McLaren promotes Vandoorne for 2017 to replace Button
MONZA, Italy (AP) Former Formula One champion Jenson Button will move into semi-retirement next season as McLaren Honda promotes Stoffel Vandoorne into the second driver spot alongside Fernando Alonso.
McLaren chairman Ron Dennis says Button will ''continue to be a senior, influential, and committed member of the team, and will remain centrally involved in the development of our cars. He'll also be available to race for us if circumstances require it.''
The 36-year-old Button won the F1 title with Brawn in 2009, and has 15 career victories. He's in his seventh season with McLaren.
Vandoorne, a highly sought-after Belgian, has been part of McLaren's development program since 2013.
Vandoorne finished 10th in his F1 debut when he replaced Alonso at the Bahrain GP this year.