Whitmarsh: Lewis won’t be involved in development of next year’s car
4 October, 2012
Oct.4 (GMM) A new task on Martin Whitmarsh’s busy job-list as McLaren team principal for the rest of 2012 will be to protect Lewis Hamilton from distractions, while giving him access to race by race developments while keeping him in the dark regarding next year’s car.
He is referring to Hamilton’s bombshell news about moving to Mercedes.
Whitmarsh must now ensure that the 27-year-old’s focus remains on trying to win this year’s titles in a McLaren, even though success for the Briton would mean Hamilton takes the coveted ‘number 1′ to the nose of a different silver car in 2013.
He admitted that there will be new distractions around Hamilton as a result of the dramatic news, for the all-important final six races of his McLaren career.
“We’ve got to try and protect him from that,” said Whitmarsh. “He’s assured me that he’s a McLaren man for the rest of this year and that he’s going to be completely focused on winning and we are going to try and create as much protection of him and the environment in which he can do that.”
Whitmarsh also denied that, despite his championship contention, McLaren might begin to walk away early from Hamilton, including by flowing the bulk of the development items to his teammate Jenson Button, and locking him out of discussions.
“Lewis is a McLaren driver, he will be the recipient of the development items that we have for this year’s car,” he insisted.
“He will have every single development for instance in Japan and beyond.
“In that regard, he will be involved in the development at the race circuit, although clearly he won’t be involved in the development of next year’s car,” explained Whitmarsh.
Subbed by AJN.