The irreversible breakdown of Fernando Alonso's tumultuous five-season romance with Ferrari (following summer overtures to Mercedes that so offended team principal Marco Mattiacci) has put Jenson Button's present team McLaren on red alert.
The Woking squad is prepared to let the sour end to its previous fling with Alonso in 2007 fade from memory. It has courted the Spaniard since the spring, armed with a new works Honda engine deal (for the first time since 1992) and some solid Japanese Yen with which to snare a 'star' name to satisfy its Asian partner. There's no doubt Alonso - with two world titles and 32 grands prix victories under his belt - fits that bill.
Until Alonso decides whether to rejoin McLaren or not, Button must sit and wait. The Briton is out of contract after this season, and McLaren has yet to confirm any drivers for 2015. That means it could retain Button alongside Alonso, or exercise its option to retain impressive rookie Kevin Magnussen. Or, if Alonso doesn't sign on the dotted line, retain its current line-up.