MCLAREN'S 2015 TRIO: Jenson Button (left) will be paired with Fernando Alonso (right) at McLaren in 2015. Kevin Magnussen will be team test and reserve driver. Image: McLaren
LONDON, England – It’s been weeks coming but McLaren-Honda has at last announced its Formula 1 drivers for the 2015 season.
Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button will be its primary drivers while rookie young Kevin Magnussen will remain with the team as test and reserve driver.
All three, the announcement adds, will play crucial roles in re-establishing the ascendancy of one of global sport’s most iconic unions, as McLaren and Honda have already formed one of the most dominant partnerships in motorsport history.
MOST SUCCESSFUL CAR
Honda broke new ground in the 1980’s by creating a turbocharged engine that was unparalleled in both output and its efficiency and from 1988 to 1992 McLaren-Honda won eight Formula 1 titles and 44 grands prix and earned 53 pole starts and 30 fastest laps, all in just 80 races.
McLaren said: “In 1988 the partnership created arguably the single most successful Formula 1 car yet: the all-conquering McLaren-Honda MP4/4 driven to victory by Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost in an amazing 15 of the season’s 16 GP’s.
“The lure presented by those same goals has once again brought the legendary Japanese corporation back to the pinnacle of global motor racing and again Honda is developing its revolutionary new turbo engine at its all-new, purpose-built, state-of-the-art, motorsport facility in Sakura, Japan. “
Now, the company believes, it has “the strongest-possible partnership in Formula 1.
Alonso said: “I’m joining this project with enormous enthusiasm and determination, knowing that it may require some time to achieve the results we are aiming for, which is no problem for me.
“Over the past year I have received several offers, some really tempting given the current performance of some of the teams that showed interest, but, more than a year ago McLaren-Honda asked me to take part, in a very active way, in the return of their partnership.”
LIFE LINE FOR BUTTON
Jenson Button, who has been on tenterhooks while McLaren apparently dithered over its drivers, now says: "Like Fernando, I am certain McLaren and Honda will achieve great things and I’m sure that, working together, all of us will pull incredibly hard to create a brilliantly effective winning team.
"I am also very glad that Kevin will remain part of the team. He is a very quick driver and a really nice guy."