Jenson Button will have a new race engineer for the remainder of the season, the McLaren team has confirmed today ahead of this weekend’s German Grand Prix.

Fresh from the Englishman’s near-podium finish at his home race a fortnight ago, his former engineer Dave Robson will be replaced by Tom Stallard for the rest of the year. Robson is taking on ‘a broader role’ within the McLaren team, although a spokesperson for the Woking outfit declined to confirm exactly what this entailed.

“Tom is a very intelligent and able engineer, who has worked in a variety of engineering roles within McLaren, including as Jenson’s performance engineer,” a McLaren spokesperson said.

“This move is [just] an example of McLaren’s determination to optimise the deployment of its considerable engineering resource by developing the careers of all its engineers, on an ongoing basis, as part of our restructuring process.”

Jenson Button

Button finished fourth last time out at Silverstone

The movements of the engineers are part of a number of chess pieces being shuffled around in McLaren’s techinical ranks as it tries to see out what is, in effect, a transition year until it gets Honda power next year.

After a poor run in a rather poor MP4-29, Button’s fourth-placed finish on home soil was a welcome morale booster for the grid’s most experienced driver.

His future at McLaren has been the subject of much speculation among the British tabloids, so the result was rather well-timed to say the least.

That being said, ‘JB’ isn’t exactly blowing the doors off his young rookie teammate Kevin Magnussen (Button just edges it by 55-35 on points and 5-4 in head-to-head qualifying) so the next few races will be very telling indeed.

Images via XPB Images

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.