McLaren confirmed via Twitter tonight that it will announce its 2015 driver line-up no earlier than December 1st – and then followed up with a statement saying that the idea was to “avoid distracting the race team.”
McLaren also confirmed that the Honda test car will run in Abu Dhabi on the Tuesday and Wednesday after the race, subject to final bench testing.
The statement said: “Selecting the optimal driver line-up for a Formula 1 team is clearly an important process, and it is therefore one that requires precise and prolonged analysis. 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.
“Meanwhile, 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. 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 1 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.”