Former McLaren team-mates Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen have both revealed changes to their respective management teams during this week's opening pre-season test at Jerez.
Hamilton's decision to part company with his father, who had guided him through the early stages of his career and into F1 with McLaren, drew much criticism, particularly through a turbulent 2011 campaign, when his attention appeared to be more on personal matters than racing. The blame was pointed squarely at XIX Entertainment, run by impresario Simon Fuller, who did not appear happy accompanying their charge to race weekends, but instead of splitting, the Hamilton camp has acquired the additional guidance of Didier Coton, who has an impressive track record of handling F1 drivers after stints with Mika Hakkinen and Olivier Panis, before founding Aces Management, along with Hakkinen and WilliamsF1 shareholder Toto Wolff.
"Simon is committed to creating a team that will help me achieve my ambitions for 2012 and beyond,” Hamilton told the Press Association
, "Didier's appointment builds on the existing strengths of XIX and I am delighted to have him as part of the team. I'm positive about the season ahead and can't wait to start."
Kovalainen, meanwhile, has joined IMG Worldwide, which will provide him with PR and marketing services as well as contractual and legal representation, and will share manager Martin Anayi with long-time IMG client Sir Jackie Stewart as looks either to enhance his position at current employer Caterham or engineer a move back up the grid.
“I'm excited about working with IMG, as they have impressed me with their commitment and understanding of the industry and will look after all of my commercial partnerships moving forward," the Finn commented, "With the team we have assembled, it will allow me to concentrate on my driving and put even more time into working with the engineers and dedicate myself completely to leading the team to win its first point in F1.”