November 24, 2014 / 11:54 AM / in 3 years

McLaren board will decide drivers, says Dennis

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - The Formula One futures of Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen will be discussed by the McLaren board in early December, group head Ron Dennis has said.

McLaren Formula One driver Jenson Button of Britain drives out of the pit lane during the first practice session of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka Circuit October 3, 2014. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Dennis said after Sunday’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that decisions about the team’s 2015 driver line-up would not be his alone.

“It wouldn’t be appropriate. Any decision has got to be supported by shareholders and board,” the Briton, who also owns a stake in the company, told Reuters. “Whatever the decision, it won’t be taken until then.”

Button, the 2009 world champion and most experienced driver on the 2014 grid after making his debut in 2000, is out of contract at the end of the year with Spaniard Fernando Alonso set to join from Ferrari.

While Ferrari have confirmed the double world champion has made his last appearance for them, McLaren have yet to confirm he is joining even if it is considered an open secret in the paddock.

That leaves Button and Danish rookie Magnussen fighting for the remaining seat.

The Briton recognized before Sunday’s race at Yas Marina that it may have been his last, even if he hoped to be back next year.

“A lot of people have asked me is it any different, thinking it might be my last race, but not really,” he said after finishing fifth while Magnussen was 11th.

”You go into every race with the same mindset, to do the best you can. It’s when you see your family and friends look at you in a different way, it makes you a little bit emotional.

    “When I walked into the garage before the race it was tough because all the mechanics are ready for the man-hugs and that was really tough. And you could see in their faces,” added the 34-year-old.

Button said he had no plans for what he would do if he did not get a contract extension.

”The contract runs out at the end of December. I will be in contact with the guys. I talked to Ron after the race, like I do after every race. But still no news,“ he said. ”We’ll see in a few days. 

“I’ve given it my all, that’s all I can do.”

Editing by Tony Jimenez

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