THE BLOG

Why McLaren Should Have Opted for Youth Over Jenson Button

22/12/2014 18:13 GMT | Updated 21/02/2015 10:59 GMT

Despite being a young racing driver, I still regard myself as a fan of motorsport first and foremost. Before I got behind the wheel, I would watch every race and championship I could find on TV and I still live and breathe the industry.

Like most fans, I spend a lot of time on Autosport, watching Sky Sports updates and following racing people on Twitter. I read general views on Facebook and social media and talk with other drivers - and it's obviously F1 that's the main topic of conversation.

But I also follow every bit of news that might affect me, and how the future is looking for my generation of drivers.

The last few years have been looking grim for us, with the economy crisis and 'pay drivers'. Although, I think over the last six months, it has started to look better.

However, it was the last piece of major F1 news, when Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button were confirmed as McLaren's new line up that I felt the sport really went backwards for us.

I personally feel that McLaren made a poor decision in keeping Jenson and demoting Kevin Magnussen to the third and reserve driver.

It has seemed that most of the public, especially the British, wanted Jenson to stay. Their argument was that he scored a lot more points than Kevin.

Of course this is the aim of the game so he did do a 'better' job than Kevin.

But against this is the fact that Jenson has been in Formula 1 for 15 years - underachieving and plodding along a bit in my view - but he has probably been in some situations many times that Kevin has never experienced. I don't think it's right that they aren't giving youth a chance to develop.

In junior single seaters, leading up to F1, we hardly ever drive. We might do 50 days a year of driving if we are lucky. In GP3, a mere two steps away from F1, we get one 45-minute practice, one 30-minute qualifying and two 35-minute races, while someone like Jenson has been doing three one-and-a-half-hour practices, three 15-minute qualifyings and a two-hour race for 15 years! How are we supposed to compete with that level of experience?

Kevin often beat him in qualifying or matched him, so I really can't understand the decision they made.

I believe the only sensible reason for keeping Jenson, was marketing. He is a big personality and very valuable, in England especially. Coming from a year where they had no title sponsor, and signing Alonso on one of the biggest sporting contracts in history, maybe they needed all the help they could get in attracting sponsors?

Oh well, time will tell if Jenson can take it to Alonso, the best driver ever in the modern era in my opinion. I think Jenson might find himself having a tough year, being constantly beat by someone who is much better than him.

Other than that, the general Formula 1 news has been pretty promising for young aspiring F1 drivers.

There has been quite a lot of new young talent this year performing, like Daniil Kyvat and Daniel Ricciardo, as well as Kevin Magnussen. I think they all did exceptionally well this year and showed that our generation is coming through!

However, I feel the main news is that F1 'supremo', Bernie Ecclestone, is finally realising he needs to restructure the finances of F1 and how the money is divided among all 11 teams.

F1 has been in a financial crisis for a few years now, but it only really started to come to the surface this year.

You might wonder why a driver would even worry about this, but finance is one of the most important factors in racing. If the bottom teams can't afford to drive, they can't afford to put the best, new drivers in the car.

They put drivers in who have massive sponsors that get them into the team. This takes away talent from a decision for a team.

So, if the money gets sorted out in F1, it will spread down into the junior ranks, and you will start to see some awesome young drivers coming back into the sport.

I'm disappointed in McLaren taking experience over youth as I think Kevin would have shone next season.

But I'm glad that F1 is on the up and that the future is looking much brighter. I can't wait until the first race next year!