McLaren has confirmed that Jenson Button will race alongside Fernando Alonso next year in an all-champion lineup. Kevin Magnussen will stay with the team as their test and reserve driver.
The news was confirmed at the team’s headquarters in Woking on Thursday morning. “I am joining this project with enormous enthusiasm and determination, knowing that it may require some time to achieve the results we are aiming for, which is no problem for me,” said Alonso.
“Over the past year I have received several offers, some of them really tempting, given the current performance of some of the teams that showed interest. But, more than a year ago, McLaren-Honda contacted me and asked me to take part, in a very active way, in the return of their partnership – a partnership that dominated the Formula 1 scene for so long.
“McLaren-Honda’s repeated and open desire, perseverance and determination in making it possible for me to join their exciting renewed partnership, have been so me of the main factors that made me take this decision, not forgetting the most important factor of all: we share a common objective and expectations, and there is a very solid future, with confidence, ahead.”
“I want to thank the persistence of those who have fought so hard for this to come true. I will do everything in my power to deliver for everyone and for our team, based on a formula that has always worked for me: effort, sacrifice, perseverance and faith.”
“Alonso raced for McLaren in 2007, winning four races, but he left for Renault the next year, after playing a major role in »Spygate« scandal in which he even blackmailed Ron Dennis, who now believes his team possesses “the best lineup in Formula 1.”
“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,” Dennis said.
“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.
“Fernando and Jenson have started a combined total of precisely 500 Grands Prix between them 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.”
With this announcement all teams have confirmed their lineup for 2015.