Meet the New McLaren-Honda Formula 1 Drivers: Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button
After years apart, McLaren and Honda are renewing their once-dominant Formula One partnership for next season, and have been building excitement with engine reveals and teaser videos. Now the pair is officially announcing the new McLaren Honda Formula 1 drivers: Jenson Button (second from left) and Fernando Alonso (second from right). Kevin Magnussen (center) will stay with the team as a test and reserve driver.
Also pictured are Yauhisa Arai (far left), Honda’s chief officer of motorsport; and Ron Dennis (far right), chairman and chief executive officer of McLaren.
“I am joining this project with enormous enthusiasm and determination, knowing that it may require some time to achieve the results we are aiming for, which is no problem for me,” said new driver Fernando Alonso. “I have had in-depth discussions with all the senior people at both McLaren and Honda, I have viewed their fantastic facilities in both the UK and Japan, and it is clear to me that, together, McLaren and Honda are in the process of beginning what is sure to be a long and successful partnership. And I intend to give 100% effort to help make it exactly that.”
“Being a part of new-look McLaren-Honda is a wonderful opportunity for all of us, and I am very pleased to have been invited to do my bit. In fact, I am absolutely raring to go,” added Alonso’s teammate, driver Jenson Button. “Looking forward, I know the Honda guys well, having driven Formula 1 cars powered by their engines from 2003 to 2008. I have a huge amount of respect and admiration for them, and promise to give 100% to make their partnership with McLaren a success.”
McLaren and Honda are looking to their past triumphs for inspiration, and have seized on this quote from Ayrton Senna, who won 30 of the 44 grand prixs that Honda and McLaren triumphed in between 1988 and 1992: “We do not need myths. We need examples to be followed – examples of courage, determination and hope. We need to believe it is possible to win, and it is our duty to pursue that belief.”
Fernando Alonso, who called Senna his “idol on the track,” is hoping he can emulate the success that his boyhood hero had with McLaren-Honda. “We have time, we have hopes and we have necessary resources,” Alonso said. “Let the legend return: that is our challenge.”