McLaren delay decision over Button and Magnussen

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer
Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button
Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button could be McLaren team-mates next season

McLaren are to delay the announcement of their 2015 driver line-up until December as they decide who should partner Fernando Alonso.

McLaren chairman Ron Dennis has to decide between existing team drivers Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen.

The team said on its Twitter account: "We know you're awaiting news on our driver line-up. We'll announce after 1 December - you'll hear it here first."

Double world champion Alonso's move from Ferrari is yet to be announced.

Dennis had been leaning towards retaining Magnussen, 22, who is coming to the end of his first season in Formula 1.

But 2009 world champion Button lies seventh in the world championship standings with 106 points, compared to the 55 of Denmark's Magnussen.

McLaren said in a statement that the delay was because "selecting the optimal driver line-up for a Formula 1 team is clearly an important process, and it is therefore one that requires precise and prolonged analysis".

The team said that they wanted to avoid any distraction from achieving the best possible result at the final grand prix of the season in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

McLaren have an outside chance of beating Ferrari to fourth place in the constructors' championship.

They are 41 points behind the Italian team, with a maximum of 86 available for teams because of the award of double points in Abu Dhabi.