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Posted By: James Allen  |  12 Nov 2013   |  2:30 pm GMT  |  363 comments

[Updated] The driver market this season seems both volatile and fluid, with many drivers in the balance and some big moves being made.

The latest is the decision by McLaren, after much agonising, to drop Sergio Perez after just one season and replace him with Kevin Magnussen. The decision has not been announced by McLaren yet, but various news outlets have heard it in the last 24 hours from various sources and this site has had solid evidence that Perez has been dropped. It’s a brutal reversal for Perez, who thought he’d hit the jackpot 12 months ago, moving to the team that had the fastest 2012 car. But it’s been a nightmare season with uncompetitive machinery and McLaren has made little secret of its disappointment in the Mexican’s performance.

His best option appears to be Force India, which is already turning into the in-demand team, with two seats up for grabs and plenty of drivers looking for a life raft. This puts their two current drivers in a difficult position. Adrian Sutil is known to be talking to Sauber, while Nico Hulkenberg’s management is in discussions with Force India.

Sauber is another team, which still has Mexican connections with Carlos Slim’s Telmex team, but this situation too seems fluid at the moment and it doesn’t appear to be the direction Perez is looking in.

There have been many conversations internally in the last two months at McLaren about the pros and cons of Perez and Magnussen but it looks like the “racers” have won this time and they’ve taken a bold step rather than a conservative one. Perez is a known quantity within the team, they’ve seen his numbers on the simulator and in the car over the season and they are able to assess his potential.

Unlike Heikki Kovalainen, who struggled against Lewis Hamilton but was given a second season, McLaren are clearly keen to get on with it and look to the future and a return to full competitiveness.

In Magnussen they feel they may have another Hamilton on their hands (and also in Stoffel Vandoorme) and the racers in the team want to blood him next year, in what is certain to be a transition year for McLaren, before they throw the kitchen sink at it with Honda in 2015. It makes sense to give Magnussen a chance to stake his claim and gain a season’s experience before then. With Fernando Alonso a target for 2015, Magnussen will need to show real form and potential to rival Jenson Button for a seat with the team for 2015. Button provides and excellent benchmark for a young driver like Magnussen.

Magnussen has had limited testing time in the car, but JA on F1 drew attention to his performance in the Young Driver test at Silverstone in July, where JA on F1 technical adviser Mark Gillan had the following to say about the 21 year old Dane’s run:

“Perhaps the standout performance of the test was young Kevin Magnussen in the McLaren on Day 1. The 21 year old has had limited experience in F1, but put in a performance that he and the engineers will be delighted with.

He was sent out with a lot of fuel in the car, but his runs (shown in blue below in Fig 1 below) show highly impressive consistency. If you compare the time delta between the high fuel runs, (shown on the left, the lap times are higher, reflecting the extra weight of the fuel in the car) with the lower fuel runs, on the right, you can see that the difference is what it should be – so he has been able to take the maximum from both the higher and the lower fuel load and has been able to string together laps very consistently in both conditions, with a nice downward trend on both long and short runs.” (His performance is compared in the graph with Paul di Resta.

“If I was on the technical team at McLaren I would be very impressed and very happy with this run,” adds Gillan. “It’s a very impressive run for a young man who has limited F1 experience.”

The news comes ahead of the United States Grand Prix, where Perez is expected to have a huge amount of support from fans from his home country Mexico.

Speaking in an interview in Spanish, Perez said: “There are many more people that probably haven’t been good enough, especially this year. Mentally after what’s been said I’m ok, I have a lot of support from my country and that’s what helps me carry on.

“Yes I’m disappointed [with this season]. When your objectives are much higher than your results, we have a reason to be disappointed both me and the team.

“This is a great team, I have no doubt about it, but if I’m here next year there needs to be more organisation. Right now the car we have is to fight for points and the team has struggled to understand this.

“If I don’t drive for this team (McLaren) next year I have to study the best option and see what’s best for my future.”

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  1. Juanjo says:

    Jenson Button isn’t any better than Sergio Perez. The only reason they will replace him and not Button is because he isn’t British.

    1. Optimaximal says:

      Or maybe it’s because there’s no free agent who could really replace him?

      None of the drivers on the market have anywhere near the breadth of experience Button brings and the big names are locked up in contracts until 2015 and beyond.

      1. Carlos Palomo says:

        Jenson Button must go home.

      2. brian drian says:

        He looks at home at McLaren.

    2. Sebee says:

      There are other reasons. Big one is he’s a WDC, which satisfies some sponsor requirements I’m sure. Every sponsor want’s to have a WDC repping for them in F1. Also, he’s well spoken, clean image, no drama. You know what you’re getting with Jenson, and it’s all good really.

      1. Fireman says:

        So you are saying Michibata is playing safe?

      2. gollino says:

        Michibata is quite safe as a quasi celebrity.
        She is just a nice woman who does modeling as a carrier.
        There is nothing wrong with it.

      3. goob says:

        Not a real WDC though… the double diffuse owns that WDC.

      4. Daniel Spiller says:

        So would you argue that the exhaust blown diffuser, “exotic engine maps” and possible traction control “own” Vettel’s 3 most recent titles?

      5. Omniprescient says:

        … and you also mean Michelin own that 2005 WDC as well? Oh wait…

      6. cka_bob says:

        How do you work that out, if you look back at the 2009 season Red Bull had the fastest car from around the midpoint, yet he still won? What you mean is he’s not a real WDC because of the double diffuser and the fact the Red Bull dropped the ball. Isn’t that what winning the WDC is all about ffs? Seriously i find some of these views plan ignorant. First Hamilton was going to walk all over him, yet in the end they were very well matched (there’s an argument for both drivers but in the end they were much closer than anyone would have expected) and now walked all over Perez, still he’s somehow not a very good driver? If Jenson’s a poor driver then all you armchair commentators must have a negative score in driving skills, honestly go back to sleep…..

      7. JCA says:

        That’s a bit unfair. Does the WDC of ‘Our Nige’ belong to active suspension?

        In a contractors sport, having a technological advantage often determines the WDC and WCC, be it the first team to master slicks and wings, ground effect, turbo engines, active driver aids, and so on. That doesn’t mean the driver doesn’t deserve his WDC, he still has to beat at least his teammate.

        Also, Brawn/Honda/Super Aguri (whichever you credit) weren’t the only ones to spot the loophole, they just designed the best one.

      8. Wade Parmino says:

        A comment like this opens up one hell of a can of worms. A win is a win (even if you steal it like Vettel in Malaysia or it is given to you by Barrichello at Austria). Or have a car with an unfair advantage, be it within or outside of the rules. Or an unfair points system such as 1988 where Prost was the rightful champion but Senna was given the WDC.

        A win is a win and that’s that.

      9. Sebee says:

        Great. I don’t argue that DD design helped JB to the WDC with huge first 1/2 of season points haul.

        However, look at the WDC tropy, DD’s name is not on it. JB’s is. That’s what counts.

    3. Mike says:

      Yeah yeah yeah.

    4. Jimbob says:

      Sorry but that’s just rubbish, seriously. Perez can’t beat Button and if you can’t beat Button you shouldn’t be driving a McLaren.

      JB is the perfect number 2 – Very fast and consistent but not quite up to the F1 elite standards, probably best of the rest though.

      Anyone who thinks otherwise is dilluded.

      3rd highest point scorer 2010-2012 behind Vettel & Alonso.

      1. veeru says:

        I think you got it absolutely right.

      2. ManOnWheels says:

        When Button joined McLaren, the first thing he did was to beat Hamilton. Now put that in your “Number 2″ pipe and smoke it.

      3. Tim says:

        Surely, that was the second thing he did – he trailed LH by 26 points at the end of their first year together.

      4. Jimbob says:

        On points you’re right but are you suggesting JB is quicker than LH? He’s definitely not.

        Nobody needs to preach to me, I’m a JB fan through and through but he’s nowhere near LH, SV and FA on pace.

      5. bob says:

        “Nobody needs to preach to me, I’m a JB fan through and through but he’s nowhere near LH, SV and FA on pace.”

        Pace in what? Qualifying or the race?

        Qualifying yes, Button is not great.

        But race pace – I disagree! Saying he is nowhere near LH, SV and FA is just plain wrong.

        I guess he won 8 races from 2010 to 2012 by being slow?

      6. Rayz says:

        Raikkonen was 3rd in 2012. And Button is not “very fast”. He is a consistent racer rather a fast one lap specialist. Sergio has been very close on one lap pace to JB all season.

        I agree though that Button is a tier 2 driver behind the top 4 of Vet, Alo, Rai and Ham.

        Probably Hul, Web, But, Ros tier 2.

        Perez is not tier 2 and thus has to go. Had his chance, one year at McLaren against Button is tough but McLaren are looking for the next Ham and Perez is not a star, so another season is pointless.

      7. cka_bob says:

        I would probably agree with this although i think Raikkenon floats between tier 1 and 2 and also i think Jenson does the same- but mostly stays in tier 2. But saying you’re just a little behind Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel (on average) is really not such a bad thing is it? With his experience and supreme driving in changeable conditions not to mention he’s great for PR as already stated- he’s good enough for a number one at mclaren evidently- again not so bad is it? Definatly the best number 2 on the grid which makes me think he’s better than number 2…..

      8. Wade Parmino says:

        Button’s conservative style will be very conducive to 2014 Formula 1. So long as McLaren produce an actual RACE CAR he should be right in contention next season.

      9. NickH says:

        Race pace Raikkonen is tier 1 in his own

      10. All revved-up says:

        Very nicely said.

        I too think that Kimi is at the bottom of the 1st tier. (I’m a Kimi fan). And Rosberg’s recent point scoring performance edges him almost into Tier 1.

        Rosberg will have to beat Hamilton on points over a season before I am fully convinced he’s Tier 1.

        Button’s closer to Hamilton, than Webber is to Vettel.

        Massa’s recently made a case for himself to be in Tier 2 – if his point scoring improvement continues.

        I think the key distinguishing feature of the Tier 2 drivers from Massa and Grosjean et al, is that all the Tier 2 drivers score good championship points.

        In contrast Perez, Maldonado, Grosjean are quick – but don’t seem to score points. Lately there seems to be a change in Grosjean – but Maldonado as a team mate may derail his improvement!

      11. Robert says:

        I am a HUGE JB fan, but let’s face it, he’s probably the 4th or 5th best driver currently driving. NOTHING wrong with that – McLaren is a privateer in an age of big money team owners, where tobacco and alcohol sponsorship has ended. They couldn’t afford to keep Lewis, they probably couldn’t afford to get Alonso, Vettel, and perhaps Kimi. So they have the next best – a man who CAN drive a fast car quickly (there is a reason he won in 2009 and not Ruebens!), who can drive changing conditions better than almost anyone, and who knows strategy. Not the best over a single lap, unless the car is perfect for him. But HUGELY promotable, well liked, clean image, and plays well in Japan too. He has another year or two left as a prime driver…

      12. cka_bob says:

        Spot on, should have read your comment before posting mine above….. Finally a sensible outlook!

      13. DanT says:

        Absolutely spot on comment, couldn’t agree more.

    5. Steve says:

      Nonsense. Button is a former World Champion with 14 seasons behind him.

      1. Sebee says:

        Has it been 14 already?

        Either he started young or time really flies!

      2. Most people believe JB came to Formula 1 a season or two early. Jenson’s alluded to it and Flavio Briatore (who was team principle) stated it out right.

        Furthermore Jenson is wiley old fox type of driver who will keep it on the black stuff and when things get mixed up in the field (weather, saftey cars etc.) will sniff out the opportunities.

        McLaren do need a good qualifier and an out right pacey driver in the mould of Vettel or Hamilton to compliment him. Its simply a case of covering bases.

        Perez is in a similar mould, remember most of his notable performances came in mixed conditions for Sauber. He had a poor qualifying record against team mates prior to this season.

      3. petes says:

        Wow, 14 seasons eh? And he got lucky with 1 in 14.
        Any other drivers on the F1 grid presently with 14 up?
        Put another way, any there with 13 up and no WDC?

      4. J Hancock says:

        Webber will make it 12 with no title, Alonso is 12/2, Hamilton 7/1, Raikonnen 11/1, Massa 11/0 and Rosberg 8/0, Mr Vettel is 7/4, Barrichello went 19/0.
        Button is a hard one to judge. From 2010-12 he outperformed Hamilton, people claiming car failures are wrong. Over that period Hamilton suffered 6 car/pit/tyre failures and had 7 accidents (that were not caused by car failure), Button had 8 car/pit/tyre failures and one accident, in both cases only counting the ones that forced them to retire or dropped them out of the points. Not crashing and/or avoiding/surviving collisions is a skill, it’s where Button had a big edge over Hamilton. 2010-12 only Vettel and Alonso averaged better results than Button, make it 09-12 and only Vettel has done better. But by the same token he is very unspectacular and a poor qualifier, he is consistent, but does not seem ‘fast’ to the naked eye. It makes him hard to place in the driver hierarchy.
        But, if you go strictly by numbers, right now Button is the fifth best driver on the grid (15 win, 49 pod, 8/25 since 2010), only Vet, Alo, Rai and Ham have better records overall. Fans might want other things like passion and excitement, but F1 is about scoring points and winning, Mclaren have evidently decided that the fifth best driver and a rookie gives them better chances than the fifth best driver and a guy they now know is not as good as the fifth best driver.

      5. bob says:

        “But, if you go strictly by numbers, right now Button is the fifth best driver on the grid (15 win, 49 pod, 8/25 since 2010), only Vet, Alo, Rai and Ham have better records overall.”

        I agree with your post overall, but what most people forget is that for the first 9 years of his career he was not in a front running car.

        Since he has got into a front running car (discounting this season!!!) he has more wins than anyone on the grid bar Vettel and more points than anyone on the grid bar Vettel and Alonso!

        One thing is certain – since getting into a front running car, he has been FAR from a Number 2 driver!!!

      6. Carlos Palomo says:

        So? He has not done much more than his a lot les experienced team mate.

      7. MattH says:

        Temper that against scoring more points over a 3 year period than a very highly rated driver then.

      8. NickH says:

        What about when Button went almost 6-7 races in 2012 barely getting in the points whilst Ham was getting poles and winning. I’d say that is more reflective of their true ability.
        Also the ‘more points in 3 years’ is so boring now, I swear people that repeat this stat didn’t actually watch the races. How many times did Hamilton brake down whilst leading? In 2013 alone 3 wins got away. 75 points so there’s the ‘button outscored Lewis on points so he’s better’ argument sorted out.
        Button has only ever had 1 pole at Mclaren. Hamilton added 9 whilst driving with button 2010-2012. When they both finished the races Hamilton was ahead 65% of the time. Hamilton retired 13 times compared to 8 times for button.

    6. Jimbob says:

      Oh, and good luck Kevin! He looks like a promising young talent.

      And… I don’t think Perez is good enough to stay in F1 – I’d put Hulkenberg and DiResta in the Force India’s, Guttierez has proven his worth against Hulkenberg on occasion so he deserves another shot at Sauber alongside Sirotkin.

      1. hero_was_senna says:

        Funny how all fans were on LdM’s case last year about taking on Perez and he said he wasn’t ready yet.

    7. Pete says:

      Button has been consistently much better than Perez. Look at the data – then comment.

    8. Valois says:

      Button 60 vs Perez 35 so far. How do you tell which one is better remains a mistery.

      1. Phil R says:

        You summed my point up perfectly….

    9. F1 Badger says:

      The only reason you are saying that is because you’re not! JB is a far superior package!

    10. Anil says:

      Face it, Sergio has been poor this year. In fact, he’s been poor since the latter half of last year. With Jenson they have a driver who has significant experience setting up the car and who is clearly better than most of the grid, bar the likes Alonso, Lewis and Vettel. He’s very consistent and is great in mixed conditions too.

    11. Random 79 says:

      If you say so.

      Yes Juanjo, after an entire year of working with Perez and after many weeks of agonizing over the decision of which driver he should go with for 2014 Martin suddenly jumps up and exclaims “wait a minute! Perez isn’t even British!”

      To which everyone else at McLaren smacks their foreheads.

      1. Sebee says:

        You missed a step.

        First they put down the burritos and lick the salsa off their fingers. Then everyone else at McLaren smacks their foreheads.


      2. Random 79 says:

        Well spotted and duly noted ;)

      3. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

        ..they put down the burritos
        (which they thought they were getting a for free on a multi-year supply deal from Slim Bros Tacos Etc Inc)
        ..smacks their foreheads.

      4. Tim says:

        +1 lol – in fact I am still chuckling.

      5. KGBVD says:

        Glad to see I’m not the only one who can’t tell you ppl apart.

      6. Alejandro says:

        The tyre puncture on silverstone when Perez was 6, that wasn’t Perez fault, and on Monaco the brake failure when he was 5 with 5 laps to go!! Please be inform about this, and on Sakir button was slower than Perez on that corner!!

      7. Random 79 says:

        I think you might have just shot the wrong critic there Alejandro…

      8. Fada says:

        The break failure was his fault. Had he not reckless tried to overtake Raikkonen, he would not have had a break failure to contend with in the later stages of the Monaco race

      9. Kirk says:

        The brake problem was his fault, he was abusing of them the entire race.

      10. Elie says:

        I reckon Jenson jumped up and smacked Martins forehead and said he’s not British- then Whitmarsh made his decision…
        I cannot for the life of me understand the Jenson Button factor at Mclaren– he was,is and always will be a second tier driver at best, I think Hulkenberg, Massa even a few rookies like Bottas and Bianci are already as good.But he’s “such a lovely chap” that no one can dream of seeing him go.

      11. Random 79 says:

        Probably a fair amount of truth there Elie…except maybe for the Jenson jumping up and smacking Martin bit ;)

      12. Scott D says:

        So what’s the answer then…when Vettel, Hamilton, Alonso and Raikkonen are otherwise engaged? You are criticising McLaren for not having a better driver than Button without suggesting any viable alternatives. Why should they employ someone else when by your own admission there are few drivers better than him (and all of the other “2nd tier” drivers you list are unproven at the highest level with the exception of Massa)? Even if you dont think he’s a great number one, he makes perfect sense to keep in the team.

      13. Tara says:

        A lot of people seem to be just looking at the track results. From what I gather its the ‘no 2′ drivers that do a lot of the testing stuff for the tream.
        I recall newey said that MW was more sensitive to aero than SV. I also heard that FM spent more time in the simulater than FA.
        So I presume JB does a lot of the behind the scene stuff that the ‘no 1s’ don’t

    12. newton says:

      I suspect the team, being in possession of all the data, will be in a slightly better position than you to be the judge of that.

    13. K says:

      Considering Button beat Hamilton one season and was very close the other 2 seasons, your argument would mean not much. Unless you want to claim Hamilton is no better than Perez ;)

      1. Elie says:

        If you take away several car failures and several team failures on Lewis – whilst he was actually in the lead of a race – then yeah Jenson looks ok. But if you see he was almost lapped at some races isn’t very inspiring if you were to be honest..Being only a few points a head of Perez should be the way he is viewed.

      2. JCA says:

        He is ahead by 60 points to 35, not just a few.

      3. bob says:

        Do you mean like in Monaco (of all places!) in 2011 when Hamilton was 2 corners from being lapped by Button but was saved by a red flag?

        Is that like what you mean?

      4. NickH says:

        Like mid 2012 when button couldn’t score points “I have no grip” and Hamilton was winning/fighting for wins

    14. Rod says:

      That’s ridiculous.

    15. Thread the Needle says:

      McLaren wasn’t that impressive with Perez’s performance in Abu Dhabi, the time Button took out of him in the second half of the race was unreal

      Plus Button has got quite a few points this year with that car this year

    16. Flyboy says:

      For me, the best test of an F1 driver is if he gets results beyond what the car seems capable of. By this measure, Alonso and Hulkenberg stand out. Too early to judge Vettel while he is in a Red Bull and I am not sure about Kimi. After these, there are a lot of drivers who will do a good job on the day if the car is working exactly to their needs, Button and Weber are perfect examples of this, as is Perez.

      1. Elie says:

        How do you ascertain what a car is capable of ?.. You can hear bullsh.. From chest beaters like Alonso when the first time in 4 years his team mate is allowed to race him – he is actually quicker than him..Everyone talks Grosjean up yet he is lucky to score 1/3 the points of Raikkonen
        Perspective is a wonderful thing that most punters lack.

      2. JEZ Playense says:

        Couldn’t agree more.

    17. Karim says:

      Juanjo, you come across as a bit bitter who cannot face the fact that Perez has been under performing in the McLaren. Button is just about perfect as a “safe hands approach”- when things go wrong for their fast driver, Button is reliable and dependable to pick up some decent points. He is the ultimate racer you can fall back on when things are not quite right- I compare Button to a slightly inferior Niki Lauda.

      Perez was never going to be that dependable and McLaren knew that when they signed him, they signed him for Perez’s perceived quickness. And this is the worst part about it, is that Button is beating him on qualifying pace, let alone on race pace- which is why they decided to promote Magnussen (who is NOT A BRIT) and be better off with two different type drivers. Ideally, I would like them to have Hulkenberg and Magnussen in one team but I am a racing idealist, having said that- Button is a sensible option in any case, Perez however has failed.

      It is a harsh judgement based on this one season, but for the sake of Perez I hope this won’t dent his confidence and that he will be resolute in proving McLaren wrong, coz Perez is a decent, likeable guy. If he gets his Force India chance, he needs to race the life out of the that car under new regs with no pressure otherwise his career will be over, I am afraid. F1 is a ruthless business, just ask Jan Magnussen!

    18. Phil R says:

      Thats also the reason they went for Checo over Paul Di Resta last year…

    19. Roger W says:

      Not true

    20. TimW says:

      The world drivers championship standings say otherwise.

    21. coefficient says:

      He thrashed Perez this year.

  2. Phil says:

    Blimey. I go away on business for one day and when I get back Massa is in at Williams, Kimi out for the rest of the season and Perez replaced by someone called Kevin.

    Seriously though I wish the young man the best of luck. Let’s hope he makes a better fist of it than his father did.

    1. James Allen says:

      You should go away on business more often. It’s good for F1 news!

      1. Random 79 says:

        Could you imagine what would happen if he went away for two days? ;)

      2. KGBVD says:

        Schumi returns… again.
        And this time he’s bringing Mika.

      3. DB4Tim says:

        FA…would drive for Sauber

    2. Fireman says:

      But don’t go out of business. That’d be a disaster.

    3. Rod says:

      Take a month off.
      We could use some more changes, like McLaren confirming they have Alonso for 2015 and Bernie retiring, or no more night races, which are an almost insulting show on waste, etc……

      1. Tim says:

        or no more night races..

        One mans meat, as they say – I really like the night races :-)

      2. AlexTrickle says:

        What? Singapore is one of my favourite races of the year. Not the best track like Spa/Monza but for sheer visual pleasure there is nothing like it. Watching Singapore in HD is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.

      3. SONIA LUFF says:

        I’m a big fan of Singapore too, way better than some of the other modern Tilkadomes

  3. Andrewinwork says:

    Good luck to the guy, hope he does well. Lets hope he doesn’t miss racing for a living instead of driving a tyre management vehicle

    1. Paul Kirk says:

      And soon to be a petrol-management and a battery-management vehicle!

      1. Andrewinwork says:

        If they played some tunes and had some icecreams to sell it would be perfect

    2. MattH says:

      If you watched F1 in the golden years of the early/mid 80′s you’ll see there was plenty of fuel and tyre managament then as well, with the KERS style ‘overboost’ button too that burnt the fuel it was very similar to todays racing

      Folks always moan about what they have and view the past with rose tinted specs only remembering what they want to

      1. Andrewinwork says:

        I accept that even in those years there was a degree of race management but that shouldn’t be used to defend the current system.
        You certainly do not see the levels of exhaution today that that generation suffered; back then drivers were frequently phisically exhausted by the end of a race, today that rarely applies – yes technology has eased that situation but not to that degree.
        All of the current top drivers admit that (quali apart) they drive well within their capabilities.
        If we look back at the eighties – with all its short comings – as the golden years of F1 then surely it just shows how much of a degraded sport it has become

  4. Vivek says:


    Three questions.
    1) Is Alonso to McLaren a done deal for 2015? He has vehemently denied it, yet most journalists including yourself say it is possible? If he is interested then why is he saying that he will finish his career with ferrari? And what of his contract? It appears that he is free to move (as can be seen by his manager meeting Horner for a Redbull seat)??

    2) Are you reasonably sure that Mercedes have the best engine next year?

    3) Finally, how do McLaren rate Magnussen? As highly as Hamilton?


    1. James Allen says:

      1. I don’t think so, no. I think he’s waiting to see who goes well next season
      2. Hard to say of course, but they seem the most confident and there has been quite an exchange of engineers about the place so they are all learning more about where they are relative to others
      3. They rate him highly. Not sure if it’s as highly as Hamilton, different scenario, but he and Vandoorme seem to be very highly rated within the team

      1. Donald says:

        As highly as Hamilton now, or relative to their estimation of Hamilton going into 2007?

        2014 will be quite tense for McLaren; it’s basically a check of whether or not this season was a blip (which it surely is, just looking at their 2010-2012 performances).

        I wonder how universally McLaren would welcome Alonso back. I read once that Whitmarsh was actually particularly of the ‘eject him immediately’ stance after Hungary 2007, so perhaps some other, entrenched people have thawed too.

        It would be not very nice if Button got the shove for Alonso. Button is as good as an F1 driver needs to be, and I’d be sad if McLaren swapped years of JB there-or-thereabouts for one or two of Alonso before he up and left. I seem to recall him being quite abrupt with coming and going at Renault, once it had filled its purpose.

      2. Sebee says:

        I have a theory I voiced here. I hope it’s true because we can’t have McLaren repeat a season like this through pure incompetance.

        Here is the theory. After Mercedes bought a team it was always going to be tought for McLaren to have them as competitor and partner. After McLaren emberassed Mercedes for 3 seasons things got tense and partnership broke down, highlighted by Mercedes’ shopping spree at McLaren last season. For McLaren it’s not so easy to find an engine. And so McLaren has had to “surrender” if you will to Mercedes to keep the engine for 2 more seasons to bridge the time to Honda.

        So, I think it’s fully BY DESIGN and VOLUNTARY what’s happening at McLaren now and in 2014 as well. They are just laying low, putting in the work, sowing the seeds which will bear fruit in 2015. So be cool and patient. Save your coin for a 2015 McLaren shirt kit, that is when things will get back to normal – after McLaren break away from the Mercedes link fully. It is also why Kevin for 1 year plus option in case he can walk on water is not a risk and a very very low cost. Especially in a year when Vodafone takes it’s sponsorship money with no immediate replacement know to us at this point.

      3. Tim says:

        I read once that Whitmarsh was actually particularly of the ‘eject him immediately’ stance after Hungary 2007…

        I read/heard the same thing – how highly must McLaren rate Alonso if they are pursuing him with such determination and are prepared to overlook his previous behaviour? Either that, or they are desperate.

      4. JCA says:

        Off topic, James, but have you seen Scarbs’s predictive drawings of next year’s car noses on Autosport? They make the step nose look beautiful. The phallic jokes write themselves. Can’t they stop it now? I would rather inconvenience the teams now, than embarrass the sporf next year.

      5. Colm says:

        First we had cartoon tires, now cartoon noses.

      6. JimmiC says:

        I fear it is too late. You can’t dick about with aerodynamics.

      7. Timmay says:

        I think its good to see optimum solutions.

      8. J Hancock says:

        Oh wow, those are horrible. Begs the question how the FIA can be so consistently short sighted about these things. Why did they not specify early-mid 90′s style noses with the wing attached directly to the nose cone?
        On the plus side, SniifPetrol are going to have a field day week month and year on those things.

      9. NJB says:

        I quite agree. F1′s ability to continually shoot itself in the foot never ceases to amaze. So in 2014 we can expect hideous cars driven to a delta on eggshell tyres, motorway overtakes, pay drivers blocking the real talent and, let’s be honest, probably another vettel walkover. This really makes me question what is happening to the sport I have loved since 1992. Surely those responsible for the regulations are intelligent enough to consider how the car will appear as well as safety. Call me superficial but a large part of f1′s appeal has always been the beauty and purity of the cars. Watching the step nose monstrosities in 2012 was painful enough but once again f1 regulations manage to defy all logic. I really do despair.

      10. All revved-up says:

        Looks like Vettel will name his 2014 car “Barbra”(Streisand).

    2. Jeff says:

      technically, that was 8 questions… just sayin.

  5. Vivek says:

    Just adding one more question.

    Is Jenson Button’s deal done for 2014? Whitmarsh stated that “The fact is at the moment we haven’t confirmed our driver line-up, we haven’t signed contracts with drivers, so we’re still talking about that. “

    1. AuraF1 says:

      Jenson has a contract it’s just a game to drive his price down.

    2. Harshad says:

      Yes, it is, he has option for next year from his current contract, which he has/wants to exercise/d.

      Hence, Button stays with Mclaren for 2014

  6. KRB says:

    Very cruel for Perez, even though he hasn’t impressed, even taking into account the car. If you have a speed deficit to Button – which is bad enough – then you have to beat him on racecraft, and Perez clearly hasn’t done that.

    Magnussen looks like he has a 40-yr-old’s face!

    Months ago I would never in a million years believe that McLaren would court Alonso for a return drive. But with all the moves this year, especially Kimi back to Ferrari, any and everything seems possible.

    1. Optimaximal says:

      Pretty much everyone attributes Alonso’s falling out in 2007 to be with McLaren, but it was really a falling out with Ron Dennis, who isn’t directly involved anymore.

    2. Sebee says:

      Did you see?

      F1 US GP is bumped by Grey Cup on TSN1.

      and then…

      F1 US GP is bumped by NASCAR on TSN2!

      No live F1 feed this weekend. Shown at 10PM! Canada can’t see a North American race live this weekend. Simply amazing. Tells us all we need to know about F1 ratings here I think.

      1. And unless the channels referenced by Sebee are affiliated with NBCSports, we don’t know what to expect here in the States, either. NBC doesn’t seem to be able to put the information out there ahead of the channel guide on our local cable affiliate (and you can only get that info about 24 hours in advance — if you are lucky). Alternatively, where to look for the information is the problem. Either way, being an F-1 fan in the US has taken a dive.

      2. Miro says:

        That’s why I’m glad I cancelled cable few years ago. I use combination of online feeds and VPN from GB to watch it on BBC iPlayer. F1 is too complicated and boring for average American/Canadian race fan. I would love to see Bernie offer us paid streaming service. It’s 21st Century… Who watches TV anymore?

      3. PaulW says:

        Canada gets the NBC feed live this weekend :)

      4. KRB says:

        Yes, so far you’re right … I hope it stays, I like the NBC crew (ex-Speed crew minus Varsha).

      5. KRB says:

        Holy geezus, you’re right!


        It’s on webcast.

        Now shows as 8pm on TSN2, for the first showing.

        Truly pathetic, but not surprising, from TSN.

      6. PallasJay says:

        But anyone that gets TSN will also get NBC, so that I could see why they wouldn’t bother broadcasting it when there is CFL to watch and another network showing the same thing. I can’t imagine the F1 audience is anywhere close to the CFL audience (speaking strictly within Canada’s borders, of course).

  7. Blackmamba says:

    Thank God Magnussen has made it to F1, coz he is a real talent and the most exciting in the lower classes considering what has happened to Robin Frijns, but personally I feel they should have dropped Button instead who should have performed better for MacLaren with all his wealth of experience but a talent that has long hit the ceiling. There is nothing more to come from Button whereas one suspects Perez has a lot of room for improvement.

    1. MISTER says:

      Feedback could’ve played a part too. We don’t know how good Perez is with his feedback, maybe he’s really bad, therefore McLaren need to have one experienced driver who can advise their engineers of how the car feels.
      They certainly cannot expect that from Magnussen in his first year. I am pretty sure the team take into account alot of factors not just qualifying and race finishing positions.

    2. Mike says:

      I guess McLaren disagree with you.

    3. matty says:

      yes and Buttons ceiling was a world championship , not so bad

  8. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

    No doubt he is fast and impressive compared to the young guys with no F1 experience.

    But, looking at the graph, only at Mag’s low fuel lap times. They fluctuate between 93.5 and 95.5s. That hardly sounds consistent in F1 driver terms where they consistently lap within a couple of tenths – not a couple of seconds.

    I realise you can’t really compare di Resta’s times but his groupings are far more tightly clustered together. Is it just that Mag’s graph time groupings were way more impressive than the other new kids?

    1. v0idwalker says:

      remember, Mag doesn’t have much experience in an F1 car

  9. Ayrton Prost says:

    I can’t understand the logic of the decision to drop Perez. Last year, when they went for him over Hulkenberg and Di Resta, Martin Whitmarsh said it was partly because Perez is three year’s younger than the other two, so has more time to develop. They seem to have just gone back on this completely.
    I do like Perez, he is one of my favourite drivers. I think he has done ok this year, about as well as I expected him to. McLaren obviously expected more. His race pace is often comparable to Button, but silly mistakes at key moments have often set him back. I don’t think he could be much closer to Button without being ahead of him. Does this mean that Magnussen needs to be ahead of Button next year or he will be out to? The strange thing is McLaren seem to want to keep Button but want the other driver to beat him.
    The author has said that Button is an ‘excellent benchmark’ for Magnussen in this article, yet as many times as I see that sort of line, I also see the ‘Perez has only matched Button in qualifying (9-8) when Button is known to be a weak qualifier.’ I don’t think this can be had both ways.

    1. AuraF1 says:

      Magnusson will have to be beating Jenson regularly or he’ll get ditched in 2015 for Alonso. Then Vandoorme will replace Button or Alonso (whoever retires first – likely Button).

    2. All revved-up says:

      Yes – I think if Magnussen doesn’t match or beat Button next year, he’ll be out of McLaren.

      If Magnussen beats Button – then Button will be replaced.

      McLaren need to field a world class driver pairing – to be competitive against Red Bull and Mercedes in 2015.

      Next year looks to be another transition year for McLaren.

    3. Timmay says:

      You can’t understand the logic of removing Perez after one season. Most couldn’t understand the logic of hiring him in the first place – and so it comes to pass and as little surprise that he goes.

    4. What it really boils down to is that no-one expects Button to challenge for the title any more but he is a solid and consistent point scorer. Therefore, they need a driver who will quickly match and gradually beat Button’s level so that they can be sure they have someone to contend for a title when the car is right.

      2014 is a bit of a lost year for them as they have had some significant technical staff changes and they need to get the team all bedded down and ready for Honda coming onboard. So why stick with Perez when Button can still outpace him? As James says, give Magnussen a year to settle in and prove his promise and that puts them in better shape for 2015. At which point, Alonso becomes a free agent and they would take him over Button as he would be more likely to challenge for a title. Even if Alonso stayed for only 2 years, if it got them a title and Magnussen developed into a real title challenger they would be more than happy.

  10. Jonathan says:

    It’s time to ask some serious questions about McLaren’s management. This year’s dismal performance on the track is bad enough. But to that we now have to add the ‘Perez fiasco’.

    Because whatever you think of Perez, the team have clearly made a misjudgement somewhere. If he’s good enough to win a WDC given a competitive car, then it’s a big mistake to drop him after only one year. If he isn’t, then it was a big mistake to hire him in the first place. Either way, the management should be held to account.

    As for Magnussen… well, we’ll see, won’t we? There’s a well-known phenomenon called ‘regression to the mean’. It’s just a matter of statistics that most so-called ‘future superstars’ do not turn into actual superstars. McLaren may hope they have ‘another Hamilton’ on their hands, but that’s just the kind of questionable gamble that we have come to expect from McLaren this year. A team of their stature should be able to recruit the best drivers without having to gamble on unknown quantities.

    1. Nick says:

      Yeah well said, I am really sad for Perez, his misfortune to drive a terrible Mclaren, to get rid of him now and replace him with and such a driver is highly questionable.

    2. Timmay says:

      Very true.

    3. Robert says:

      McLaren didn’t gamble this year, except with Perez. Even that wasn’t a driving gamble – that was a “will Carlos Slim back us?” gamble. And he obviously hasn’t, so Perez is out.

      Their car wasn’t a true gamble – it was a necessary learning step to change from a low-chassis car to a high-chassis car. It was always going to be tough to be the last top team to do that, when the other teams had been optimising high-chassis designs for a few years. HOW McLaren had even been competitive with a low chassis for so long against Red Bull and the others shows the depth of their engineering talent, and the strength of the Mercedes engine package.

      But they had to change, and with limited testing they got it a bit wrong. Their CFD models had insufficient real-world testing. So this year’s chassis was flawed from Day 1, and there is no easy way back from that. But they HAVE had an entire year to calibrate their CFD models now, and that should give them a much better platform to face the 2014 rules changes. They key thing is, it wasn’t a gamble, it was necessary pain to develop a high-nosed 2014 car. I wouldn’t expect a perfect 2014 car, but I would expect one that can challenge at the front again…

    4. Adiel says:

      Agree 100%

    5. Asayew says:

      Assume GRO performance last year in a lotus and what kind of driver he is now at the moment.

  11. Bjorn Grylls says:

    If this is true, it would be good news! In contrast to my comment in the previous post, I didn’t hold this as a realistic option, but it is a dream scenario.

    Perez has not performed extremely bad, if compared to Button. Still the hiring never made any sense (at least to me..).

    Still, I’d like Perez to stay in F1 and Force India would suit him as a hungry and young driver.

    F1 needs more talents than pay drivers, and let’s be honest; Perez wouldn’t have joined Sauber without Telmex…

  12. Bill Nuttall says:

    I know I’m probably in a minority of one, but I like Perez. I admire his extreme agression and total lack of respect for more senior drivers. Pity he isn’t a bit faster.

    1. MISTER says:

      You think that is something to admire? Oh well..

    2. Random 79 says:

      As for the last part I’m sure McLaren were thinking the same thing…

    3. Fireman says:

      That’s why Perez is being dropped. He doesn’t learn from his mistakes.

    4. Paul Kirk says:

      My parents allways tought me to respect my elders, but I think I know what you mean.

    5. AlexD says:

      What is there to admire? You seem to admire weird stuff….so no surprise other people think differently and I am so happy they do!

    6. Paul Walker says:

      i’m sure when Whitmarsh told him to “get his elbows out” prior to Bahrain, the team didnt think he would take on Button using this method too …

      Despite all the claims after that race I wonder just how McLaren viewed his judgement …

  13. Sebee says:

    Best signal yet that Mexican GP ain’t gonna happen in 2014. Also, that McLaren will have a void in it’s marketing budget. Who the heck will take the Vodafone spot now?

    I have a feeling 2014 will be another lean year at McLaren.

    1. Stephen Taylor says:

      Put the Manchester United logo on the car . Do some sort link up between the two.

    2. AuraF1 says:

      On the plus side Kevin will probably accept a salary of peanuts and McLaren caps so they won’t be paying out much in the employees column…JB will take a pay cut to secure his place as well. He did at Brawn and I suspect all the McLaren delays in announcing either driver was to get Buttons wages down for next year.

    3. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      Santander in 2015?

    4. Tom Chiverton says:

      What Vodafone spot ? They are pulling out …

    5. Timmay says:

      I hope so. Between that and hopefully Kimi beating Alonso it will be very satisfying for me. I may even renew my Sky TV subscription (haven’t watched a race since June).

      1. Mocho_Pikuain says:

        Kimi beating Alonso? Man, as high as i rate Iceman, I wouldn’t bet for that…

      2. Sebee says:

        I’ll take you on. I bet Kimi will beat Alonso.

        If I win, you owe me a box of ice cream – brand and flavour of my choice.
        If I lose, (which let’s be honest, won’t happen), I owe you a seafood paella lunch.

        Deal? :-)

      3. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

        I think it’ll be less about Kimi V Alonso kicking off, because both have learned a lot from what happened in their twenties. They’ll drive each other forward.

        If it kicks off it’ll be about Luca diMonty V Alonso, and this will raise it’s head if the Ferrari boys are racing Massa in the Williams instead of racing Newey’s Red Bull.

    6. Cliff says:

      I was thinking on similar lines, but in terms of a title sponsor. All the talk had been about keeping Perez to secure a decent deal from Perez’s backers or another Mexican company. I guess we’ll have to wait until December 02. Santander McLaren Mercedes perhaps?

      I do have some sympathy for Sergio Perez, McLaren gave their drivers a sub-standard car and then complained when they failed to deliver. I guess that there’s some long-term thinking (Honda) going on at the MTC.

  14. Aleksandar says:

    Great stuff instead of opting for Massa they went the I do not know anything rout…

  15. Kay says:

    Best of luck to Mag :)

    Liked Perez until his cockiness at Monaco.

    1. Frederik says:


    2. HerrE says:

      Yes, the Monaco incidents made his true colours shine trough!

  16. Elie says:

    I just new it- I followed the YDT closely and his times were a stand out every time he got in the car. I even said then they should run him. If he proves up to it, and has a strong 2014 campaign why not run Vandoorme in 2015 too they can give him runs next year to get him started. It’s a gamble but it’s one worth taking if you have racers who are instantly quick and consistent.
    Button is not their future and he has barely been stronger than Perez this year despite all his team experience.

    1. AuraF1 says:

      I know you dislike Button but when one teammate has more than double the points tally of the other it’s normally called a crushing defeat…

    2. gazz says:

      Jenson has attained nearly 200% the points of his team mate at the moment, that could change over the next couple of races. I happen to agree that its time JB started to consider his options for 2015 and onwards but let me assure you on one thing, the team know better than us and they have chosen to keep Jenson. Checo has shown moments where he has raced well, but over a season he has failed to get near Jenson, who many believe is past it!! McLaren are building towards 2015 and will use next year to prepare Magnussen for the future. JB or SP…… gotta keep the best bet, JB.

  17. Marcelo Leal says:

    Another Lewis Hamilton?
    Beating a two times WDC in his first, rookie season?
    Loosing the WDC by just one point, and that’s because the team orders in Ferrari and one Ferrari driver letting the other win?
    With poles, victories and bold moves in his rookie season?
    Winning the WDC in his second season?
    I doubt that! ;-)

    1. Andyc_f1 says:

      To be fair, in the same period vettel has won 4 championships.

      I don’t believe it’s all the car, but equally whilst I’m convinced of Lewis ultimate pace, I have doubts about his mental strength and racing under the new rules doesn’t suit him.

      1. goob says:

        98% the car and current FIA anti-racing regulations.

        And zero-skill DRS move-overs… (can’t really call them overtakes, as that would involve the display of drivr talent)…

      2. With all due respect and raw talent aside, you may be on to something regarding the “mental strength” issue – or may be it just has to do with the “youth movement” which started a few years back and the inherent talent/capacity to manage early success in perspective. Would seem that some youngsters have the ability to benefit from perspective and some don’t, as you have observed.

        Seems there are folks out there who have also noticed the priorities are not in order – racing seems to come behind rock star trappings/”branding,” and would include ear rings, tattoos, puppy fashion accessories and private jets. Arguably at the probabl advice of current “management.”

        Here is a posting from another blog regarding Webber on Hamilton:

        ‘He has, however, urged the Brit to find the balance between his job and his private life which has at times attracted more headlines than his on-track antics.’

        “I do think Lewis needs to find that consistent hunger he had back in the day. Lewis wanted to prove himself back then; and he did,” Webber said.

    2. **Paul** says:

      We’ll probably not see that again in the sport.

      To come into F1 in the best car on the grid, after weeks of testing (which is now banned) and luck into your team mate having a major personality clash with the team principle?

      If Carlsberg did first year F1 seats that’s exactly what they’d look like !

      1. KRB says:

        Haha … first off, it wasn’t the outright best car, it was equal best with the Ferrari that year (all the stats are right down the middle). But still, it’s the best car that Lewis has had to date, that’s for sure.

        And it was just a personality clash between Alonso and Dennis?! Alonso was po’ed b/c he wasn’t getting out-and-out no.1 status, simple as that. When Hamilton first won in Canada, Alonso labelled it a lucky win. Then next race he asked the team to move Hamilton out of the way in Indianapolis (while LH was leading), and was refused. He tried to pass, it was close, but he couldn’t do it. Only Alonso would equate no preferred treatment for himself to then mean preferred treatment for Hamilton! If Alonso had just kept his nose down, and just did his talking on the track that year, he probably would’ve won it. But he let himself get distracted by off-track stuff.

    3. NickH says:

      Why would you not do team orders if your other driver has no chance to win the championship

    4. MattH says:

      He may just move on to the squandering his talet for the next 6 years ;-) Hamilton is exciting in the car but really he should have won a lot more.

  18. AuraF1 says:

    Sorry this isn’t a great insightful comment – but Kevin looks like a spitting image of William H Macy in that picture. Now I can only hear his voice in my head. That’d be hilarious for pre-race interviews…

  19. Aadil Khota says:

    Personally I think Robin Frijns is better

    He won F3.5 in his rookie year against tougher opponents like Jules Bianchi and Sam Bird.

    1. Bruno says:

      Words of wisdom, finally !

  20. Rich B says:

    perez was the wrong choice from the beginning, it should’ve been hulk.
    dropping perez now without giving him another year to improve may look harsh but it’s his third season in f1 so I doubt he’s going to get much better, he’s certainly no future champion.

    1. Timmay says:

      “he is no future champion” – and this is what really matters. Mclaren can’t fluff around after their Worst Season since 1980, losing their title sponsor, having Honda coming back in 2015, and only 1 (lucky) championship in 14 years. Truth is they’d dump Button too if Vettel, or Alonso would have put pen to their paper for 2014.

      1. Equin0x says:

        I think any team would now dump their driver if Vettel wanted to go there now.

  21. Lez Martin says:

    “Adrian Sutil is known to be talking to Sauber, while Nico Hulkenberg’s management is in discussions with Force India.”

    What of Paul Di Resta?

    1. Oli says:

      Back to DTM or WEC where he belongs!

      3 Year in F1 and not been signed up to any big teams… kind of tells you something!

      1. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

        yeah kind of tells you something … kind of tells you F1 is in a financial mess, someone is taking the mick by running away with almost all the profits, the midfield teams are being trashed, the second best team can’t pay it’s driver, so pay drivers rule more than they ever did.

        PdR and Hulk are the common sense option for Force India, based on speed and racecraft, both in poor midfield cars and above average midfield cars.

        Perez has failed to live up to the promise of the one off perfect Sauber of 2012, Sutil has had his chance and is not bad but inconsistent. Cash or not, they shouldn’t be considered over PdR and Hulk, even if they are shorter and lighter.

      2. Tim says:

        the second best team can’t pay it’s driver…

        Have Mercedes not been paying their drivers?

      3. L.B says:

        I think he means the team with the second best car

      4. Lez Martin says:

        Di Resta is a very talented driver, given the equipment he will do the job, obviously he doesnt come with enough money backing him…

      5. UncleZen says:

        Not quite talented enough to beat his team mate for 2 seasons in a row, though he seems to have raised his game this year.

      6. Philip J Fry says:

        Talented enough to be rookie of the year in his first year and talented enough to outscore Hulkenberg until the final 5 GPs of 2012 when his car went for 4 of those with undiagnosed chassis damage. Talented enough to win major junior championships, talented enough to beat Vettel in junior classes, talented enough to win the DTM, talented enough to outscore most of the DTM field in his first year (5th overall) when he was driving a 2 year old car. Talented enough to be in the top 10 of the WDC with a SFI thats been uncompetitive for approx half the season.

        Honestly, why Hulk is seen as the second coming and PDR gets abused by internet trolls left right and centre is beyond me.

      7. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

        Nicely put Philip, agree totally.

        This year Hulk and diResta have both had excellent seasons, both have had a not bad car and a dog of a car at various points. Hulk at the start, PdR more recently. Both have beaten their teammates though I’d expect Sutil to be better than Guitti. Both have tried to push on their team when the car and strategies were poor and have wrongly been criticised for it, it’s not like they asked for ‘someone else’s car’.

        They should both be in F1 next year and it’s a crying shame for the sport that the midfield teams are in survival mode, instead of trying everything to mix it with the big four teams and get nearer the front.

        As for why PdR is abused and Hulk is glorified?
        It may be an anti-Scots thing, which would be pretty pathetic,
        Maybe the beating junior Seb noising up the more fanatical Vettelettes,
        or perhaps he needs a cool Marvel superhero nickname –
        ‘Go Hulk Go!’ is better than ‘Go P Diddy Go!’

        Good luck to them both, both better than Maldonado, Perez, Guittierez, Chilton etc

      8. **Paul** says:

        I agree. I was always shaking my head in disbelief when people suggested he was an option for the likes of McLaren, Ferrari or Mercedes.

        He’s not done anywhere near enough in the Force India to justify a faster car. That said if we’re talking of drivers who should never be in F1 then Max heads the list with some ease. If his father wasn’t chairman of Aon he’d be nowhere near F1.

      9. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

        This has struck me too. Given all the driver movements over this period, never has anyone mentioned Di Resta. I guess the team principals just don’t rate him.

    2. Paul Wible says:

      Di Resta would be a great replacement for his cousin, Dario, in IndyCar….

      1. Lez Martin says:

        ‘ Replacement ‘ would imply Dario is going to retire, or he wont be fit, after his accident, for the 2014 season….
        I guess it will be neither of those…

    3. Tom says:

      Di Resta is out !

      1. KRB says:

        An opinion, or fact?

  22. AuraF1 says:

    Kevin deserves the shot. McLaren love their data and it’s nice to see them taking a risk again. Their decline this year has been mostly about an initial risk not paying off and then an absolute fear of further risk taking to remedy it.

    If Kevin destroys Button by 2015, they can have the Alonso/Magnusson combo they want (and then replace Alonso with Vandoorme when he reaches retirement age), if Magnusson doesn’t really show the race pedigree against JB, they can keep on the experienced racer and have two WDC in their Honda powered car and still have Vandoorme to replace whichever retires first.

    I always like teams to have one experienced racer with wins under their belt who will generally always score solid points (JB may not be the most exciting driver but he can certainly rack up some totals even in a poor car) and one rookie with crazy speed.

    Sadly Perez was too much like JB, slower over one lap with his strength in preserving tyres, but even there JB has shown more aggression and skill, if Perez couldn’t even show the young mans reliance on raw speed over his elder teammate, he’s not got much to offer. And to think, we were all sat there thinking Perez was the future Ferrari champion in 4-5 years. Now it looks like he’s going to be another Alguesari…

    1. Random 79 says:

      “we were all sat there thinking Perez was the future Ferrari champion in 4-5 years”

      You might have missed some comments along the way ;)

    2. Timmay says:

      Alguersuari was a lot better, in my opinion.

      1. Timmay says:

        …and never got the opportunity Perez has either…. Bad car or not, a drive at Mclaren should’ve launched his career big time.

      2. Random 79 says:

        It did…into a big belly flop ;)

  23. roberto marquez says:

    Up to the last race in 2013 Jenson has scored 60 points in 2013 vs 188 in 2012 whole championship, and he ended 5 th. Sergio has scored 35 vs 66 last year, where he finished 10 th place overall.At the moment they are 9 th and 12 th. I think Mclaren is taking a very bad decision. I hope Perez gets a car and beats the hell out of them.

    1. MISTER says:

      Your comparison is flawed because last year these two guys drove different cars.
      Sauber was OK, while the McLaren was for parts of the season the fastest car, so in my view it was normal for Button to gather that many points, because the car allowed it.

    2. JCA says:

      I’m sorry, I don’t follow you’re reasoning at all. Mclaren were either the fastest car or equal with RBR, depending on who you believe , Sauber were probably the best of the midfield, or equal to Williams (and it can be argued that none of those four drivers reached their cars potential). Obviously, the drop off in potential of Button’s car was much more than Perez’s, so their personal WDC drop off cannot be compared at all.

    3. Kirk says:

      You cannot compare points between one year and another in different cars, I doesn’t work like that. The point is that Perez replaced Hamilton, McLaren was expecting a driver who could be a champion, the next star, Perez has failed, he has just matched Button in some races and has half the points of him, next year Button’s experience is important, he is consistent and can bring many point to home (not to mention he is a WDC). Perez… let’s face it, is not the next star and has 3 years so far in F1, he is not a bad driver either, but if you want to have an experienced driver and someone fast who shines, then Perez is not the answer, McLaren people as said in the article think that this new guy is champion material and they don’t want to have the same experience they had with Kovalainen.

      1. Andrew J says:

        Of course, if you’re a Hamilton fan, you can’t compare points accumulated across three seasons in the same car either ;)

  24. Dmitry says:

    My, my. Why am I not surprized?
    I still can’t figure out what promted McLaren to sign Perez in the first place… because his erratic driving and attitude didn’t show much potential even during 2012 season… of course awful 2013 McLaren didn’t help Perez to show himself, but I am really glad they realized he is not a champion in the making.

    I do believe Kevin will be great next season. I do not think he is next Lewis, but he will do good, no doubts.

    1. chrisnz says:


      Both Sauber drivers last year threw away a lot of points, didn’t maximise the car. Hulkenberg would have got almost double the points that perez did, given how many he has managed in a car not as good as last year’s

      1. Equin0x says:

        As much as I rate Hulkenberg I think your assesments aboyt Hulk scoring alot more than Perez last year as flawed, remember Hulk himself threw away a win at Brazil last year by first spinning whilst looking good in the lead and then misjudged Kovalainen’s slow car at turn 1 when he was clearly going to pass Hamilton sooner or later, point is when a driver gets a sniff of a win or a great result their nerves can get the better of them just like Perez at Malaysia last year as well when he went wide and missed his chance to attack Alonso, the difference between the very best (Vettel, Alonso) and the merely very good drivers are that they choke alot less.

  25. Zombie says:

    I did say this last year that signing for Mclaren could be a double edged sword. If he did well at Mclaren, he would be counted among the best of the best, but if he failed to deliver his career could be over . Sadly, it increasingly looks like the later for him. I thought he did fairly well against Button, especially in the qualifying. oh well, i hope he can somehow make it back to Sauber.

  26. JB says:

    I’m excited to hear Magnussen is back! in the form of this son. Its always good to bring new blood to the sport.

    Looks like Mclaren’s cartoon show will have to zap and get rid of Perez and replace with Magnussen. Kind of like this last one.


    1. Random 79 says:

      As long as he doesn’t say “this might work out well” again.

      No need to jinx yourself twice ;)

  27. Jock Ulah says:

    Looks like a lot of F1 drivers are developing back problems . . .

    ‘Watch-your-back’ problems, that is.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Also known as STR syndrome.

      1. Jock Ulah says:

        Ah, yes – Studio Tronco Rotto . . .

  28. Veteran says:

    Lets hope Vandoorne gets the next chance next year. In my opinion Vandoorne has more potential than magnussen.

  29. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    OK my guess:





    1. Anne says:

      I do really hope you are about the Lotus pair. Hulkenberg deserves to be in one of top teams

      1. Cliff says:

        McLaren missed the opportunity to sign Hulkenberg. Ferrari decide after negotiations not sign Hulkenberg, and now F1 ( the pinnicle of Motorsport)’s new rules have now determined that this talented driver is now scratching around trying to get a decent drive…crazy

    2. Robert says:

      Err Kvyat is already at Toro Rosso… And I would suspect the Lotus Maldonado deal is done, due to lack of alternate finance for the Enstone team. SO I would go…

      Mclaren button Magnusson
      Lotus Grosjean maldonado
      Sauber Perez Sutil
      Force India Di Riesta Hulkenberg (as he will want to get paid and have Mercedes power)

      1. Random 79 says:

        Yes…better…except that Sauber will have Sirotkin.

        So I would go…

        McLaren: Button & Magnussen
        Lotus: Grosjean & Maldonado + Lots of spare parts
        Sauber: Sirotkin and…Kobayashi :)
        Force India: Sutil & Hulkenberg

      2. Tornillo Amarillo says:

        Tks, it’s “SIROTKIN” the driver at Sauber.

      3. Sarvar says:

        What about Sirotkin then?
        Is he gonna watch the races from Sauber garage only after bringing sponsors?)))

      4. Alexander supertramp says:


      5. Anirudh s says:

        It is mostly Hulk and Checo at FI. Sutil is mentoring Sirotkinat Sauber and DIR is in DTM where he can take home the title again.

    3. Tornillo Amarillo says:

      errata: SAUBER: PEREZ & SIROTKIN

    4. Jonathan Andre says:

      In your prediction what happens to DiResta and Gutiérrez? Keeping in mind that Gutiérrez comes with major backing more so that Sutil.

      Also in this scenario DiResta who was considered by Ferrari is left without a seat!

      1. Tornillo Amarillo says:

        I think they have no drive in 2014, but who knows.

  30. Carl Sheen says:

    So after the disaster that was pairing Alonso with a really quick youngster in Hamilton, they are deciding to try to pair Alonso with a really quick youngster they are dubbing the next Hamilton…

    I’m sure there is no way that could possibly end badly

  31. JCA says:

    James, so no chance at Lotus? I would think if Total and Telmex combined could match PDVSA, I would prefer Perez and RoGro. The Quantum lot look decidedly dodgy to me.

    1. Random 79 says:

      The Quantum lot look decidedly dodgy to everyone :)

      Personal preferences aside, I think Maldonado is pretty much a shoe-in at Lotus now.

      1. JCA says:

        Well, that was before Perez, and more importantly Telmex, was on the market. As I said, Telmex would only have to bridge the gap between Total and PDVSA, to make the sponsorship match. They would obviously have to end their Total deal if they go with Pasta.

  32. bearforce says:

    Why this guy and not the Hulk?

    I just don’t get it.

    Or is it just Mclaren making the wrong decision yet again.

    Out of all the drivers next year I would have though the Hulk was the best by a mile.

  33. Richard says:

    Unfortunately McLaren messed up Lewis Hamilton’s Rookie year by losing focus due to problems with Alonso, thereby Hamilton lost out to Raikkenon in the championship by one point, and could have been the first driver to do it in his rookie year. Hamilton scraped through in 2008, but after a succession of uncompetitive cars, and by competitive I mean throughout the season rather than just a high spot hear and there, I suspect they damaged Hamilton as a driver as a result. Much has been made of comparison between Button and Hamilton in the three year they were team mates, but it’s all about relative position in a season not total points over three years, and given that the score was 2-1 to Hamilton. I don’t believe Button could have held a candle to Hamilton in the Bridgestone era with a competitive car. The current formula is so convoluted that McLaren have not been great at solving the issues the Pirelli tyres have presented, and if they are to properly challenge for the championship next year they need to raise the bar significantly all round. In 2011 they potentially lost Hamilton his second drivers championship by a series of operational errors. In many ways Perez has not had a fair crack of the whip, but they seem impatient so they are looking for a driver that can exceed expectations by challenging Button rather than simply fulfilling them. Perhaps Kevin Magnussen is the man, I rather hope so, but he will need to perform like Hamilton did in 2007 by beating his team mate.

    1. Bruno says:

      “In 2011 they potentially lost Hamilton his second drivers championship by a series of operational errors.” In 2012 you mean ?

      1. Richard says:

        Apologises you are quite right, but do you agree?

    2. Equin0x says:

      Actually Hamilton threw it away himself by pushing too hard in China to win the race when he didn’t need to and then dumped iy into the gravel.

      1. Richard says:

        The gravel incident was just one of a series of incidents, and if only one had not happened he would have won the championship that year. Do you remember the gearbox issue in Brazil? Anyway Hamilton was winning by some margin initially but the lead was lost ultimately by a series of incidents.

      2. KRB says:

        The team left him out on bald tires, with their Bridgestone guy imploring them to bring him in, lap after lap. The team were too clever by half, and it cost them. I guess they could’ve told Hamilton to nurse it into the pits, though info like that has just as much chance of screwing up the driver elsewhere.

        And then the mysterious gearbox gremlins in Brazil? Have we seen anything like that since? Still very, very odd.

    3. gazz says:

      Nicely put together except for one thing…. its all if’s and but’s. Each and every driver has a record that is written in stone and this will be based on what the results show and despite your very well composed theory on what should have been, its was not to be. JB was closer to Lewis than some wish to admit and although beaten 2 to 1 over their time together, Jenson did out score Lewis and that is no manipulation of the facts. Jenson is not quicker than Lewis, but he is quicker than some give him credit for.

      1. Richard says:

        Jenson out scored Lewis one year, the year of his relatinship issues. – I hope he’s out grown that one. Points do not carry over year by year and some people grasp at straws by quoting the total number of points which is an irrelevance. The only thing that matters is position within a season. The point I am really making is the Pirelli era reigned in Hamilton by eliminating his strengths on durable tyres. As you say given the right car and set up Button can be very fast.

      2. VSI says:

        Concur with @gazz’s – “its all if’s and but’s”. Lewis lost 2007 by one point – so did Alonso. I’m sure we can conjure some “if’s and but’s” that would have made him the WDC that year as well.

    4. MattH says:

      You do realise that when Button was in the BAR/Honda on bridgestone tyres he got regular pole positions/front row grids against shumachers ferrari and outscored everybody the last half of one season

      He would welcome the return of the bridgestone era!

      1. Richard says:

        I think most drivers that are old enough to remember Bridgestones would prefer to be using them, but Hamilton was very very fast on durable tyres relatively. – Unless of course we are talking about Vettel if one is winning why change anything? Let’s not also forget that Button did to Hamilton what Vettel did to Webber. A driver does not expect his team mate to over take when they are in fuel saving mode!

    5. Joel says:

      One of the main reason for Button’s success in McLaren was Hamilton himself. Remember, when Button joined, both the sides was forced to share the data. One of Hamilton’s frustrations with the team stem from the fact that while Button immensely benefited from his setup/results, he wasn’t getting any useful info from the other side of the garage., e.g., when Button won Aus with less FW. It also showed in the form of twitter share & also his curt reply on he learnt NOTHING from Button, etc.
      McLaren over estimated Button’s capabilities as a team leader and relied on him to carry the team as much as Lewis used to. However, they realized the truth this year (2013). Insiders in the team sure know that Hamilton would have got them atleast a few podiums this year.
      So, please don’t compare Hamilton to Button – they both are in different planes. Although Button is an excellent pilot, he ain’t Alonso/Vettel/Hamilton. He probably is right after Kimi, along with Webber, Hulk, etc.

      1. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

        Taking his setup info? Like in Spa 2012?

        I thought Hammy’s telemetry tweet came after Button nailed pole by a mile, but before Button won the race by a mile.

      2. Joel says:

        You din’t read my comment in its essence, din’t you?
        “Button nailed pole by a mile” – this is what I meant by saying JB’s data wasn’t forthcoming to LH’s side of the garage. The idea on consolidating the data was so both could work as a team. Yet, one doesn’t share what he finds… doesn’t sit well with the other. I see such occurences in daily life – not so much different in F1.

    6. bearforce says:

      This sounds a little like a Lewis fan neglecting talking up all the positives and failing to mention Lewis negatives.

      This post is just like Lewis in his mental year totally unbalanced

      1. Richard says:

        Nothing wrong with supporting ones own country men, however I’m just re-iterating the past in case the woolly minded should forget! Lewis is a great driver and an exciting one to watch given his formula. In the current highly convoluted formula Red Bull have done it all so well, but it is relatively boring to watch. Much better when the leading cars are more evenly matched. The old Formula on durable Bridgestone tyres is much more exciting to watch and what’s more is far more exciting to drive. If truth be known most of the drivers are pissed off with Pirelli tyres apart from of course Sebastion Vettel, but he would not be so happy if he was in a Ferrari or McLaren.

      2. bearforce says:

        Sorry. I was just mucking around mate just trying to be funny.

      3. Joel says:

        Let me tell his weakness as a fan.
        1. The new cheese tyres are his major weakness.
        2. Mentally weak, probably one of the weakest in the lineup. Don’t confuse this with “killer instinct”, which he has ample.
        3. Very bad in PR – whereas JB, Vettel excel in this. This shouldn’t even be his weakness. However, now F1 is more advertisement oriented and he need to do certain amount of media exposure.

      4. bearforce says:

        Don’t misunderstand me. I love to watch Lewis in full flight. He is quick and probably one of the most fun to watch as he actually looks fast and chucks the car around a lot.

  34. Gwan says:

    I think you meant to detail di Resta’s prospects here: “This puts their two current drivers in a difficult position. Adrian Sutil is known to be talking to Sauber, while Nico Hulkenberg’s management is in discussions with Force India.”

  35. German Samurai says:

    Another spineless decision by an F1 team.

    Perez is basically as quick as Button and will probably improve a little more, whereas Button has 1-2 seasons left in him and can only challenge for regular wins if he has a huge car advantage like he did in the first half of 2009.

    Why not keep Perez and have two young guys who both have plenty of upside? Button has no upside at this point in his career.

    And people will say you need an experienced driver in one seat to help with the technical side, but how’s that worked for McLaren this year? How’s it helped with development throughout the season?

    1. Equin0x says:

      Button has 1-2 seasons left??? Isn’t he only 33? I’d say with his fitness (best in F1) he’s got at least another 4 seasons if he wanted.

      1. Gary says:

        If you run marathons you understand just how really fit and athletic is JB.

    2. Diech says:

      At last, the first reasonable comment I read… #34

    3. rach says:

      I agree with this. Perez is clearly rough around the edges and needs to improve. However, Button is just a safe pair of hands who on his day can be impressive but most of the time relies on his charm or ability to whine – like in Bahrain this year.

      Having said that I can see the sense in promoting Magnusson as it is clear that it is better to get a season under his belt in advance of 2015 when Honda come on board and then hopefully a title challenge in 2016. I would say this more reminds me of there grooming of Mika Hakkinen.

    4. NickH says:

      Agree on the button part. I’d get rid of both

    5. Robert says:

      Because you cannot adequately “develop” a flawed chassis. And the current McLaren is a flawed chassis, built upon bad CFD tuning data (caused by the high-chassis changeover). You can’t polish a turd, no matter how good the drivers information is being fed back to you.

      The team KNOWS what feedback they get from both drivers, and who is helping them most. They know who pleases the paying sponsors the most. They know who has double the points of the other. They are keeping one, and not the other. Enough said.

  36. ACO says:

    Mclaren will enjoy the success they deserve. Honestly I am happy Lewis took the right decision a year ago.
    Hopefully they don’t spoil Kevin’s career as they did with Perez.

    1. Kirk says:

      Why McLaren spoiled Perez career? it was his decision to go to McLaren, he knew that was his chance and that had some risk because in a top team you have to deliver since the first time, yes, the car is bad but if he hadn’t made too many mistakes, had been faster in qualifications and had been more consistent, he will be in the team next year, now that I wrote this, I noticed that he hasn’t accomplished any goal a driver has to met in order to be in a top team.

  37. shri says:

    It turns out last year Ferrari were 100% right in keeping Massa and telling that Perez needs some more time before he can be considered for top team like Ferrari.

    McLaren thought otherwise and hired Perez last year and are now considering replacing him.

    1. AlexD says:

      And look like fools now…..

  38. Danny Almonte says:

    Perez had his chance and failed to impress. I’m surprised Button still has a ride.

  39. Janis1207 says:

    McLaren went with both Perez and Button because of their tyre saving skills. They guessed correctly that this years tyres will be very fragile, and then drivers who could save them might flourish.
    Of course, it all went wrong because the car-tyres package just didn’t work, and all these skills turned out to be redundant.
    For the next year ability to learn quickly, and adapt the driving style accordingly will be at a premium.
    Looks like McLaren have found, Perez is not very adaptable.
    So they kept Button just to be on the safe side (if only for 1 year), and went for an impressive youngster as he seems to be an unusually quick learner.
    All quite logical.

    1. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      …or is it because Slim’s wallet is not as adaptable as well.

  40. shri says:

    James – Is McLaren considering signing Hulk for 1 year deal and parking Magnussen with a smaller team 1st season to better evaluate him ?

    1. Zombie says:

      Which part of “Magnussen signs for Mclaren” did you not understand ?

  41. Rich C says:

    Next week’s headline:

    “JPM Returns to F1 in Stunning Move By Force India!”

    Stay tuned – you’ll see!

    1. Rich In Norway says:

      Is this a joke? Would be great if he came back!

    2. Random 79 says:

      In that case he better hit the treadmill pronto ;)

    3. Rob Newman says:

      Yes, they are removing the seat and replacing it with a bath tub!!

    4. AlexD says:

      Nope…..they signed Ralf Schumacher….

    5. Chris Pallis says:

      I wish

    6. Stevie P says:

      Ha ha ha ha, nice one Rich C that made me smile… JPM has slimmed down a lot this year but he’s signed to drive in Indycar with Penske next season, which in itself is a shock seeing how in virtually all of his North American based series “adventures” (NASCAR, CART\Indycar, Grand-AM) he’s driven for Penske’s main rival – Chip Ganassi.

    7. **Paul** says:

      And in a fortnight the headline would therefore read:

      “2014 Force India to use super wide chassis”


    8. David (Sydney) says:

      …have you seen the size of him on YouTube lately?

      JPM sadly was too lazy for F1.

  42. Zombie says:

    The size and quality of F1 rejects makes me wonder why can’t F1 make it cheaper and easier for customers to buy chasis and powertrain off the shelf from bigger teams ala NASCAR? If Di Riesta,Perez and Hulkenberg fail to get a drive for next season, they would be joining Kobi,Alguessuari,Buemi,Glock,Heikki and maybe even Sutil and Bianchi. And this is not counting all the talented GP2 guys who never get a stab at F1.

    It is an incredible waste of talent. F1 desperately needs atleast 3 additional teams, and must ensure that the gap between top teams and those at the bottom gets leveled out.

    1. Random 79 says:

      It is a waste of talent, but even if F1 had twenty teams there would still be talented drivers missing out.

      They’ve been trying to level out the playing field in F1 for years with increasingly restrictive regulations, but it’s just the nature of the sport.

      As Martin pretty much said in his interview just one second a lap slower and you’re nowhere.

    2. Robert says:

      According to most experts, and even from Bernie, it is simply too hard to manage the global logistics for that many teams. In truth, the reason Bernie gives for wanting to cut one or two teams NOW is the difficulty of shipping that many cars and trailers around the globe in time for each race.

      NASCAR doesn’t have near the same air/sea/land transportation nightmares of a global series such as Formula 1. And efforts to try to get more F1 races closer together hits obstacles such as weather, temperature patters, existing events, holidays, etc.

    3. Timmay says:

      I don’t miss a single one of those drivers – they are exactly what you called em – rejects.

  43. Methusalem says:

    The driver market is now more interesting than the race itself. Perez, one of the most overrated driver out there joining Sutil? It would be interesting to see the Hulk jumping for Kimi at Lotus this weekend.

    1. Stephen Taylor says:

      Sauber say there is no chance of Hulkenberg taking Kimi’s drive for Austin and Sao Paulo.

  44. Peter says:

    The guy looks as young Steve McQueen. I watched Peter Windsor’s discussion with him on youtube and I was really impressed by his intelligence and focus. I do not know how fast he is, but usually I trust young drivers coming from Scandinavia. To me he can be a perfect fit to McLaren environment, who could continue the Hakkinen, Raikkonen kind of line. Reg. Perez I have never been sure.

  45. Spyros says:

    Poor Hulk… I’m keeping my fingers crossed but it doesn’t look good. Again.

    1. Jon_C says:

      Unbelievable isnt it

  46. MichaelG says:

    In the absence of a Mexican Grand Prix, lots and lots of Mexican fans turn out for the US GP in Texas.

    That should make for an interesting weekend for McLaren.

    1. ferggsa says:

      Yes, I assume a large percentage of Mexican fans are Ferrari’s, and only follow Mac these days because of Checo
      Also, next year with probably no Mexican drivers, Austin’s grandstands will be half empty and quiet

  47. cometeF1 says:

    The season to be looks to have a few rookies again. Kevin at least, seems to have earned his ticket to F1 due to his racing ability. Good luck to him in his F1 future.
    Did Perez performed so badly would you say? He did not stand out to be sure. He seemed to have improved as the season went by, many not enough for him to be retained.
    While I don’t mind seeing new talent in F1, I feel the influx of rookies is too high. Too many bring very little other than the budget they carry and will be gone out of F1 as soon as the money source dries. Meanwhile you have people like Nico H, that can’t get a sit… Shake of the head… Are we the fans thinking he his better than he actually is? Do the F1 pros know better? What I know is that I don’t like it. With only 22 seats in F1, you would think only the better prospects could get in. Marc

  48. Chris Chong says:

    Why doesn’t Sutil try with Lotus?


    1. Jon_C says:

      Good one Chris

    2. Robert says:


      I’ll give you a glass of champagne for that one….

      1. Chris Chong says:

        I see what you did there. :D

  49. Keith Alexander says:

    A curve ball
    I reckon McLaren ought to have tried offering the seat to Mark Webber last year then none of this would have happened.

    A real shame to be losing him!

    As for Perez he is still an unknown quantity he has not had a competitive car this year and for all we know perhaps he has decided to leave rather than being pushed out by a sprog!

    1. Random 79 says:

      “Perhaps he has decided to leave”

      Sure they’ve had a bad year, but would you?

      I wouldn’t…at least not without a signed and dated RBR contract in my back pocket ;)

    2. Bruno says:

      I agree if McLaren had hired Webber last year, it would have been easier to drop him now !

    3. Kirk says:

      I don’t think so, he always said in the interviews (recent ones) that his seat was secure and the team knew about his talent, skills and so on. He was very proud to be in the team, I think McLaren pushed him out and nothing else.

  50. Paul Wible says:

    I would sign The Hulk to a 1 year deal with options, and nominate Magnussen the reserve driver.

    This would give them a chance to have a close look at a great driver who should be peaking (Hulk) and give Magnussen time to get acclimated to F1 with less pressure.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Paul Wible I hereby by nominate you candidate for TP at McLaren :)

  51. eric says:

    I will say that the team took NO responsibility for the car they built. Given the many changes coming for 2014 if I were ANY new driver I would think twice about jumping into 2014 machinery on a full time basis. Good way to kill your career.

  52. Sri says:

    So does this mean Luca dM can meet Whitmarsh next time and say, “I told you so.”? :)

    1. Random 79 says:

      It’s only fair I suppose; Martin’s been doing that to LDM for the last two years.

  53. goob says:

    Button should have been replaced by Kobi – he displayed a lot of racing talent… which seems to get you kicked out of F1, for some political reason…

    The Hamilton and Kobi type racers is what we need more off, and not the snooze drivers like Button and Vettel… totally unworthy WDCs.

    1. Random 79 says:

      It wasn’t political, it was lack of cashical.

      1. Goob says:

        Polictics is nothing more then cash deals…

    2. JCA says:

      Pray tell why Vettel is a ‘Totally unworthy WDC’?

    3. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      Kobi would boost the entertainment value, as he did in Moscow in the Ferrari…


  54. Richard says:

    Maclaren really take the biscuit! First of all they lose LH then they produce a dog of a car. Remember if it was not for breakdowns LH could have pushed Vettel all the way last season. Also a thought, wasn’t,t JB supposed to have had the car designed around him?? Maybe that is why it is so slow!?!? I am not a fan of Red Bull but they are doing what they get paid for very well. Therefore Maclaren could be said to not be doing what they get paid for. I prey LH can take the title next season.

  55. Fireman says:

    “In Magnussen they feel they may have another Hamilton on their hands …”

    James, can you please confirm you mean by race craft not media personality.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Never mind James, just check Magnussen’s twitter feed.

      Can’t find it? Good. There’s your answer :)

      1. Fireman says:

        Oh, good :D

  56. Sebee says:

    Here are a few intersting questions.

    If Alonso does go to McLaren for 2015:

    - Would he go only if he gets #1 status after lessons learned in 2007?

    - Would McLaren keep Kevin because he’s Jr. and would serve #1 Alonso like Heiki did with Lewis?

    - Has Ferrari taking Kimi on compromised Alonso’s ability to demand #1 status elsewhere?

    - With Alonso being beaten 1/2 the time by Massa in quali this year and only losing on starts, is there any doubt that Kimi will level Alonso next year with better quali and great starts? And if so, is it against Alonso’s interest to even go head to head against Kimi and put his reputation and aura of untouchability at risk?

    - Does Alonso really create some excuse or drama pre-season and step away from what is likely to be Kimi’s season at Ferrari?

    - Would Honda allow all driver decisions based on Alonso demands?

    - Would McLaren release all control of driver selection to sponsors? After all Perez was there to tempt sponsors for example, so why not?

    - Would Honda insist on older wiser Button – who we know they like thus pushing Kevin to make room for Alonso?

    - If Alonso leavs Ferrari, does Button take the Ferrari seat? Or it is….

    - If Red Bull is fast in 2014 like most belive it will be, why would Vettel leave anyway?

    So many questions. Time will answer them all.

    1. Mocho_Pikuain says:

      1-Yes, but in 2007 problem was Ron Dennis, for 2015 everything should be ok.

      2-Yes, its the best for both unless Kevin turns out to be a really talented rookie a la Lewis Hamilton.

      3-I don’t understand the question. If you mean if they hired Kimi to “disturb” Alonso, i don’t think so, they know he might leave in 2015 and wanted the best replacement possible.

      4-If he was to be beaten by kimi his reputation would fall… But honestly i think he will beat Kimi in both quali (easier than many people expects) and race (going to be a hell of a duel between the two best race day drivers), specially if the car doen’t suit Kimi perfectly.

      5-I really doubt it, its a great oportunity for him to show his superiority against a real first class driver.

      6-Partially, at least. Something on that would be on Alonso’s contract from the beginning.

      1. Sebee says:

        In 3 I mean, Alonso was the big bull at Ferrari, numero uno huncho. But Ferrari just poked him in the eye with Kimi hire, clearly putting his #1 demand aside. With that they show that Alonso doesn’t have to be treated like a #1 royal, but a regular driver like any other. That means other top teams can treat him likewise.

        As for 5, remember – it’s an opportunity and a huge risk too. We’re talking about a guy who’s been outqualified by Massa 50% of the time this year. Kimi isn’t going to be making half baked starts. Consider that Kimi improves on the qualifying position % that Massa achieved and outqualifes Alonso 65% of the time, and with great starting skill and same ability to stay out of trouble like Alonso Kimi surely holds position and doesn’t yield like Massa did. Those numbers alone make me feel that Alonso is already behind in this contest. Which means he has more to lose than gain by taking on Kimi. I almost believe that not going against Kimi if he can find a good excuse not to is something Alonso may be considering.

      2. Sebee says:

        OH SNAP! What if Ferrari are using Kimi for the same thing they used him for before? Yeah yeah..not only to win a WDC, but to squeeze the other driver out.

        Didn’t they use Kimi to “squeeze” Schumi out, announcing Kimi way before Schumi was ready to go, even though word came that he was ready to keep racing?

        And now here is Alonso, except he has bad mouthed Ferrari and not won any WDCs.

        Are Ferrari using the “Kimi Procedure” on Alonso like they did on Schumi? :-)

  57. JETWAKE GLOBAL says:

    McLaren has made major errors from the top down if you look at their history. They were the best and then Ron Dennis messed it all. Now they are rebuilding. Why did they change from the 2012 car that was very fast? Why would F.Alonso want to come back to McLaren? He would go from hero to zero!

  58. arendon@me.com says:

    The only reason Jenson has been better than Perez is because he has much more experience dealing with Mclaren backstage. I am sure Perez would consistently beat Button in his second year as he has done in the second part of the season. Drivers take time to establish themselves within new teams especially when the car underperforms. I dont think even Vettel could come in and beat Alonso out of the box at Ferrari. Its a shame to see Perez outsted although Magnussen appears to be great. Shame on all the big teams for neglecting Hulkenberg by the way

    1. SONIA LUFF says:

      Yes drivers do take time to settle into a new team .In 2010 Jenson managed to beat Hammy to win in AUS in his very first race for Mclaren .Not bad for a driver in a new team and considered to be inferior to Ham ,Vet etc

  59. AlexD says:

    Why people are saying that Alonso is interested in McLaren for 2015? Alonso is interested in winning at least one more title and I just can’t believe McLaren is the right team. Yes, they will be winning races, but they do not have the right people to win championships.

    Witmarsh is not really the team leader that can take them there, not any better than Domenicali. Honda…again do not understand the excitement. How on earth can they do better than Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault?

    If anything, it will be either Red Bull and likely Red Bull winning again or maybe Mercedes unless they end up in corporate structure just like Toyota did.

    I would say…you need to look for 3 things: 1) Team principle that is an exceptional leaders; 2) Technical leader that is the best out there and 3) money.

    Not Ferrari, not McLaren, not Willians, not Mercedes….so far it is Red Bull that can offer all 3.

    1. Mocho_Pikuain says:

      Agree, but if Alonso don’t see any improvements in Ferrari’s technical department (alongside with money and drivers the most important thing you must have in a team), he will try somewhere else.

  60. Fred says:

    It’s a tough call. You can be very fast in corners, or you can be best at passing and finding the right moment, and the driver needs to match the right car for it’s finest abilities…. of course, the best driver is that which can get the best of any car.. but, Senna is no longer among us.

    Being a Mexican, I can say that Perez is not bad, but not brilliant either. He has tried to average his shortcommings by being stupid on the wheel and arrogant.

    The question remains, Perez seemed a good promise last year, this year Kevin… what will come next? I agree with many comments here, there are too many new drivers and companies hiring them looking for a “lucky shot” at getting a new vettel..

    1. Stephen Taylor says:

      More like the new Hakkinen or Raikkonen

  61. BHJ says:

    No but he had a car identical to Button.
    And a sprog? Checo is 23, kevin 21…

  62. Rishi says:

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot and the main conclusion I come to is that there was a misjudgement by McLaren of what level they expected Sergio Perez to be at. They obviously expected him to be a lot closer to the finished product than they have found him to be.

    In a sense it is a ruthless decision because, let’s face it, this hasn’t been a great McLaren car and it was never going to be easy, contextually, for Sergio to move mountains. At the same time, it is undoubtedly true that Sergio hasn’t made a compelling case to McLaren for keeping him on. He strikes me as a somewhat streaky driver; Bahrain and India this year were really strong performances but he’s also had a couple of pretty disappointing races and Jenson Button has had the upper hand on the whole.

    He perhaps has been harshly treated to an extent and if there is a defence of Checo it might be that, from what I’ve read in some quarters (perhaps rumours only of course), some factions within the team were never really convinced by him anyway and so perhaps did not go out of their way to ensure he settled, particularly once the car wasn’t competitive. And if they don’t rate him now, would he be a dead man walking in 2014 if he stayed with the team anyway?

    Either way I do like the guy and wish him well in future. Hopefully he’ll stay in F1 and hopefully he’ll give us a few really good performances to savour.

  63. PeterG says:

    I find it interesting how many British fans turned on Perez the second Mclaren signed him & have hurled hate on him ever since.

    Everyone was saying he should replace Massa at Ferrari all last year, Then as soon as Hamilton left McLaren & Perez was announced as his replacement all of the same people who were praising him when it looked like he was off to Ferrari were suddenly saying he wasn’t good enough for a top seat?

    Why the sudden change? If he was good enough to deserve a ride at Ferrari (A top team) why was he suddenly not good enough for Mclaren (A top team)?

    1. Kirk says:

      I think you are missing something. Ferrari said that he wasn’t experienced enough so they were going to wait and see. I don’t remember that everyone said that he should replace Massa this year (even the Fox Sports guys who are in love with Perez).

  64. Diech says:

    Is it me, or do I only ever remember Perez passing Button on the track and not the other way around. Button as the “experienced head” has not helped develop this car at all well this season, they’ve been so not only because of the loss of Hamilton, but the feedback Hamilton must have given to the team.

    1. ferggsa says:

      I agree, Button has better overall numbers because he is consistent and experienced (and proved so against Hamilton), but when racing together Perez has been faster and passed him

  65. Cedgy says:

    Fingers crossed Hulkenberg and Sutil will be swopping seats!

  66. John S says:

    I’m ecstatic to see what Magnussen can do in the McLaren. I expect he will go well and hope he can push Button into another team should Alonso decide to come to McLaren.

    I was so worried going into this season that the title chase would have been spoiled by Perez crashing into the contenders, thank God McLaren didn’t have anything near their 2012 car!

    Perez an unknown quantity? Please.

    After McLaren announced Perez as their 2013 driver, his performance at Sauber fell off a cliff worse than Kimi’s Pirellis did in India.

    He should be comprehensively beating Button by now, and that’s what Mclaren were looking for. Not go crash into your teammate and other top drivers to show “aggression”.

    With this good news, I won’t be so sad when Lotus goes for that Venezuelan oil money…

  67. JF says:

    What if something happened between McLaren and Sergio’s sponsors? Such as McLaren asking for too much money for the title Sponsor otherwise threatening to drop Sergio “as he has not performed according to expectations”. Sergio’s sponsors are truly successful businessmen and actually think that McLaren´s performance has been very poor and biased to protect Button in ways such as “He just hit me up the back, calm him down.” Hence, McLaren´s offer is very expensive and decide to look elsewhere…Just bear in mind that Mr. Slim was actually thinking in buying…F1…but he is known to but cheap and sell when expensive…

  68. Jon_C says:

    Although time will tell, i beleive this is a great move by Mclaren. Give some rookies a go and you mite find a Hamilton, circa 2007. bring a bit of excitment to F1.
    Perez had his chance, move him on. In my opinion F1 teams hold on to drivers too long without performing so Magnussen is a welcome inclusion. Good luck to him

  69. John Turner says:

    Seems a Strange Move in Someways considering the amount of Talk about McLaren/ Honda wanting Alonso for 2015. If they don’y see Button as a Long Term Prospect then why not let Perez and Magnussen fight for the seat by looking at their 2014 Performance. At the Moment they risk Developing Mags and then not having a Seat for him, or Dropping Button Despite his Experience and Popularity in Japan and with Honda. Or maybe Alonso for 2015 is off the Cards?

  70. Kitkat says:

    I must be getting really old, really fast. It didn’t seem that long ago that Jan Magnussen was supposed to be the next big thing in Formula One …

    1. Random 79 says:

      The older you get the faster it goes…so you probably are ;)

      Join the club, we have lawn bowls on Tuesdays :)

    2. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      Has anyone ever seen Jan Magnussen and Kevin Magnussen in the same room together. ;)

      I thought the same too, turns out he was about 19 when he had the kid. Jan is 40, still younger than Schumi when he was racing in F1 – Imaging that eh, ‘Dad beats son to pole!’

      Hope Jackie Stewart keeps his mouth shut this time and doesn’t call Kev the next Ayrton Senna!

      1. James Allen says:

        I hope he’s better organised than his Dad. Ron Dennis lost faith in Jan when he couldn’t find his passport at a check in once and was rummaging around in a bag which was chaotically packed

        In sharp contrast to Ron’s minimalist and perfect brief case…

  71. Timmay says:

    Watch Perez actually drive well this weekend and in Brazil – I am quite certain of it. These failed drivers like to save their own skin when it’s already almost too late.

  72. Reppy says:

    Meanwhile Massa still has a drive…..

  73. Neshaen says:

    Good luck to Magnussen. Next year will be a huge adjustment for him but i am sure he will rise to the challenge.
    Looks like Macca are going all out.
    They have nothing to lose anyway.
    Looks like Force India is the only best option for Perez. I dont see him going back to Sauber.
    So most of the pieces are falling into place.
    Awaiting to see what happens to Hulkenberg and Maldo.

  74. Warren G says:

    I don’t get how Hulk is continually overlooked. It’s fairly clear he’s a top driver, quick in qualifying and good points scorer. You don’t need reams of data to assess that. His obliterated everyone pre-F1 and deserves a top drive far more than the likes of some rookie, Perez or Maldonado.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Nah, everyone looks at him and then swipes someone else who is lighter everywhere but their wallet.

      I’m with you – he absolutely should get a top drive but unfortunately it just never seems to fall into place for him.

      Better luck in 2015 Hulk.

    2. Femi AKins says:

      He’s a top top top driver. If you’re from UK you’ll get it

  75. spactus says:

    Im afraid this young man is almost guaranteed to fail for a number of reasons.1st one is Mclaren underling problem, Button.His inability to lead a competive car development is evident now.2112 he went down a separate path and failed epically. 2113 after 17 races they no better off now than the 1st race in Australia.
    2nd reason is Witmarsh blind spot for Button,he has never criticize Button in 4yrs,his can do wrong Button is stagnating the team.so what will happen just like what happen with Perez is that Witmarsh will let Button take the early lead over Magnusen because he has more experience,and by the time we half way through the season he Button will be playing politics convincing the team to back him,cause he is the best chance for the few points they gonna score anyway.and guess who Witmarsh is gonna back.And voilla an underachieving Magnusen beaten by Button

    As general rule in sport or music,anytime some is dubbed to be the next Lewis or Tiger even before they enter the industry is almost guaranteed to fail because times,the enviroment and circumstance are always different and so are we all.
    Whats really gonna sink him is the pressure of performance.Thats what kill Perez,trying to be the next Hamilton.so he took stupid over taking risk and over defened overdrove and lost allot of points.

    Alot of false equivalencey to hamilton coming as rooki to Magnusen.firstly at that time Mclaren had two vacant seats.Alonso at that time coming to mclaren as the youngest double world champion,whos beaten the mighty shumacher was universerly undisputedly more regarded than Vettel is now.
    Therefore puting Leiws in the 2nd car was bold and daring but not risky,given that every other alternative at time were long long way off Lewis speed.
    Lewis didnt coming in expected to challenge Alonso,but Magnusen is gonna coming expecting to challenge Button.Perez caming talking about beating Button and taking this year championship.
    The good news for Magnusen is that Mclaren will be too embarrass to sack him,after leting Lewis go,then Perez

    1. Random 79 says:

      Yet another time traveler???

      From 100 years in the future this time…interesting, and yet the really amazing thing is how everything in the future seems to be so similar to today.

      What’s the old saying: The more things change, the more they stay the same ;)

    2. TheBestPoint? says:

      Whitmarsh is a very political animal and going from this article and other stuff (dailymail etc) it looks like there are two different forces @ Mclaren (most likely more than 2) pulling in different directions – racers versus corporate. Jenson, good as he can be, does not race in an exciting way and lacks the one-lap speed that would garner headlines so i would assume it is the corporates who have his back.

      Jenson major off-track strength is his BR media popularity which Whitmarsh, under pressure as he is, will want to exploit (not that anyone has told Paul Weaver of the Guardian who specialises in protecting Button at expense of digs at McLaren)

      Thing is though Jenson does get criticised, sometimes even by Whitmarsh ( but only in a flip flop -i don’t want to rock the boat way). Jenson himself will never report himself, the media will never question him or follow the leads but there are signs that show him being reigned in, and quite frequently too.

      1.Last season was about how “worst Mclaren car ” he has driven etc then beginning of the year he was all about how bad the car is& how it will not win races etc; the kind of comments no respectable engineering team would want to hear but not only was Jenson saying stuff to that effect he was not put under any pressure on the appropriateness of those comments – that tune has changed somewhat.

      2.these contract negotiations he tried to be “clever” play a game he played the last time with “other team interest” McLaren did not fall for that again. it was then Jenson who was forced to “inform the media his contract was done” we know now that was a lie!

      3.his admitting he was being mischievous over some contract comments made mid season.

      4.Whitmarsh post race comments after Silverstone amounted to a “slap on the wrist” if you ask me but oh so subtle. Then for McLaren to follow up with the German GP preview in which they highlighted the Quali time difference between Hamilton and Button in 2011 – over a second? the same Hamilton certain staff couldn’t wait to scrub off their history beginning of the season?. well if that wasn’t a “kick up Button backside” then what is? that is around the time he stopped commenting on how bad the car was incidentally.

      5.With all this declared interest in Alonso if that is not a backhanded indictment on the current drivers especially the lead one then someone tell me what is.

      cos Jenson hasn’t been able to step up into a strong leadership role his position is considerably weak now. You just need to adjust and look out for the signs. Lewis was such a drama king on and off the track and the noise he generated was so loud that now people have forgotten how to pay attention to the subtle comments and non-comments that paint their own picture.

      re: the magnussen deal – half the concern i have read in the comments has been about it being too soon for him but i have a different slant on this i think they, knowing it will a be a great coup IF he works, will choose to support him to make sure he is a success. I therefore do wonder if Jenson will be “allowed” to race to his strengths next season – will be fascinating and an indicator of the strength in the 2 diff factions.

  76. Stephen Taylor says:

    James what do you make of Maldonado as a driver?

  77. Delgado says:

    Young lad, quick driver…on balance it’s fair play to McLaren for being decisive (I am a Checo fan – one mediocre season in a mediocre car doesn’t make him a bad driver at all. Hope he remains in F1). Reckon we’ll see a tidy profile piece here on the young Dane in the pre-season. Looking forward to that.

  78. TheFlyingFlyer says:

    This was touched on earlier, if they are hell bent on getting Alonso will he have it in his contract who he has as a team mate? If Kevin looks a bit too tasty he may opt for Button, in which case mclaren could keep him under contract and let him get more experience with another team.

    If Jenson or Alonso start to fade bring him back.

    Still not sure that Alonso would ever move though so the 2014 proposed line up could carry them going forward.

    Sorry for Perez, liked him but that’s F1, if you don’t shine, that’s it.

    1. Stephen Taylor says:

      Alonso would not influence the driver line up . That’s a management decision.

      1. TheFlyingFlyer says:

        I agree, but I wonder what lengths Mclaren will go to. Hopefully not that far.

  79. Roger W says:

    Its a shame Kobayashi is not in the frame for a 2014 drive – most entertaining…..

  80. Tim says:

    Very interesting reading all these comments – some decent, some ridiculous…

    Anyway, my take? This is the correct decision from McLaren. They know the numbers better than us, and they know that Perez doesn’t give them anything more than Button. They have more than one eye on 2015, they have to secure 2 topline drivers, they rate Kevin very highly – why not give him the drive?

    As for Alonso in 2015, that’s not cut and dried at all. But its obvious they will move heaven and earth to try and get him, and that means 2014 is a straight fight for the 2nd seat.

    So, how will it all flush out now? My predictions (aka guess!) is:

    Lotus: Grosjean & Maldonado (money talks)
    Force India: Hulkenburg & Perez
    Sauber: Sirotkin & Sutil

    Who knows though?

    1. Stephen Taylor says:

      And for 2015 if Kimi wins another WDC in 2014 I think he’ll retire getting out of the way for Hulkenberg/Bianchi.

  81. Dice says:

    I’m not sure if I’ve missed this or not, but where’s Maldanado going? Why has he just dropped off of every F1 website over the last week? I’m not saying he’s better than Perez, but he’s actually won a race, and in a not very good car. And he brings the $$$. Shouldn’t we be talking about him just a little???

    1. Stephen Taylor says:

      Last years Williams was a decent car.

    2. John Gibson says:

      I think it’s generally accepted that if the Quantum thing fails to materialise at Lotus then Maldonado is their “Plan B”.

  82. Paul D says:

    I never understand why people always bring up “when will Button will retire”, but there is never any mention about Alonso or Kimi retiring and they’re all basically the same age!

    No one is saying he’s the best driver on the grid, but he’s a class act who delivered in 2009 and essentially matched ‘Tier 1′ Hamilton from 2010 – 2012.

    He’s also probably the fittest driver on the grid. I don’t really understand the negativity some have towards him?

  83. Sebee says:

    What is Telmex and Slim are still in play? What if Slim wants to sponsor…wait for it…Ferrari? Perez in next to Kimi, Alonso and Santander out at Ferrari in 2014? ;-)

  84. Sebee says:

    Is it me or is no one in the press believing that this Lotus – Quantum deal will actually happen? Everywhere I read, nothing but doubts.

    1. Stephen Taylor says:

      Apparently the deadline is November 15th . Writing appears to be on the wall that a driver with money will be joining.

      1. Sebee says:

        Why not day after Interlagos, to give everyone hope for the season?

    2. All revved-up says:

      It’s why Kimi left a team with the 2nd best car, for Ferrari.

      All the promises since July about money being just around the corner – turns out to be false.

      I thought Kimi was too hasty to leave before the finances were sorted. But now it’s clear that Kimi had info we don’t. It’s just been promises after another.

      As Kimi put it – a line had to drawn sometime. Off for his back surgery!

      Imagine the state of their 2014 car development if there is no money.

      1. Sebee says:

        Yup. Kimi knew what time it was. Time to find an excuse and bail.

    3. JCA says:

      Google Mansoor Ijaz, the Quantum front man. It makes for interesting, if not downright alarming, reading. Let’s just say he appears to be knee deep in the snake oil business.

  85. Stephen Taylor says:

    Maldonado has that Enstone seat in the bag I fear.

  86. Sergio says:

    Common!!! Stop judging this stupid way! Every driver on the track depends 100% on the car… With the piece of shit McLaren offered this year to their drivers NAME THEM AS YOU WANT! NOBODY could have done much better! Why everyone here is talking about a “slow Perez”??? Sit Vettel or Alonso in the crappy McLaren and you will have the same result everytime… If they prefer another driver for 2014 is ok, but dont tell people bullshit like EVERYTHING is Perez fault. Shame on McLaren. Sorry for Magnussen, he just signed his retirement ending 2014 season. Good luck Withmarsh, you need it!


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