6 September 2014
F1 Italian Grand Prix: Dennis: McLaren could retain line-up
Ron Dennis insists McLaren's delay in confirming its driver line-up for 2015 does not necessarily it will change either of its current drivers
Ron Dennis insists McLaren's delay in confirming its driver line-up for 2015 does not necessarily it will change either of its current drivers.
Both Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen are yet to have their futures confirmed by McLaren as the team weighs up other options having been linked with Fernando Alonso. However, Dennis says McLaren's current stance should not be taken as an indication that it is looking to replace either driver at the end of the season.
"We always have the best available drivers,” Dennis said. "So the first thing you have to establish, before you have any process of selection - and is not derogatory, detrimental or negative to your existing drivers - is who is available.
"No-one could have predicted the tension inside Mercedes-Benz, and I didn't say things that have been said by the executives or drivers, that we can all imagine a range of scenarios that could see one of those drivers on the market by the end of the year. That does not mean we would automatically reach for that driver, or any other driver, in preference to what we have.
"What it means is you are trying to understand what is available, and then you make a decision, and it could be that decision is not to change. That's because stability, as we go into the relationship with Honda, and in-depth understanding of the entire plan, has huge value, and loyalty is very important to me too."
And Dennis put a loose timeframe on when a driver decision can be expected by, and says he has urged both Button and Magnussen to not get distracted by the uncertainty.
"It's certainly not days, it's certainly before the end of the season. We don't have any necessity to take a decision, we've said nothing that should be construed as anything other than 'we're waiting to see what's available'.
"In the meantime I am a huge fan of both Kevin and Jenson - Kevin has done an amazing job."
"We are delighted with our drivers, and I apologised to Jenson for the distracting elements of where we are at the moment. But we've always tried to understand driver availability, and at this moment there is no decision to take. When there is we will take it, but I've given you an indication - it won't be in the next few days, and it won't be at the end of the season, it will be something in between. But honestly, I don't know.
"All I'm doing is making Kevin and Jenson completely aware the best thing they can do is their best job and not get distracted by the whole thing. There is nothing to be distracted by."
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