McLaren have reportedly made a tentative approach to re-sign Lewis Hamilton for next season. The British team are understood to want to sign a world class driver for 2015, which will mark the start of their new partnership with Honda.
Hamilton, who is currently 29 points behind Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg at the top of the world championship, may be open to a return to the team where he started his career, if he fails to win the world championship. The mental scars of losing to Nico Rosberg could prove to be too much for the 2008 world champion and McLaren are aware of this.
It would be a spectacular story if the move were to happen, considering the manner of Hamilton’s departure in 2012. His relationship with the team broke down towards the end of their time together after Hamilton became frustrated that the cars being produced were not able to mount strong title challenge. However, the return of team boss Ron Dennis and that other options on the grid are thin could convince Hamilton to return.
McLaren are more confident of securing the services of Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard is known to be disillusioned with Ferrari after five fruitless seasons. He could be looking for a move away to give him the best chance of winning an elusive third world crown.
However, Alonso also has previous grievances with McLaren. He drove for the team in 2007 and left after one year after a break down in his relationship with Ron Dennis. Whether that relationship can be re-built is an important question. McLaren have made contact with the 32-year-old and they have received positive signs.
McLaren are expected to return to the top of the sport from 2015 after their deal with new engine suppliers Honda kicks in. They hope to attract a world-class driver to head their challenge. However, it is not clear which of their current drivers will make way. Jenson Button is 34 and is in the twilight of his career. But he expects to sign a contract for next season, despite the team saying no talks have taken place.
That would then put pressure on his young team-mate, Kevin Magnussen. But dumping the talented Dane, who, like Hamilton, has been with the team since he was a teenager, would be a surprise. Button has so far out-raced Magnussen but the youngster has shown enough quality to suggest he has a future in F1.
As F1 heads into the summer, it is expected that rumours begin to circulate around driver changes at this time of year. But the solid reports linking Hamilton and Alonso with McLaren are stunning. Keep updated here on F1-Fansite and follow us on Twitter at @F1Fansite.