Why McLaren Made The Right Choice
Date published: December 13 2014
The waiting game is over and McLaren have finally announced they are retaining Jenson Button for 2015. Here are ten reasons why they made the right choice.
Jenson Button is a former World Champion and that conveys status to the team. The only other team with two World Champions is Ferrari and you’ve got to say that McLaren have No.1 and No.3, while the Scuderia have No.2 and No.4.
Jenson knows the Honda team well having worked with them during the BAR-Honda and Honda team years. He also scored their first win as a constructor since 1967 when he won the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix.
If McLaren had chosen to retain Magnussen in a race seat there would have been a mass exodus of British supporters from the team. It happened to Williams when they dumped Nigel Mansell unceremoniously, and again with Damon Hill.
Button’s ability to give detailed feedback to engineers is one of the best on the grid. That’s why Fernando Alonso was keen to have the Brit signed up as a team-mate because the new car could be developed quicker.
We saw in Japan his instinctive feel for track conditions and when it’s best to change tyres. Jenson’s bold move to swap onto Inters as soon as the Safety Car came in jumped him up the order. Pastor Maldonado also made the same choice, but then couldn’t control his car. Jenson could.
Let’s not forget that given the same machinery in 2011, Jenson beat Lewis Hamilton by 270 points to 227.
The McLaren Store will be rejoicing, as the Magnussen vs Button merchandise contest is a non-starter.
Fernando and Jenson are friends, and although being team-mates can strain a friendship, as we saw in 2014, ultimately having Jenson in the other car is a safer bet for friction-free racing. They are both seasoned professionals and won’t try the kind of risky moves we saw from Kevin Magnussen last season – particularly Spa!
Somewhere, Jon Button will be smiling.