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Ron: McLaren keeping an eye on top drivers

Friday 29-August-2014 08:35

Ron Dennis insists he is "satisfied" with both Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen, but stresses McLaren "will always make efforts to hire the best drivers available".

Fernando Alonso has for months been linked with a move back to Woking, which will co-incide with the team's switch to Honda engines, while Sebastian Vettel's name was also thrown into the hat this week.

Alonso's contract with Ferrari runs until the end of 2016 and the Italian outfit are determined to hang into him while Vettel's Red Bull deal expires at the end of next year.

McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier also revealed recently that they are "working on the strategy for the driver line-up for the next years" even if it means Button and Magnussen are finding themselves in an "uncomfortable" position.

Although the team are happy with their current line-up, McLaren Group chairman and CEO Ron Dennis says they won't hesitate to go after the top drivers should they become available.

"I'm satisfied with both Jenson and Kevin," he told the official Formula 1 website. "They're both capable of winning Grands Prix in a competitive car - Jenson has proved that 15 times in his long Formula One career, and Kevin has already demonstrated abundant pace in his so-far-short Formula One career - but clearly we're not giving them a competitive car at the moment.

"Nonetheless, despite that, I want them to give their best - and, at the same time, be responsible enough to appreciate that McLaren will always make efforts to hire the best drivers available. If such opportunities arise, we'll appraise them; we always have and we always will. All great Formula One teams are the same in that regard. But we're not in a position to do that at the moment."

When asked if he is "keen to hire a megastar driver - the likes of Fernando Alonso or Sebastian Vettel", Dennis replied: "As I say, we'll always look to employ the best drivers available - but they have to be available, don't they?

"Having said that, for the avoidance of doubt, Jenson and Kevin represent an excellent blend of capable experience and youthful promise, and we're very happy with both of them. The fact that we're keeping an eye on what a few other drivers are up to in no way contradicts that, because, as I say, if opportunities arise, we'll appraise them - we always have and we always will."

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