Alonso, Button finally confirmed as McLaren's race drivers

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Alonso, Button finally confirmed as McLaren's race drivers
Adam Cooper
By: Adam Cooper
Dec 11, 2014, 10:40 AM

McLaren-Honda announces Fernando Alonso & Jenson Button for 2015

Jenson Button, McLaren Honda
Jenson Button, McLaren Honda
Yasuhisa Arai, head of Honda Motorsport, Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso and Ron Dennis, Chairman & C
Yasuhisa Arai, head of Honda Motorsport, Jenson Button, Kevin Magnussen, Fernando Alonso and Ron Dennis, Chairman & CEO of McLaren
Kevin Magnussen, Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button, McLaren Honda
Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen, McLaren Honda
Fernando Alonso, McLaren Honda

McLaren has finally confirmed that Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button will be the team's race drivers in 2015.                    

The news comes after weeks of speculation about whether Button or Kevin Magnussen would retain their race seats alongside the Spaniard.

Alonso and Button were team mates at Renault in 2002 when the former was reserve driver. He was promoted to a race seat for 2003, and Jenson moved to BAR.

Magnussen remains with team

Magnussen continues on the role of test and reserve driver and clearly still has the opportunity to bounce back to a race seat - although he faces strong competition from Stoffel Vandoorne.

Among those to have raced in F1, dropped into a test role and returned to have a successful career are Alonso, Mika Hakkinen and Felipe Massa.

“I am absolutely delighted to be on the threshold of leading McLaren-Honda to a new era of partnership, and I speak on behalf of all at McLaren when I say that," Ron Dennis said. "I am equally confident that our colleagues at Honda share that determination and passion to win."

“As regards drivers, McLaren’s policy has always been to assemble the strongest line-up possible, and in Fernando and Jenson I firmly believe that is exactly what we have."

Negotiations

“We signed Fernando a little while ago, but we decided not to announce the fact until we had also re-signed Jenson as his team-mate. For many reasons our negotiations with Jenson took quite a long time, but, now that they have been concluded, we are confident that our collaboration with him will continue to thrive in the future every bit as well as it has in the past. Make no mistake about it, Jenson is 100% committed to McLaren-Honda, to Formula 1, and to winning."

“I can safely say, therefore, that we now have by an order of magnitude the best driver line-up of any current Formula 1 team."

“Finally, I want to thank and pay tribute to Kevin, who has done a great job this season and will continue to be an integral part of our team. He will be our test, reserve and third driver, and remains an excellent prospect for the future.”

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