Lewis Hamilton has agreed a management deal with Simon Fuller, the man best known for creating the hit TV show American Idol
Hamilton, who has been without a manager since splitting with father Anthony on the eve of the 2010 season, becomes the latest big name to sign up with Fuller's XIX Entertainment company, which was created last year and works with a number of big names including David Beckham, Jennifer Lopez, Andy Murray, Sir Michael Caine and the Spice Girls.
"It was important I took my time to make this decision as it had to be right for my career and my long-term future," Hamilton said. "I spoke to many interested companies in recent months but I felt Simon Fuller along with his team at XIX Entertainment not only wanted to help me become an even better racing driver, but they also shared my ambitions for the longer term.
“I look forward to working with them closely."
Fuller, who was named as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time
magazine back in 2007, has previously had involvement in F1 after playing a key role in persuading Honda to run its 'Earth Car' during the 2007 season – although it proved to be an expensive exercise for the Japanese manufacturer as the car ran without sponsorship branding throughout the year.
"I've met Lewis and his father several times in the past and kept an eye on his career closely over the years,” Fuller said. “Like any British fan I watched with pride and admiration at his achievements, incredibly winning the World Championship at such a young age.
“He's not only one of the leading sportsmen of his generation, he will I believe become one of the best of all time. It's an honour to be partnering with Lewis in what will be a very exciting stage of his career."
Having looked after Hamilton for the past year after the end of his working relationship with his father, McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh welcomed the news that his driver has now agreed a new management deal.
"Not only is Lewis a brilliant Formula One driver, but he's also a thoroughly nice guy with an enormous and ever-growing global appeal,” he said. “We're therefore delighted that he's chosen to partner with Simon Fuller and XIX Entertainment, and we at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes look forward to working with Lewis, Simon and the XIX Entertainment team for many years to come.
"Lewis has been part of the McLaren 'family' since he was a kid, when he was introduced to us by his father Anthony, who did so much to inspire his son's racing career which led him from karting to Formula One. However, now, it's gratifying to see Lewis open a new chapter of his career, and we at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes will relish joining him on his journey, both on track and off track, working closely with Simon Fuller and the XIX Entertainment team."