F1 »

McLaren tells Hamilton: There has to be some give-and-take

McLaren-Mercedes managing director Jonathan Neale suggests that Lewis Hamilton might like to consider the F1 sponsorship commitments side of things from his team's perspective, too...
McLaren-Mercedes has responded to Lewis Hamilton's warning that his employer will be 'shocked' by some of his demands when it comes to negotiating a new deal beyond the end of next year – by stressing that 'there has to be give-and-take'.

On the eve of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone a week-and-a-half ago, Hamilton admitted that he feared he was in danger of burnout due to McLaren's relentless schedule of sponsorship commitments that was preventing him from taking a proper rest – and he bluntly asserted that 'when I re-sign the contract, they are going to be shocked at how many days they are not going to be able to make me do...I will be doing a lot less work' [see separate story – click here].

Speaking during a special pre-Nürburgring Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes Phone-In Session, however, the Woking-based outfit's managing director Jonathan Neale revealed that Hamilton has no more such duties than team-mate Jenson Button – who conversely has made no complaint – and that the 2008 F1 World Champion might do well to consider the situation from the team's point-of-view, too.

“We are a commercially-run team, with a fantastic group of partners,” the Englishman underlined. “Vodafone and Mercedes obviously have expectations, and our technical partners all do terrific work, as well. We have long partnerships because they work – Exxon Mobil have been with us since 1995, for example. That's all part of being a well-funded and successful team, and we are renowned for it.

“We do recognise that the drivers are human beings and that there's a finite capacity there, so we try to balance it out as best we can – but we don't have quite the same funding model as Red Bull Racing or Ferrari. There has to be some give-and-take. The same is true behind-the-scenes as on the circuit – we have two number one drivers, with two equal sets of obligations. Lewis and Jenson share that burden of responsibility equally.

“We have been able to use, very successfully, Pedro de la Rosa, Gary Paffett and occasionally also Oliver Turvey to lift the commercial burden, and we are putting more capacity in the system to match our partners' expectations. Yes, it's a balance, but when you have two world champions in the team and the partners that we have, everybody is going to be clamouring to see them. We've got to be mindful of that.”

One development that arguably would not lighten Hamilton's mood any would be a return to limited in-season testing – a topic that is currently being debated amongst F1's teams and powers-that-be, after test teams were banned back in 2009 under the terms of the Resource Restriction Agreement (RRA).

Neale concedes that he is 'cautiously' in favour of the idea and that there are 'a number of benefits' to it in terms of being able to try out young drivers, mechanics and engineers – but he echoes Mercedes Grand Prix team principal Ross Brawn in opining that 'breaking-point' is being reached with regard to workload in the sport, reasoning: “If we get back into unbridled tyre-testing development and runaway costs, it will be counter-productive to all the work we've done so far.”


by Russell Atkins



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
McLaren Racing managing director Jonathan Neale
McLaren Racing managing director Jonathan Neale
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes
09.07.2011- Saturday Practice, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
08.07.2011- Friday Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
08.07.2011- Friday Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
09.07.2011- Saturday Practice, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
09.07.2011- Saturday Practice, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
08.07.2011- Friday Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
08.07.2011- Friday Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
08.07.2011- Friday Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
24.06.2011- Friday Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
11.06.2011- Saturday Practice, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
11.06.2011- Qualifying, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
09.06.2011- Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
Piero Taruffi at the wheel of a Ferrari in 1951
Piero Taruffi at the wheel of a Ferrari in 1951

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


Mini WRC Fan - Unregistered

July 20, 2011 2:19 PM

At the end of the day it's the huge number of sponsors that provide Hamilton's wages, and I personally think he should make the effort to give something back to them. He can't have it all his own way.

UknownStuntGuy - Unregistered

July 20, 2011 2:20 PM

I am a massive fan of the driver but not so much of the person. Does Mclaren really need him that badly that they just take his sad sad remarks on the chin?? He is a strastruck child. Anthony, give your son a clip round the head, please.



© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.