Fernando Alonso - Stoffel Vandoorne
Reserve: Jenson Button
McLaren was faced with an awkward situation in 2016 as Button was out of contract but performing well, while Vandoorne continued to wait in the wings and would surely not tolerate being overlooked for 2017. The team found the perfect compromise as Button takes a year off racing and works as an ambassador and reserve driver, while Vandoorne gets his chance. At the same time, Button was taken out of any speculation regarding a move to another team.