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Whitmarsh: McLaren considering ‘lots’ of drivers for 2014 11 Nov 2013

Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Indian Grand Prix, Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida, New Delhi, India, Practice, Friday, 25 October 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Qualifying, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Saturday, 2 November 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Qualifying, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Saturday, 2 November 2013 Martin Whitmarsh (GBR) McLaren Chief Executive Officer in the Press Conference.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Practice, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Friday, 1 November 2013

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has refused to comment on speculation that McLaren young driver programme member Kevin Magnussen is being lined up to take Sergio Perez’s race seat for next season, insisting several drivers - Perez included - are in the running.

“Lots of people are being considered,” said Whitmarsh in a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in. “When we’ve come to the end of those considerations we’ll make an announcement.”

While Jenson Button is expected to be retained by McLaren for 2014, Perez’s future has become the object of increasing scrutiny in recent races, especially after a lacklustre performance at the last round in Abu Dhabi. Whitmarsh, however, believes the bigger picture must be considered.

“Firstly we have not provided either of our drivers with a good enough race car this year, so in those circumstances I think Sergio has been a great team member,” he continued. “He’s made a concerted contribution and he’s produced some really good races, some exciting races. He’s ruffled some feathers and he’s done a pretty good job throughout the whole year. Abu Dhabi was difficult. It was not quite the result that we wanted and he wanted but difficult weekends happen.

“I think overall he’s done a good job and we’re still talking to him. I know there are all sorts of things I’ve read in the media. The fact is at the moment we haven’t confirmed our driver line-up, we haven’t signed contracts with drivers, and we’re still talking about that. There’s a lot of honest feedback both ways, but that’s best done in private.”

Whitmarsh denied that Perez would effectively be fighting for his McLaren career in the final two rounds of the season, and said that he expected a strong showing from the Mexican at this weekend’s 2013 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix.

“Sergio’s a determined guy and he’ll be driving very hard in Texas I know. It’s as close as he’s going to get to a home crowd this year and he’ll want to do a good job in front of them, so we’ll be doing everything with him to see if he can get a good result.”

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