Spain's double world champion Fernando Alonso and Britain's Jenson Button will drive for McLaren-Honda next season, the Formula One team announced on Thursday.
The Woking-based McLaren-Honda team has finally announced it's driver pairing for next season's F1 campaign. Fernando Alonso's return to McLaren, seven years after he drove for the team in 2007 beside Lewis Hamilton, had been an open secret for months in F1. His partner next year had been far less certain, with the former champions having to decide between one of their 2014 pairing of Jenson Button and Dane Kevin Magnussen.
Button, who outscored Magnussen 126-55 in the 2014 season, will now get the coveted second seat. The Brit won the driver's title in 2009 with Brawn and heads into his sixth year with McLaren and 16th year in F1. At 35-years of age, he is the most experienced driver on the grid.
But it's Alonso's return to the newly-formed partnership of McLaren-Honda, that will get F1 fans most excited.
"I am joining this project with enormous enthusiasm and determination, knowing that it may require some time to achieve the results we are aiming for, which is no problem for me," Alonso told the McLaren website.
"Over the past year I have received several offers, some of them really tempting, given the current performance of some of the teams that showed interest," Alonso added.
"But, more than a year ago, McLaren-Honda contacted me and asked me to take part, in a very active way, in the return of their partnership – a partnership that dominated the Formula 1 scene for so long."
A statement on the McLaren website said that 22-year-old Magnussen would stay on at the team in 2015 as test and reserve driver.
al/rc (AP, Reuters)