McLaren set to announce 2015 drivers

Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:52am EST
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - McLaren could put a spring in Jenson Button's step, or bring down the curtain on the 2009 world champion's Formula One career, on Thursday when they are expected to announce their 2015 driver lineup.

The team, who are starting a new partnership with Honda and have yet to announce a title sponsor, called a news conference at their Woking headquarters for "an important and exclusive media event".

No details were given, and McLaren gave no further indications when contacted, but the move was interpreted by an expectant media as evidence a driver decision had been reached at last after a board meeting last week ended without news.

Button's future has been the big question in the sport for months, with the 34-year-old Briton out of contract and McLaren the only team yet to name their drivers.

One is sure to be Spain's double world champion Fernando Alonso, already replaced at Ferrari by four times titleholder Sebastian Vettel but whose return has yet to be confirmed officially by McLaren despite being an open secret.

The other looks a straight choice between Button, the sport's most experienced current driver, and Danish youngster Kevin Magnussen, who formed this year's pairing.

'CLINICAL ANALYSIS'   Continued...

McLaren Formula One driver Jenson Button of Britain is interviewed outside his team hospitality suite at the paddock area of Singapore F1 Grand Prix in Singapore September 18, 2014.  REUTERS/Tim Chong