McLaren change stirs up Hamilton, Alonso rumors (Update)

UPDATE Ron Dennis gave the strongest hint yet he hasn't ruled out re-uniting Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton at McLaren next season, writes Byron Young at Monza.

In Monza on Saturday Britain’s most successful team boss publicly apologized to the Frome Flyer for saying he “needed to try harder".

And he revealed that, like much of the grid, he hadn't ruled out the possibility of one of the Mercedes drivers quitting the team as their toxic rivalry takes its toll.

"Availability in F1 isn’t as black and white as you would think," he said. "But this is all PR to keep F1 in the news, it's not going to happen," writes's Mark Cipolloni. "Hamilton is signed sealed and delivered for next year and will not move from the team with the fastest cars."

But the free PR continues….."Sometimes there are performance contracts that provide drivers with the mechanism to say that we haven’t achieved this.

"No-one could have predicted the tension inside Mercedes.

"And without mentioning the things that have been said by the executives or drivers, we can all imagine a range of scenarios that could see one of those drivers on the market by the end of the year.

"You are trying to understand who is available, and then you take a decision, maybe that decision is not to change.

"We don't have any necessity to take a decision, we've said nothing that should be construed as anything other than we're waiting to see what's available'.

"In the meantime I am a huge fan of both Kevin [Magnussen] and Jenson.

"We are delighted with our drivers, and I apologized to Jenson for the distracting aspects of where we are at the moment [through my comments]."

"When there is a decision to take we will take it, but I've given you an indication – it won't be in the next few days, and it won't be at the end of the season, it will be something in between.

"All I'm doing is making Kevin and Jenson completely aware the best thing they can do is their best job and not get distracted by the whole thing. There is nothing to be distracted by."

Button is in his fifth season at McLaren and unhappy that he has not been re-signed but confident that it will come. Mirror Online



(GMM) Deep into a second consecutive bad season for the grandee team, the changes at McLaren have begun.

The most noticeable sign of the restructuring process at the Woking based team in Hockenheim is that Jenson Button – whose own future in grey is also under review – is working with a new race engineer.

If Tom Stallard's name sounds familiar, it's because he won a silver medal rowing for Britain in the 2008 Olympics.

He replaces Dave Robson, who is heading for a factory-based job.

"It's not about getting rid of people," Button insists, "it's moving people to better suited roles or making them feel refreshed.

"There are people who are being employed as well, because I think we need that."

The experienced British driver, however, hopes he is not involved in the McLaren reshuffles, as the team prepares for its works Honda era beginning next year.

Among the highest profile names linked with Button's seat have been his former McLaren teammate, Lewis Hamilton, and another 2007 McLaren driver, Fernando Alonso.

According to the Hamilton rumor, the highly-rated Briton might not want to stay at Mercedes in 2015 if his newly re-signed and now highly paid teammate Nico Rosberg is wearing the number '1' on the silver car.

Hamilton played a straight bat to the rumor at Hockenheim.

"I'm very happy in the team and naturally I assume I'll sit down with the bosses," he said.

"It's very difficult for me to see myself anywhere else but you never know what the future may hold," Hamilton added.

As for the Alonso rumor, the Spaniard is famous for being central to F1's customary 'silly season', particularly since he began to show signs of frustration with his continuing struggle to win a title wearing Ferrari red.

Alonso was at Maranello last week for simulator tests, but perhaps he also sat down with Marco Mattiacci and Luca di Montezemolo to talk about the future.

"I talk to the president and Mattiacci every day," he said on Thursday. "There is no news in that regard.

"The same thing has always happened to me in July, probably since 2003. These questions about contracts, signings and extensions," said Alonso.

"I haven't talked to any team, or anything of the sort. It's not the priority."

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