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McLaren delays driver news to December

2014-11-19 12:11

STILL WAITING FOR NEWS: McLaren driver Jenson Button talks to reporters in the paddock of the Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo, Brazil, during the 2014 Brazilian F1 GP weekend. Image: AP / Felipe Dana

LONDON, England - The long wait to know McLaren's official 2015 line-up is not yet over.

With Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen's careers in the balance, team boss Eric Boullier said in Brazil that the target was to announce the news before the chequered flag in Abu Dhabi this weekend (Nov 23).

"Guys, we know you're awaiting news on our drivers.  We'll announce after December 1 – you'll hear it here first," McLaren said on Twitter.

It's obvious that the delay is causing the contractual impasse between McLaren's next race driver, the almost certainly returning Fernando Alonso, and his current team Ferrari.

'NO DISTRACTIONS'

The Alonso situation is also blocking Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel from announcing their impending tie-up.

However McLaren, in a media statement, said its December delay was "to avoid distracting the race team from its primary objective during the final grand prix weekend of the season".

That means Briton Button, if ultimately ousted, will reach the finish-line in Abu Dhabi on Sunday without having being able to formally say farewell to the sport after a 15-year career that included featuring 15 wins and the 2009 Drivers' title.

McLaren said: "Selecting the optimal drivers for a Formula 1 team is clearly an important process so requires precise and prolonged analysis."

The British team also confirmed reports that, "subject to satisfactory final bench testing", it intends to run the Honda-powered interim car at the post-race Abu Dhabi test.

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