal Bernie and Max cooked up between themselves there should be no tears shed for them. The goose that lays the golden eggs is sickening from lack of nourishment, possibly to be replaced by the chickens that are comeing home to roost.

    11. McLaren should run with both Jenson and Kevin for 2015. And have Alonsos little game backfire on him.

      1. @dam00r
        McLaren would have to be exceptionally stupid to an extraordinary degree to choose Magnussen when they have Alonso available, especially considering that Alonso scored about 3 times as many points as K-Mag last season when both were driving roughly equal cars.

        1. many people would say the Mclaren was quicker and more reliable than the Ferrari this year….

          1. @kingshark @Alex W

            I, for one, wouldn’t say that. Many people say that the Ferrari was a real dog, based on Raikkonens performance, and they say it could only achieve 4th in the constructors because of Alonsos insane driving skills. On the other hand they say McLaren was better, because it is clear if Button could do with the car what he did, McLaren had to be better. The problem with this is they dont use the same base for the comparison. Its either both Alonso and Button showed what the car was capable and their teammates underachieved, or the other way around.

            But it is not as simple as that. In the first race of the season McLaren got a fluke double podium, but after that it was clear that the car was not up to speed. Ferrari started the season with a better package, but McLaren overpowered them in the development race. Until Silverstone I would say Ferrari was better, but after that up to the flyaway races they were equal, McLaren only got better for the last few races.

            All in all it is really hard to compare the two cars, but if I had to chose between Alonso, Button and Magnussen, It is clear which two driver I would chose.

      2. @dam00r


        I would LOVE this to happen. I don’t dislike Alonso but it’d be funny. Worth the joke.

      3. Mark in Florida
        6th December 2014, 14:35

        I don’t think McLaren liked having Alonso shoved down their throats by Honda. Alonso left McLaren in a mess before, he was hard to get along with and left behind a lot of hard feelings. All of the delay is probably tied to sponsorship money somehow. It’s a shame because either Jensons career will be over or Magnesson will be out of a ride.

    12. It’s sad to see people completely write off the effect of having a smaller grid. They need to understand that F1 is both a sport and a form of entertainment, and reducing the grid negatively affects both of those aspects. As someone who competed in another form of sport, I found it much less exciting when competitors didn’t show up regardless of the final result.

      F1 still has a strong fanbase, but if it chooses to continue on the path it’s on then I don’t see a bright future for it. Fans won’t be as entertained, and even the drivers will eventually feel the lack of competitors. What’s more rewarding? Winning against 10 drivers? Or 20? I’d even prefer taking 2nd place in a stacked grid, than winning against a small grid.

      1. i rather have 16 good cars than the caterhams and marussias! if it is an enterteinment, then how come they never appear on tv? they’re there to add some numbers! what i would like is having 20 cars, 26 cars, whatever you want, but with GOOD cars, not some 5 seconds off the pace cars. Not even minardi were that far away! just cut the cake in a way that everyone gets a piece, not just the front runners…

        1. “Not even minardi were that far away!”

          Yeah they were, They were on average 4-5 seconds off the pole for the most part. In there last Gp as Minardi (China 2005) both Minardi’s & 1 of the Jordan’s were +5 seconds back.

          Its also worth remembering that even with Caterham/Marussia been 4-5 seconds back this year the field is still closer than it was in the past. Wasn’t uncommon in the 90s for the gap from 1st-10th to be 4+ seconds.

          Take the 1993 British Gp-
          Pole time – Alain Prost [Williams Renault] – 1:19.006
          10th – Aguri Suzuki [Footwork Arrows, Mugen-Honda] – 1:23.077 (+4.071)
          20th – Andrea De Chesaris [Tyrrell Yamaha] – 1:25.254 (+6.248)
          26th – Michela Alboretto [Scuderia Lola Ferrari] – 1:26.520 (+7.514)

          1. PeterG. The engine deficit those days was much greater than in 2014, the scuderia italia engine must have been a detuned 1992 engine, not to mention people were running different brands of tyres including the god awful Pirelli of the 90’s and in the end some teams were very low budget, like Pacific. With bigger discrepancies than currently but you could turn up and try, now however you have entry numbers and massive fees. I can see what Neusalz means with that. On a chassis basis the Caterham 2014 is horrendous, with their decent budget and with the troubled Renault engine they could only trump Marussia at Monza. No wonder Fernandes got fed up, Marussia was barely running on 60m. Caterham was running 100m not to mention the investment in infrastructure that Marussia never had, hence the interest in buying Caterham not Marussia, Marussia hasn’t got the assets, only some decent staff.

          2. fair point, but you’re missing something:
            how far is the 1st to the 10th? 5% of a laptime.
            10th to 26th 4%
            1st to 26th? almost a 9%.
            Ok, let’s see this year (i take the fastest lap of the race):
            1st to 10th: 1.5%
            10th to 20th: 5%
            1st to 20th: 7.5%
            the point being, not in seconds, but in percentage, this year the distance between 1st and 10th is less than it used to be, and the distance between 10th and last is greater. and that’s was what i was saying…

        2. Ideally, I would like them to be good cars and that pretty much brings it to the source of the problem. It all pretty much boils down to the fact that the money generated by F1 only finds its way to the fastest teams. With a more balanced split, not only will more teams be able to stay afloat, but they will be able to invest in creating a faster car.

      2. There should be a Formula 1.5, where all the cars are fairly similar, development is allowed, though restricted, all for the smaller teams to try their hand in F1. Of course we might end up just like WEC, with different categories crashing into each other all the time.

    13. I think Ron Dennis does not have full confidence in Jenson Button and his ability as the future of McLaren Honda.

      That said if indeed Jenson Button does gets the drive and Kevin gets the boot from Mclaren for next year
      1) Martin Whitmarsh would be smiling “Ron this is what it feels like when your prodigy get the boot… Remember Perez What goes around comes around… ”
      2) Ron Dennis would be waking up everyday thinking “Hmmm I am the boss of McLaren F1 but I have two drivers who are driving my car who are not my first preference !!!!”

      If Kevin gets the Drive then it is a 2007 scenario once again with a Ron Prodigy vs Alonso, the difference being this time the prodigy is not as good as Alonso , Alonso is more mature as a person and McLaren is not the top car of the grid !!!!!.

    14. Why would anyone approach Lego to sponsor a f1 team?! They don’t need to spend millions on advertising… Their product practically markets itself.. Lego is synonymous with the any block building toy system even if it’s made by someone else.

      Perhaps Danish multinationals such as Maersk, B&O, Saxo bank etc may be better suited to F1…I can just imagine how awesome a B&O McLaren range will be!!.. I doubt that that a company that makes about 500 million in revenue would spend 10% of it on sponsoring an F1 team!

      1. @jaymenon10 Santander got back with McLaren around summer time, if you can understand what that means, besides that, no bank can sponsor McLaren now. Maersk has no need and B&O is too small. McLaren can’t support Kevin on a “Martini/Williams” deal. Williams used Martini has a way of self advertising. McLaren won’t be happy with 10m.

        1. @peartree you are right, I didn’t realise that Santander was back. Now that Alonso is back.. Santander is sure to have more of a presence. McLaren are looking a 40 odd million a year title sponsor right… They’re going to be hard pressed to find that from Denmark.

          1. ‘Santander McLaren Honda’ does kinda have a nice ring to it.

            1. @stigsemperfi
              Santander McLaren Honda MP4-29H/1X1

            2. @ruliemaulana, it would just be MP4-30.

          2. @jaymenon10 Santander sponsored Ferrari at a tune of 100m euros per year. One could wonder why would they want more.

      2. Maybe the reason LEGO is not a multi billion $ concern is because of their lack of marketing. Alot of kids don’t care about getting knock off Lego because they love the product, not the brand. Do you ever wonder why Deitrich M is a gozillionaire by selling a product that tastes rubbish?

        1. I’m yet to see someone drink Red Bull on normal day.

        2. Lego has film-tie ins in Hollywood, Lego also has videogames of the same films. Lego has their own versions of popular videogames, and none of these actually make more sense than to sponsor F1. F1 looks like a perfect place for Lego, not to Bernie’s eyes with the 70 year old rolex talk but, I have a lego F1 car right behind me now for a reason. Lego makes these and so kids must watch F1. Is the news fabricated or is Lego actually not interested.

    15. When will you learn that McLaren has been the single greatest problem in F1 for how long Ron Dennis has been in McLaren. I don’t know why people are surprised with this rather insignificant impasse. Obviously the situation is not great, McLaren doesn’t care if Jenson is English, all things considered I kind of agree with Ron here. Ron wants Kevin to stay but Jenson is much more marketable.

    16. Hey Jean Todt.

      Watching the worst MotoGP rider go around a track is more exciting than most F1 races in the last decade. So yes, MotoGP can work with only 16 bikes. In fact, it could work with just 4 or 6 most of the time.

      Formula One would die in the third race if they had only 4 or 6 cars. So be careful with the comparisons.

      It should also be noticed that MotoGP pulls about half as much TV audience than Formula One (from the numbers I could find) and makes about a quarter as much money as Formula One. The teams probably spend less than a quarter of what Formula One teams spend, too.

      Also, when MotoGP grids went down, they took measures to ensure the grids would grow again, like introducing the CRT bikes (now Open), and even though there’s a bit of a mess with the categories right now, it has worked and Aprilia and Suzuki are coming back with full factory support. Plus there are a good deal of privateers fielding either factory customer bikes, or Open class bikes. Some people might not like these measures, but at least something is being done to keep the grid healthy.

      So no Jean Todt. That’s a bad example.


      “What was the first thing you did this morning?
      KR: Wake up!”

    17. I still say forget Alonso. Take both Button and Magnussen and continue to develop with the drivers they have. Both have knowledge of the previous car, one brings the experience, one brings potential. Problem solved.

    18. It is now clear why McLaren have been on a long downhill slide since Hamilton’s World championship. The company lost its way after spy~gate and has never shown the same confidence since. They had the best engine in 2014 and squandered that opportunity. They lost Hamilton to Mercedes and many commented at that time that Hamilton only left for the money; how silly does that look now? McLaren was ONCE a great team but is now headed to oblivion. Anybody expecting Honda teamed with McLaren to dominate like the old Senna days is going to be disappointed. It will be a learning year for Honda coupled with Alonso being a petulant, demanding non-team player. 2015 will be a disaster. I hope I am wrong but McLaren seem leaderless. No sponsors in 2014 and no 2015 driver choices as we enter the last days of 2014. Hopeless

      1. You can’t say they had the best engine in 2014 and squandered it. It is now moreso then ever about the marriage of chassis to power unit…not engine…and as if that was ever going to be a better marriage than the Merc factory team’s effort. Hence their move to Honda power units and a crucial all-in-house effort.

        As to LH, they didn’t just lose him to money. It’s a two-way street, and LH admitted in 2011 that off-track distractions costed him on race weekends, and I think that was the beginning of the end of their relationship. Ie. just as it is far more complicated than just saying ‘they squandered the best engine in 2014′ LH’s leaving Mac was far more complicated than money related.

        McLaren was once a great team and still is, and now with this new marriage with Honda will have all the potential in the world to improve on their recent years’ experiences. 2015 will not be a ‘disaster’. It will be year one of a brand new relationship in a brand new chapter in F1 that in many ways cannot be compared to the past generations.

    19. I think Whitmarsh messed things up with Jenson-love, Latham, Sam Michael and some disconnected processes. Lewis should have won in 2012 even with Charlie’s outrageous bias on the floor tolerance.

      Whatever Ron is waiting for he’s not dithering weakly. Nobody else wants his existing drivers – that’s their real problem. If JB is holding out for £20m or something then Ron isn’t going to blink first, and by the look of it KMag needs to bring a sponsor.

      Now the team needs some more money, then once they have it I’m quite optimistic about Alonso, Prodromou and Honda. Ron is a great salesman and very determined, so I’m backing him to do it.

      1. @lockup I wouldn’t be surprised if one of RD’s dilemmas is that JB has offered to drive for free in order to stay in F1, whereas KM is just starting out so can’t do that, and FA won’t feel compelled to, given the proven talent he brings. I’m not convinced they’re hurting for money, and likely Honda can/is helping in that regard and won’t make that a stumbling block to them progressing to the top as fast as possible.

        1. I was thnking of this quote from 11 November @robbie:
          And the 34-year-old insists his £14million salary is not at the root of the delay.

          “You should get what you deserve,” he added.

          “And I feel I bring a lot to a team not just in terms of results but in terms of marketing within a team, working with sponsors, and how I can help develop a car.”

          McLaren boss Dennis is famous for alienating talents including Juan Pablo Montoya, Michael Schumacher and even Alonso himself.

          Some also believe McLaren lack the financial clout to afford Alonso and Button together.

          Button added: “I’m not a driver who takes the mickey and I will race somewhere even if I’m not getting the big bucks like a few drivers out there.”


          It’s a bit of a mixed message but I didn’t get the impression he’d put up with being hugely undervalued, more that he’d rather change series.

          I reckon there’s a limit to what Honda are putting in, and Ron will be super aware that Honda are free to supply Red Bull in 2016 so McLaren’s spell as the works team might not last too long. There was a story about him wooing several Danish companies recently, not just Lego.

          1. Ah @lockup a hard one to nail down. While I absolutely believe that the money the top drivers are paid is an asset and an investment, not a liability, as JB suggests, who knows then what JB has in mind. I guess it comes down to not just him waiting for RD to make up his mind, but what salary will he accept vs. simply moving on from F1.

            I can certainly see JB not wanting to back down much in salary if the general feeling is that FA is to be the one rooster on the team by FA’s insistence, which I hope is not the case, and in which case wouldn’t KM just become the natural non-rooster, end of dilemma.

            We’ll just have to await announcements and commentary from the team, as whenever they announce, the media will be all over them for answers as to the delay.

    20. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this driver delay by McLaren, so I don’t get why everybody is so annoyed about. It is not uncommon for teams to not announce their line-up until well into the off-season. Nobody ever threw a hissy fit when Force India didn’t announce Sutil last year until the 11th hour.

      And don’t throw the ‘well it will be too hard for the one who misses out to find a seat’ card at me because that is not true. If you were a racing team, would you turn down the opportunity to have a Formula 1 champion or somebody tipped to be a Formula 1 champion by McLaren? No, you wouldn’t.

      Finally, all of the British media seem to claim that Button is the only one who can be hard done by here. If Magnussen is forced to quit F1 after a single season, that would be far more wrong in my eyes.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        6th December 2014, 10:47

        @craig-o, correct.
        When Perez was kicked out by McLaren last year (I do not recall that many upset messages by fans) he signed with Force India on 12 December 2013. And he was not even a WDC.

        1. @craig-o I think you are wrong in that it is quite uncommon for this particular scenario to occur. FA not officially in. JB and KM left wondering. Three drivers at once that are not officially announced this late in the game. Two of them WDC’ers. Sure there have been delays before, but mostly involving announcing one new driver after we’re told who won’t be there….scenarios such as that. This feels to me like Mac is not doing anything outside their rights, yet is not being very courteous to the drivers at the same time. Perhaps things will make more sense once announcements are finally made.

    21. It’s disgusting the way McLaren have treated both of their drivers. I now wonder how many F1 fans worldwide will, in future, not buy Honda cars or products of any of McLaren’s 2015 sponsors. It could be many thousands……

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        6th December 2014, 10:40

        Like thousands and I haven’t bought a Ferrari since they cut Kimi’s contract.

      2. I predicted that they would treat their drivers bad already in the 1980’s, so I never bought a McLaren car. I also never bought a Ferrari car, so they are bound to do something bad, too.

    22. No offence intended to Button, but I think the place belongs to GP2 champion Palmer. He won that series before the end of the series and has a Super Licence.

    23. Has anyone considered that the reason for the McLaren stall may be down to waiting for the outcome of Hamilton’s contract extension negotiations at Mercedes to emerge?
      I’d imagine that Alonso would be keener on a one-year deal with McLaren to keep his options open, and Ron would like to know if there’s a chance of Hamilton being available in 2016. Just a thought …

      1. To be honest, I think that the odds of Hamilton becoming available in 2016 are relatively low – both Hamilton and Mercedes seem happy to extend his contract and relations between them seem relatively amicable, and the current regulations package should be fairly favourable for Mercedes. Why would he want to switch back to McLaren in those circumstances?

    24. Perhaps McLaren are trying to have a say in what happens at Caterham/Marussia to bring them back for a seat for Vandoorne/Magnussen next season?

    25. “Ron wants Kevin to stay but Jenson is much more marketable.”

      1. ha. this supposed to be reply to @peartree

    26. ColdFly F1 (@)
      6th December 2014, 9:44

      I would like to know as well who is going to drive for McLaren next year, but I do not understand why there is so much criticism at McLaren.

      It is not that they are firing a driver. Button knowingly signed a contract ending in 2014. He could have ‘manned up’ himself and give McLaren a deadline and otherwise move somewhere else (team/series/other). That way he could have done a proper farewell if leaving F1.
      And he is the last who should complain after the debacle of signing with Williams whilst he was still contractually linked (option) to BAR.

    27. Mclaren pushed very hard to get a top driver since the start of the season. There were talks of Alonso, Vettel and even Hamilton going to Mclaren-Honda. Now that they have their top driver (Alonso) they don’t know what to do about their current drivers! It’s almost funny if you think about it. They made so many efforts to get Alonso that they seemingly forgot about Button and Magnussen.

    28. I see a scenario in both decisions, which Mclaren are able to take.

      F. Alonso and K. Magnussen
      Alonso trashes Magnussen and now he will be dropped after next season. Bringing Van Doorne in.

      F. Alonso and J. Button
      I see this pair being more on equal footing. Everybody were talking about Button entering lion’s den when he went to partner Hamilton in Mclaren. Of course, Hamilton did prove he has more raw speed, but Button outscored him in their 3 year partnership. Button is still a top driver and he has to be in F1 next season.

      I never was Button’s fan, but in recent years I started to appreciate him as a brilliant driver, which still deserves top seat. Meanwhile Magnussen didn’t prove anything this year, he looked even worse than Perez, so why retain him? I don’t future champion in him. Keep Button for 1-2 more years and then bring Van Doorne in, who is showing more potential.

      1. Its wierd, its all in Buttons case that some how certain F1 teams add up the points over 3 years.

        For no other driver is this action done.

        PS. Button lost 2 – 1.

    29. New F1Fanatic layout

      + [blank]

      – Hard to read
      – Awful optimization
      – Classification of articles is invisible
      – Lots of unused space at least in 24” monitors
      – Too ordinary. F1-theme should stand out in the theme of the site

      1. Hmm, maybe it was just a glitch, because the site looks much better and traditional now

        1. I’ll bet you got the smartphone version, it seems to pop up every now and then.

    30. He added that Button’s continued presence at McLaren was important for the British Racing Drivers’ Club, which owns Silverstone.
      “Our fingers are crossed for Jenson because he brings a lot of people to the British Grand Prix,” said Warwick. “That’s important for us.”

      I don’t think ticket sales at next year’s British Grand Prix is McLaren’s problem, Derek. Anyway, surely the reigning World Champion is more important when it comes to putting bums on seats.

    31. Jenson 1 podium in 2 years. Not good enough. He is so desperate

      1. Yes! Finally someone with common sense. He should have done much much more with the champion contender car he was given… ESPECIALLY considering his teammates werewinning races/podiums left and right…. Shame on you JB, so desperate!

        I mean, I really wonder with some people here…

        Why would they want to hire JB over Kmag? There are many, many reason, but to put it simply: so that MacLaren won’t become what Ferrari has been for the last couple of years. McLaren is fighting a war against themselves at this point…. They may keep this up for another week or two and jenson will be effectively forced to “quit” so he still gets that WEC drive for next year….
        Honestly, I feel for Kevin, but things different these days, the competition is way more intense. Either you deliver or not. You don’t get points for “potential”..(and its not like he was that incredibly great in this aspect either… he had a handful of moments, but that’s about it.) Especially if you have a very promising driver who could take your job anytime… Honda will never allow a Kmag/Stoffel 2016 line-up, Kevin’s days are numbered anyway….

    32. I have attempted to utilize, nevertheless it does not is effective whatsoever.

    33. So Kimi´s first album was a Guns´n´Roses-cassette… which lead to a post in my facebook-timeline being all about Kimi, but from Guns´n´Roses… I liked that and feel comfortable with it.

    34. I’m regularly disappointed by some of the news that are featured here. Seems more like some blog about some popularity contest than F1. Why give links for those articles that are just moaning about no driver announcements. If those sad excuses for F1 columns really had any expertise when it comes to F1, or any journalistic, investigative skills, they’d be writing about the reasons drivers are still not priority in McLaren. There are some much bigger and more important things going on. I’d rather read about those if one of these “journalists” bothered investigating something, but if I can’t read that, I sure don’t feel like they are contributing anything by pandering to the public by joining the moaning choir.

      Which brings me to COTD. I’m quite sure both Dennis and Boulier are absolutely certain about which driver they’d pick. I don’t agree with them, since I’d go with Button, but they definitely know what they want. That’s the reason Ron is so determined to by back the controlling stake in the company. So that he can do things more efficiently, and not having to run everything by the committee.

    35. Well what does anyone think the chances are of Jenson being made an offer by McLaren and then refusing it? He could be stringing them along as well?

    36. Imho McLaren is waiting for the fallout at Mercedes.

      Mercedes is waiting for there to be a decent break between Hamilton winning and being told or negotiated out of his drive after 2015.

      Basically McLaren doesn’t really know if it will be Alonso from 2015 or Hamilton from 2016.

    37. yet again Ron youre making a fool of yourself, I reckon Bruce would be turning in his grave at the way you handle things, this is looking more and more like its going to go belly up next year

    38. There is only one logical conclusion I can come to over the delay in Mclaren announcing drivers and that is that they haven’t secured Alonso yet. Maybe their veto over Alonso driving in LeMans is causing Alonso to consider switching series, maybe the majority of drivers to watch are now in Formula E and and WEC.

    39. Perez beat Button in quali, but make way for “lighthing quick” magnussen, who instead got bitten by Button in quali…..

      Mclaren has never treat right their drivers.

      Alo is ready to walk away unless is done his way,
      Honda won’t pay the whole bill, so Ron needs a sponsor to really call the shots, cause right now seems Alonso/Santander are calling the shots.

    40. The truth in my opinion is that whoever drives with Alonso is irrelavant,and the whole situation is a red herring.Lets be honest Alonso with a good car will get the job done whoever is chosen to drive in his contrails.Ron Dennis is aware that the delay in choosing the second driver has a negative effect on Mclarens image,but hey ho that is not a factor when it comes to turning the fortunes of McLaren around.
      Ron has to selfishly look at the bigger picture and I am sure he believes that to realise his vison for the future comeback he needs total control,and he is the right man,the only man for the job just look at his track record.They say he who pays the piper calls the tune and at the moment there are three pipers,there is no delay in naming drivers the delay is Ron being in a position to put all his ducks in a row,and i am sure they are nearly lined up.
      He has had a short time to restructure the team,now he is just tying up some loose ends have faith in the guy,and rejoice in the fact that once again Mclaren are about to get back on the path of greatness,and there British!
      Well thats the end of my rant……I do hope Button gets the drive though?

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