Dennis: McLaren always look to employ the best drivers

Ron Dennis keeping McLaren's driver options open for 2015

Ron Dennis keeping McLaren‘s driver options open for 2015

McLaren supremo Ron Dennis has done little to end Silly Season speculation that McLaren are hunting for a superstar driver to spearhead their new era with Honda as an engine supplier but at the same time, in a typical case of Ron-speak, he covered his bases by declaring that he is very happy with both Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen.

In a wide ranging interview with the official Formula 1 website, Dennis said of the driver situation in his team, “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,” added Dennis.

Ron Dennis with Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen

Ron Dennis with Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen

Media reports over the past months have linked Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton to the Woking based team for 2015, but Dennis reiterated, “I’m satisfied with both Jenson and Kevin. 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 1 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 1 teams are the same in that regard, but we’re not in a position to do that at the moment,” explained Dennis somewhat cryptically.

Meanwhile the McLaren boss is adamant that the changes made this year at Woking, in the aftermath of Martin Whitmarsh’s departure, will in the long term return the team to the top step of the podium, from where they have been absent since Jenson Button’s last victory at the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix.

Ron Dennis is reportedly keen to have Fernando Alonso back at McLaren

Ron Dennis is reportedly keen to have Fernando Alonso back at McLaren

“Turning a decent Formula One team into a winning Formula One team always takes time,” conceded Dennis. “There are a few more core issues that I still want to address, and there are a few more talented individuals whom I still want to attract.’

“That process usually carries with it the necessity to deal with notice periods, which normally manifest themselves in gardening leave, but, as you gradually assemble your team, what you’re doing is carefully putting together a complex jigsaw puzzle.”

With regards to closing the gap to the rampant Mercedes team who have dominated the season thus far, Dennis predicted, “As early as next year, as all the engine manufacturers improve their engine performance, things will begin to close up a little, and the racing will become closer.” (GP247)