Neither of the British squad’s current drivers, former champion Jenson Button and rookie Kevin Magnussen, has yet been reconfirmed, with McLaren management reportedly considering who should partner Fernando Alonso - widely tipped to be returning to the team - next season.
“Selecting the optimal driver line-up for a Formula One team is clearly an important process, and it is therefore one that requires precise and prolonged analysis,” read a McLaren statement released Tuesday.
“That being the case, and in order to avoid distracting the race team from its primary objective during the final Grand Prix weekend of the season, which is to secure the best possible on-track results, we have decided to defer our final deliberations relating to our 2015 driver line-up until a date no earlier than Monday December 1st.”
McLaren are moving from Mercedes to Honda power next season as the Japanese car manufacturers make their Formula One return. A filming day at Silverstone last week saw the on-track debut of Honda’s 2015 power unit in an interim car that should make its first official F1 test appearance at Yas Marina next week.
“We are working extremely hard to ensure that every element of our competitive package for 2015 and beyond is also specified to the fullest extent,” continued McLaren’s statement.
“We have spent the past nine months comprehensively recruiting and restructuring within our design and engineering departments; over the next few days we will be evaluating and trialling a range of aerodynamic upgrades for the forthcoming Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and for the 2015 Formula One season
“Furthermore, we are now only a few days away from formally commencing our exciting technical partnership with Honda, and, subject to satisfactory final bench-testing, it is currently our intention to run our interim development car, the McLaren MP4-29H/1X1, on the test days that will follow the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.”
McLaren lie fifth in the 2014 standings, 49 points behind Ferrari.