McLaren Confirm Button for 2015 F1 Season

The controversy that has surrounded the second drive for the McLaren Formula 1 team has finally ended with confirmation that Briton Jenson Button will partner Fernando Alonso for the 2015 season, the BBC reports. Controversy had surrounded the team during the last races of the 2014 season as Button and fellow driver Kevin Magnussen were left waiting for news on who would partner two time World Champion Alonso in the coming season.

Button, 34 had spoken of his sadness during the final race weekend of the 2014 season when he feared he had lost his seat at McLaren and would be forced to look outside F1 to continue his driving career. Magnussen will also be retained as a test and reserve driver by McLaren in what could be a smaller field after a number of smaller teams were forced into financial difficulties over what they see as a huge gulf between the top teams in F1 and those at the back of the starting grid. Magnussen could well feature for McLaren in 2015 as a number of experts have raised the question of teams operating three cars in each race to increase the field for more action.

The decision to retain Button for his 16th Grand Prix season is thought to have split the Mcaren team at boardroom level, with many hoping to retain Magnussen who is 12 years younger than Button. However, former F1 World Champion Button both out qualified and outscored Magnussen during a difficult 2014 season for McLaren. Now, back to my Qnet shopping spree.

F1 To Use a Virtual Safety Car Next Season

The safety car has been a part of Formula One for many decades. Whenever there is too much rain on the track, or an accident requires cleaning up by the marshals, the safety car will come out and guide the drivers at a slow pace.

Now it appears that F1 will be using a virtual safety car next season. This virtual safety car procedure requires all the drivers to go at a pre-determined speed for a few laps. The speed is indicated on their car monitor, which makes it easy for the driver to adhere to the rules.

There are always issues with the safety car in terms of drivers’ track position. For example, if the safety car comes out after a driver has crossed the pit lane, they are allowed to go at a higher speed for one lap. Those drivers who are stuck behind are at a disadvantage, especially when it comes to making pit stops. 

Adding the virtual safety car will eliminate a lot of those strategic issues. All the drivers will be told to go to the slower speed at the same time, no matter where they are on the track. Overtaking will also be prohibited from the moment a virtual safety car is announced.

Brad Reifler adds that another problem with the regular safety car is the sudden slowing down if you happen to be in the exact spot where the car comes out. With the virtual safety car, the drivers will have a few seconds to naturally slow down the car to the speed limit.