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Hamilton: R&R key to German victory

“McLaren's drivers are hardest-hit in this respect, since McLaren have a different business model to the other top teams. It involves a few high-profile sponsors such as Vodafone, Hugo Boss and Johnnie Walker, who all have a specific number of days with the drivers written into their contracts. In many respects, it is good for Lewis that the equally marketable Jenson has arrived to shoulder some of the burden, because when it was him with Heikki Kovalainen, it did not take a genius to guess which driver the sponsor was going to want for their contracted time.

“Red Bull, by contrast, bought a team to market its brand and sell fizzy drinks. Other sponsors have since arrived, but essentially the team is its own advertising vehicle and the external demands on the drivers are far less than at McLaren.

“It is all about finding the right balance, because there is no doubt that mental and physical fatigue will cost a driver in terms of his performance. These are finely-tuned athletes we are talking about – believe me, they are supremely fit – and in a sport where hundredths of a second can make all the difference, they need every ounce of concentration they can get.

“It would not surprise me in the least if Lewis' time off last week to rest and train – he cancelled a sponsors' trip to India a fortnight ago to help him in this respect – had a major bearing on his sensational performance in Germany. We will never know for sure, just as we will never know whether Sebastian Vettel's unusually subdued performance was in some way linked to the additional demands he felt racing in front of his home crowd – the increased PR demands, media coverage, weight of expectation, family and friends in the crowd etcetera.

“I believe the last driver to win his home grand prix was Felipe Massa for Ferrari in São Paulo in 2008, so perhaps there is a direct link between PR demands and performance? It's one hypothesis, anyway.”

Coulthard went on to opine that with Red Bull Racing, McLaren and Ferrari all so evenly-matched at the Nürburgring, the German Grand Prix has 'brought the season to life once again' – and fresh off the back of his second victory of the F1 2011 campaign, Hamilton is palpably up for making it two-out-of-two in Hungary, even if he fully anticipates Vettel to bite back. The only stumbling-block, he fears, could be McLaren's performance in hot conditions.

“Sebastian has been massively consistent since last year, but you can't win them all,” he mused. “You can't get out of the right side of the bed every day. This was a small glitch over a long period. I have no doubts he will have some interesting comments made about him, but he still finished fourth and the rest had a slightly better weekend. He will be back, no doubt.

“We are good when the conditions are cool and wet. The McLaren has always been able to switch its tyres on; we are able to do it more than others. We might get to the next race and be massively off because we might overheat our tyres, [but] if the car behaves like it did this weekend, we will be there again. I have won in Hungary before – so I can do it again.”





Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
24.07.2011- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26 race winner
24.07.2011- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26 leads Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
24.07.2011- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26 race winner
24.07.2011- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26 race winner
24.07.2011- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26 race winner
24.07.2011- Race, Press conference, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
24.07.2011- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26 race winner
23.07.2011- Saturday Practice, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
23.07.2011- Qualifying, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
22.07.2011- Friday Practice 1, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
22.07.2011- Friday Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
24.07.2011- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26 race winner
Lewis Hamilton, James Corden
Max Verstappen becomes Red Bull Junior   [pic courtesy Red Bull media]
Max Verstappen becomes Red Bull Junior   [pic courtesy Red Bull media]
Alain Prost (FR), Marlboro McLaren International MP4/2. Monaco Grand Prix, 03/06/1984, Monte Carlo.
The Marlboro McLaren Team celebrate as Alain Prost (FR), McLaren MP4/2, takes the chequered flag. Dutch Grand Prix, Zandvoort, Holland, 26/08/1984.
Parabolica gravel trap replaced with tarmac run-off at Monza
Pic credit: Twitter

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arcuid

July 26, 2011 4:43 PM

Yes well Eddie we don't travel around the world 19 times a year, deal with jet lag then get straight to work for 3 major sponsors during the week, qualify on Sat then race on Sunday! LOL The article did say that McLaren has more sponsors than most teams the difference is Red Bull bought a team they use for marketing and PR for their products. Yes rest is necessary so drivers can relax and focus on what they should be doing most of all: Focus on racing. Oh yes I agree the car was fantastic that weekend. :)



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