McLaren to promote from within?


No passing through my dirty air please
If Mr Perez didn't feel under pressure enough at Mclaren looking round at Alonso and Hulkenberg he has the extra pressure that Mclaren have two extremly highly rated young drivers in their young driver programme.

Kevin Magnussen is about to clinch the 3.5 series (the classier alternative to GP2) title after having a massively impressive campaign in his second year in the series. His only real challenger this year has been Stoppal Vandorne, the other Mclaren youth driver, in his first year in the series. Vandorne has pushed Magnussen to the last round of the season. Both have been pushed by Red Bull's Felix Da Costa at times but have soundly beat him. Magnussen would have clinched the title at Paul Ricard if not for getting a DQ after winning the first race for illegal paint on his DRS.

Mclaren have stated that they are going to try as hard as they can to get Magnussen an F1 drive for 2014 and you would assume that Vandorne will stay in the World Series for another year to get the title even though an argument could be made that as he's roundly been beating Felix Da Costa all year, who will most likely be in F1 2014, that Vandorne could easily take the step up too.

But as they suddenly find themselves with two very good youngsts might Mclaren shuffle on Perez in order to put Magnussen in for a shot? Magnussen gets a couple of years and if he doesn't work out they still have Vandorne in the wings. That way Mclaren don't risk losing out on one of these guys who might turn out to be a champion.

It seems pretty obvious that Mclaren and Perez are not fitting at the moment. Also seems pretty obvious that Mclarens last year with Merc in 2014 will be a building time. Might Mclaren decide this would be the perfect time to put one of their young superstars in the seat to understudy Jenson and set themselves up for the coming of Honda.

Last time Mclaren had a youth driver win an F1 feeder series they gave him a race seat. If you remember he did ok.

So is Magnussen a good bet a Mclaren seat?
Back on topic....

When was the last time McLaren got rid of a driver after only one season? I know they had a bit of driver churn in the mid 90's but even Kovi got more than one season and he was crap. I think Perez will get another season as a minimum, maybe Magnussen will be their driver for the test sessions and they will put Gary Paffet out to grass. He's not been taht bad has he? And he has a wallet stuffed with peso's which I'm sure McLaren could do with as Vodaphone are on their way.

FYI - Andrea de Cesaris was the last driver to only get one full season at McLaren and he was replaced by Niki Lauda so you can sort of understand why they gave him the boot. That, combined with the large skip full of carbon fibre out the back of the McLaren factory from all the chassis de Cesaris wrecked.
When Whitmarsh responds to the question "Why delay announcing Perez?" with "What's the rush?", it makes me think they are considering other drivers - if there's anyone decent left after the current round of musical chairs that is. I reckon they're waiting to see if Hulk gets the Lotus drive first - if he doesn't, then they might well be able to get him at a bargain price. I can't see them replacing Perez with one of their young drivers just yet - I'd expect Magnussen will be placed in GP2 for a season first, just to put him into the public eye a bit and generate a bit more buzz.
FB Andretti, Brundle and Blundell all had one season at Mclaren. Like this year they were years with a pretty poor car too.

Don't get me wrong Road of Bones I think if Hulk doesn't end up at Enstone then Mclaren will snap him up but just wondering if Hulk does go to Enstone whether they'll ponder Magnussen. Lets face it the expectations for next years Mclaren are low which would be perfect for him to come in and under study Jenson.

As for putting him in GP2 it would be a bit of a sideways move as the 3.5 series is on a par with GP2 easily, if anything it prepares the drivers better with a proper car set up and DRS. Much less crash bang wallop than GP2. They have made noises about getting him into F1 in 2014 which probably means sounding out Marussia (they share Mclarens tech) but I just wonder if they might be tempted to take a gamble. He has been pretty amazing.

Thats not even mentioning Vandorne who has been stunning as well.
Oh and the rumour that Telmex are missing payments to Mclaren means Perez doesn't even have that in his aresnal anymore.
Alonso 1 season at Mclaren he actually bought himself out or his "dad" Flavio did swindling Renault in the process

Now other Mclaren drivers

De Cesaris - he was in the team because he was heavily backed by Marlboro somehow but seriously junked a lot of chassis and ended up with 1pt clearly Ron not impressed

Lauda - his replacement was probably accepted on the fact he was a world champion which had been the Mclaren trend up until 1994 to have one world champion driver at least

Brundle - did a decent job in 1994 but it was Marlboro's pressure wanting ROn to hire Mansell despite Ron publicly embarrassing Mansell with a montage of accidents that Williams made the biggest mistake hiring Nige. Ron was never a fan of Nige

Mansell - probably embarrassing in that the car with a mid wing costing £50m was too fat for Nige and then he was outshone by Hakkinen for two races and quit

Blundell - actually drove well for MClaren but with preagreement with Coulthard's contract he knew he was on borrowed time


Apart from Alonso - Montoya deserves a mention because he did not complete a full season with Mclaren before getting the boot


Looks like Oliver Turvey has missed the boat at Mclaren if Magnussen and Vandoorn are being praised so much

Are there any midfield or tail end teams using Mclaren technology then which either driver could be farmed out to learn the ropes?

There is not anymore encouragement about Perez to be bold and aggressive like earlier in the season
Both Vandoorne and Magnussen looks promising. But I think it would be a mistake to promote either of them this early, a year in GP for Magnuessen (he would need to win it) and then maybe he might be set to snatch Perez's place for 2015. Vandoorne should do the same, except stay another year in FR 3.5 then GP2 and maybe F1.
World series is actually a higher standard IMO and many others. GP2 is more of a last chance saloon but gets more publicity as its on the Bernie train.

World Series has Vettel, Ricciardo, Vergne, Bianchi and Di Resta

GP2 has Hamilton, Rosberg, Maldonado, Grosjean, and Perez
Not long ago I was saying the youngsters weren't ready but I've changed my mind. McLaren are in a mess. Perez is ok, but not setting the world alight, neither really is Jenson and he's one if the oldest drivers. Next year McLaren will likely be regrouping and they have an engine supplier for that year only, who isn't likely to be too keen to offer support. So it's a funny year. Then they have to settle in with a new engine supplier. So for two years, McLaren could be on the back foot. When that's over, assuming they've rebuilt the team and it's now competitive, they'll want top line drivers. Then won't be the time to be trying out rookies. So I'd say give at least Kevin a run next year. Then decide whether to bring in the other or tempt a big gun back for 2016. McLaren should be thinking long my humble opinion.
There's no point in bringing in youngsters unless they have shown good reason why they will be better than the established drivers. From what I have seen so far the current GP12 drivers need at least another year, Calado at Monza was a good example.

More experienced drivers should be better at working with the team and get at least reasonable results for the team.
I completely agree with you on the GP2 Drivers Bill Boddy but have you seen Magnursen in Renault World Series this year? He has looked mighty and mature to go with it. Certainly not one to get into accidents like Perez.

Van Dorne is mighty quick too but maybe needs a years more race experience.

The reason I wrote the article is that Mclaren do seem to have two youngsters capable of out doing one of their A team.
If they really can handle it then I have no problem with that. It's just change for the sake of change that troubles me, especially when those coming in do not have enough experience.
Well Racecubs suggestion that Magnursen is more capable than Button is plain stupid but having watched him this year I do think he's a better long term bet than Perez. I'm not saying he wouldn't make mistakes early on because thats just F1 but I do think he'd get the team behind him more and ultimately have pace when needed.

It would be a brave call but sometimes you have to roll a hard 6.

In all honesty though if they were going to make a change I think they'd have gone for Hulkenberg so unless they have Alonso waiting in the wings I think they'll stick with Perez.

Still think Magnusen would be a good gamble from what I've seen so hope he gets a seat somewhere lower down at least.
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