McLaren say they are not ready to announce their driver line up for 2014, although it “won’t be too much” longer until a decision is revealed.
Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes have all named their drivers for next season, but neither Jenson Button or Sergio Perez has been confirmed at McLaren.
Button, who has not yet taken up his contract option for next year, told Sky Sports News earlier today that he was relaxed about the contract situation and that he expects to stay at the team next season.
McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale said: “I can’t tell you when but it won’t be too much further from now that I hope we will be able to clarify what’s going on. When we do you [the media] will be the first to know that.
“At the moment we are focused on our preparations for this weekend [in Singapore], making sure that we get every bit of learning out of this season and prepare well for next year. That is our top priority at the moment, not to say our drivers are our second priority, but when we have something to say we will let you know.”
When asked if the delay had been a result of McLaren talking to other drivers about a seat for next year, Neale said: “This is that time of year when everybody is talking to everybody, whether it’s the technical staff moving around or whether it’s drivers. So it would be wrong for me to speculate but we will get to it [their 2014 plans] pretty soon.”
McLaren will swap Mercedes for Honda power in 2015, but Neale said driver continuity during the switch is not a necessity – the decision on driver line-up will be based on the choosing the best drivers available at the time.
“What you really want is talent and high performance,” he said. “We’ve shown in the past that we weren’t afraid to make the changes that we felt that we needed to in the team, whether it was inside the organisation or in the driver line-up, in order to get the job done.
“We’re really excited about the return of Honda and are working really hard behind the scenes to make that successful. But we’re also looking forward to what we hope will be a very competitive powertrain from Mercedes in 2014.”