Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button will both have new race engineers this year as McLaren makes changes to its race team.
Phil Prew, who was Hamilton’s race engineer last year, will move into the new role of principal race engineer. Managing director Jonathan Neale explained how the position will work:
He?óÔé¼Ôäóll travel to every race and will manage the set-up, development, and sharing of data and information between both race engineering teams.
The race engineering team on Lewis?óÔé¼Ôäós car will be headed by Andy Latham, with Mark Temple as his performance engineer. On Jenson?óÔé¼Ôäós side, Jakob Andreason ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ a very experienced engineer who has worked alongside Phil on Lewis?óÔé¼Ôäós car for the last few years ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ will be the race engineer. Dave Robson, who?óÔé¼Ôäós also very experienced, will be Jenson?óÔé¼Ôäós performance engineer. We?óÔé¼Ôäóre giving both drivers a fresh engineering team, with Phil as the bridge between them both.
It?óÔé¼Ôäós primarily to ensure there?óÔé¼Ôäós total transfer in the learning of set-up development. It gives us a figurehead and a go-to person for the rest of the organisation across the race weekend, so they can ask Phil: ?óÔé¼?£What?óÔé¼Ôäós happening with set-up? Which way are we going??óÔé¼Ôäó
We can also better use the simulation team and the engineers back at the McLaren Technology Centre to say to Phil: ?óÔé¼?£You might want to try this,?óÔé¼Ôäó and Phil can supervise that flow of information.
Neale said the setup will help ensure the drivers will receive equal treatment:
When Jenson visited MTC, one of the questions he asked was, ?óÔé¼?£Is this Lewis?óÔé¼Ôäós team??óÔé¼Ôäó and the answer was ?óÔé¼?£Yes, of course it?óÔé¼Ôäós Lewis?óÔé¼Ôäós team?óÔé¼?ª as it was Heikki Kovalainen?óÔé¼Ôäós team, Fernando Alonso?óÔé¼Ôäós team, Juan Pablo Montoya?óÔé¼Ôäós, and Kimi Raikkonen?óÔé¼Ôäós. And it will be your team as well.
Is this Lewis?óÔé¼Ôäós team to the exclusion of any other high-performance driver? Absolutely not. At Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, we love winning drivers ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ and we want to go about telling the world that story.
He added that the resource restriction agreement, which came into force at the beginning of the year, was another part of the reason for the change.
Hamilton’s new race engineer, Andy Latham, has been with McLaren since 2000. He was the test engineer for the last two seasons and before that was assistant race engineer to Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen.
Jakob Andreason, who will race engineer Button’s car, has been with McLaren for nine years and has been an assistant race engineer since 2005.