McLaren has announced that Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button will drive for the team in 2015, with Kevin Magnussen losing his seat.
After weeks of deliberation, the team has opted to retain the experienced Button to partner double world champion Alonso, who returns to the team from Ferrari. Alonso spent an ill-fated season at McLaren in 2007 but has opted to rejoin the team as Honda arrives as engine supplier.
The announcement sees Magnussen lose his race seat after just one season, with the 22-year-old having been comfortably outperformed by Button, especially during the latter half of 2014. Magnussen is retained by McLaren as test and reserve driver.
Button's F1 career will now extend in to a 16th season, with Alonso becoming his fourth McLaren team-mate after Lewis Hamilton, Sergio Perez and Magnussen.
McLaren chairman and CEO Ron Dennis says the pairing of Alonso and Button leaves the team with "the best line-up" on the grid.
“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," 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.
“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.
“As a pair, he and Fernando are supremely experienced. Fernando has started 234 grands prix, has converted 32 of those starts to victories, has stood on a grand prix podium 97 times, and has won the drivers' world championship not once but twice. He is a class act.
“He is 33 – which, for an athlete as physically fit as he is, constitutes a Formula 1 driver's professional prime of life. Moreover, he is old enough to be experienced and expert, yet young enough to be enthusiastic and energetic. I therefore firmly believe he will deploy those four e's – experience, expertise, enthusiasm and energy – to drive forward McLaren-Honda's on-track success next season and for quite a few seasons to come.
“As for Jenson, at 34, he is every bit as fit as Fernando but even more experienced: he has started 266 grands prix, has won 15 of them, and has stood on a grand prix podium 50 times. He, too, is an ex-world champion, and is one of the smoothest and fastest guys out there.
“To sum up, Fernando and Jenson have started a combined total of precisely 500 grands prix between them – a mighty aggregate – and have won 47 of them. 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.”