Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Barcelona, 2012

Horner plays down Red Bull-Hamilton connection

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Barcelona, 2012
Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Barcelona, 2012
In the round-up: Christian Horner says it’s “difficult to envisage” Lewis Hamilton joining Red Bull.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Red Bull deny Hamilton interest (Daily Telegraph)

??I think that it’s difficult to envisage Lewis in our team. I think he?s comfortable in the environment he is in and we?re certainly comfortable with the two drivers we have.”

Finally back to racing! (Ferrari)

Fernando Alonso: “We definitely still need to improve a lot, working on our understanding of the F2012, adapting my driving style to a new car which, with the loss of aerodynamic downforce at the rear and the new Pirelli tyres, is a bit harder to drive. We know in which direction we need to go in terms of car development and that?s an important step.”

Marussia backs budget cap revival (Autosport)

Graeme Lowdon: “If this is the international championship of spending, then most teams are not equipped to excel in that field, and it is not clever ?ǣ nor very relevant to the business world our sponsors live in. So anything that promotes cost control is a good thing.”

Pit lane to football pitch: Fernandes’ plans for sporting success (CNN)

“I think [Vitaly Petrov] is as good a driver as Trulli, but he obviously brings a Russian commercial element.”

F1 2012: can anyone end Sebastian Vettel’s grip? (The Guardian)

“If the secret of sustained success in Formula One is creating the right combination of designer and driver, then what we are witnessing is a phenomenon to match that of Jim Clark and Colin Chapman, whose professional relationship in the 1960s established a standard to which all their successors aspire.”

Vijay Mallya pumps in $32 million into Force India (NDTV)

“Sahara Force India team principal Vijay Mallya has pumped in $32 million into his Formula One team ahead of the season opener in Melbourne on Sunday.”

Analysis: Force India VJM05 (Scarbs F1)

“By keeping the radiators and sidepod volume high and narrow, the resulting undercut in the sidepods flank creates the double floor effect and allows more airflow to pass directly over the top of the diffuser. Unlike Toro Rosso?s rounded interpretation of the undercut sidepod, FIF1?s has much flatter sides, particularly in the coke bottle region near the exhausts; the sidepod shape is particularly slim.”

Marussia not worried about KERS – Glock (ESPN)

“We have said that our focus is right to first get rid of the four seconds of aerodynamic deficit, before we worry about the money and the manpower we need for five tenths with the KERS.”

Labor MP Kelvin Thomson takes a swipe at Bernie Ecclestone’s ??billionaire bogan’ daughter, Tamara (Herald Sun)

“One thing I am absolutely sure of – there are better ways to spend $50 million, year in and year out, than bankrolling Bernie’s billionaire bogan.”

Comment of the day

Which of the McLaren drivers will do best this year is a subject that divided F1 Fanatic readers right down the middle yesterday.

Some tipped Hamilton to bounce back:

He had a tough season in 2011, but I expect him to return to form and edge out Button.

If he?s on form more often than not, then he should beat Button convincingly. Hamilton has better raw speed in my opinion.

Others reckon Button will exert superiority again:

Button has the upper hand here. I very much doubt that Hamilton?s cleared his head yet, and we all know that speed is no longer everything.

He?s confident, does well on new tyres, never make mistakes… Hamilton will probably improve from catastrophic last season, but that won?t be good enough to beat Button.

What do you think? You can cast your vote on them and all the other drivers here:

From the forum

Site updates

Updates are still being applied to the site to fix display problems arising from the recent redesign. You can find details on the latest modifications here.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Patrickl and chapmankillie!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Fernando Alonso won his first race for Ferrari two years ago today in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Sebastian Vettel led much of the way before suffering an exhaust failure.

Image ?? Jamey Price/F1 Fanatic

66 comments on “Horner plays down Red Bull-Hamilton connection”

  1. And the big question for this race has been jus answered:

    What´s the name of Seb´s car? is Abbey, as Abbey Road…

    1. Please tell me it’s at least “Abbey’s Sexually Adventurous Cousin” or something more like a proper Seb’s car name!

      1. so far… he has only call her Abbey. Feel free to use any sexual reference that you like…

        1. “Abbey’s Sexually Adventurous Cousin”

          Haha COTD :)

          1. So hopefully his car will break down at Abbey during the British GP?

      2. With that kind of looks is hard to give a sexual name.

    2. Does Peter Crouch know?

    3. If he has actually named it after Abbey Road, I’m very impressed.

  2. Haha! Great to see an Australian word in the round-up! If all of that is true, I think it’s a terrible waste. How could someone possibly actually want all of that? Wouldn’t you feel guilty? It makes me feel sick. This MP’s comment was a little harsh though!

    1. What it really does is highlight just how much money Bernie has taken from the teams that provide the racing, given that Bernie has 2 daughters with the same spending habits, habits they no-doubt acquired from their mother who Bernie also has to support in the manner to which she became accustomed.

    2. @damonsmedley – I gotta give it to you Aussies, you really do call a spade a spade! And Kelvin Thomson is basically right.

      1. Yeah it’s kind of hard to argue with Kelvin Thomson’s rant, he makes some valid points, as does @hohum. Just think how much more competitive HRT and Virgin would be if they had access to same sort of funding as Bernie Ecclestone daughters.

        1. What is the budget for HRT? Anyone have an idea? Can we now see what is wrong with F1!?

    3. Are you suggesting you don’t want $50m?

      Because speaking personally, I’d quite happily take it. And I’ve no doubt you wouldn’t approve of how I’d spend it, but get this: I really wouldn’t care. :D

      1. Truer words never spoken.

    4. I read a comment below the article which said where it’s all about: you invest 50 million and you get back 200 million. People spend money they’ve earned as they like. Some buy shoes and some buy F1 teams.

      1. Have Bernie’s daughters really earned their money, or just lucked in to it?

  3. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17357374

    And not forgetting forgetting the world’s fastest formula one car (small-scale category)

    1. @hey,
      Thanks for the very informative link mate. Truly impressive, and they’ve got great attention to detail too though it looks more like a Champ Car (CART) than an F1 car. But it is impressive nevertheless.

      I really love tidbits of information like these.

  4. Marussia flatter themselves by calling it a four second deficit. Except they just mean the front of the midfield. With all cars running on the same tyres and fuel mode, the gap was a lot greater.
    With the ban on the EBD, they have automatically clawed back over a second.
    I don’t know if they will have the pace to bother Caterham, although their car looks like it will be fast in a straight line.

  5. @KeithCollantine, not sure if it has been mentioned yet, but Fernando Alonso is now officially on twitter as @alo_oficial

    1. @sam3110 Yes, he’s been added to the F1 Twitter directory.

  6. Something is wrong with the Ferrari link.

    1. @solo Fixed, thanks.

  7. “I think that it’s difficult to envisage Lewis in our team. I think he’s comfortable in the environment he is in and we’re certainly comfortable with the two drivers we have.”

    I don’t think there was ever much to the Hamilton-to-Red Bull stories. I think it was mostly Hamilton’s fans who saw his poor performances and the defecit to Red Bull, and thought that if Hamilton was driving for Red Bull, then all his misery would go away. The tabloids picked it up and ran with it, because they love going for big headlines.

    It’s a bit like the talk of Raikkonen going to Red Bull (anyone noticing a pattern here?) – the fans saw Red Bull’s speed and wanted the best for the driver, and so they convinced themselves that Raikkonen was going to Milton Keynes, even when there was no evidence of it.

    1. Or like the talk of Alonso going to Ferrari and Raikkonen coming back to F1.

      Oh wait….

      What I’m saying is, sometimes the talk ends up being right.

      1. Sometimes. Not all the time. I see no evidence of Hamilton going to Red Bull; Horner’s comments pretty much confirm that it won’t be happening any time soon. All we know is that Hamilton visited Red Bull after last year’s Canadian Grand Prix. We have no idea why, and no idea what was said. And since nothing has come of it, we will probably never know anything more than that.

        Likewise the talk of Raikkonen going to Red Bull. The theory was that Red Bull sponsored Raikkonen in the WRC in order to “reserve” him for the future, and then arranged to have him drive a Citroen because Citroen is a French manufacturer and a French manufacturer (Renault) powered the Red Bull cars. It was all very, very elaborate, and ignored the fact that, as a former Formula 1 World Champion, Raikkonen would attract a lot of attention in the WRC, and so anyone who sponsored him would automatically get a lot of coverage.

        The difference between Alonso-Ferrari and Raikkonen-Red Bull and Hamilton-Red Bull is that Alonso was actually having a decent season (given what he had to work with) before he switched over. Raikkonen had a very disappointing 2009 season, and Hamilton was all over the place in 2011. But these elaborate theories cooked up by fans all had them somehow miraculously overcoming that and being rewarded for putting up with teams that didn’t appreciate them enough with a phenomenal car and a team that would absolutely commit to them and give them whatever they needed to win the championship and prove their critics wrong (which we know they would never do, given their favouritism of Vettel). It was basically the plot of every single Hollywood sports movie – disgruntled former champion overcomes extreme odds to make an incredible comeback, embarrassing his former team by proving they never should have doubted him in the first place – rolled up into one, which the fans then swallowed because believing it was easier than admitting that their favourite driver was fallible.

        If anything, we should embrace the flaws of our favourite drivers. Having a flaw is what actually makes them human. If they were always perfect, all the time, it would be very, very difficult to relate to them. Just look at Senna, and the way he crashed out of the lead at Monaco. People didn’t like him because he was leading the race. They liked him because he was leading the race, but he was still driving as if he was a lap down. He could have easily done what Prost would have, and coasted to the finish line and an easy win, but he didn’t. Senna had to push harder, had to drive faster. Ultimately, it led to his retirement from the race, but that’s what people respected about him. Marco Simoncelli had it, too; when he crashed in Malaysia last year, any other rider would have let go of the bike – but not Simoncelli. He was sure he could have righted it and kept racing, and he probably would have, too, were it not for the way Edwards and Rossi were right behind him. And that’s why we like racing drivers and riders (or any other sports star, for that matter): they do things that we know that we could not, but at the same time, we like knowing that they aren’t really any different to the rest of us. Formula 1 drivers are ordinary people who can do extraordinary things – they shouldn’t be extraordinary people who are occasionally ordinary.

        And that’s why I don’t like the militant fans and their outlandish theories: they explain away all the faults and the flaws, and elevate their favourite drivers to beings of pure, undistilled talent. They are in such a hurry to leave that talent intact and unblemished that they remove all the humanity from the driver and push him (or her – it’s happened with Danica Patrick) beyond the point of relatability.

        1. Horner’s comments pretty much confirm that it won’t be happening any time soon.

          I don’t agree – it reads like a ‘non-denial denial’ to mine. It has all the wriggle room Horner could want if he decides to hire Hamilton in the future.

          1. The question is why would he. Based on current evidence, Hamilton had an awful 2011, worse than Massa’s in some ways. True he did get some wins but unless Mark has a poor 2012 season as well why would Red Bull change their line-up. Also I got the feeling that they were trying to prep Ricciardo for the race seat that would be vacated by Mark if that ever happened.

        2. F1 is so closed off that fans have nothing else to do but speculate. We will never have the full picture of what is happening behind the scenes.

          Its always been part of the sport. Some rumors will be true and some wont. i wouldn’t get too riled up about it. Also, I don’t see the connection between speculating about driver moves; and explaining away their faults and flaws.

        3. @MahavirShah
          Managed to get some wins?!!!!. It is so easy to trivialise 3 wins. The same number as his team mate, 2 more than Alonso, and 3 more than everyone else but Vettel.

          And I agree with you Keith, no team wants the added pressures of any speculations on potential driver signings. Not to say he has definitely made plans to sign Hamilton, but he hasn’t completely shut the door either.

        4. Kenny Davies
          15th March 2012, 10:06

          I dont get how many people see the idea of Lewis at RBR preposterous. In fact, if Red Bull has any marketing nous ( which they have – by far the best of any F1 team), then getting Hamilton into a Red Bull would be a priority and even a necessity for the team.

          Lets look it this way- Red Bull is a drinks company (though this is not a insult as Lewis meant it). The racing part (RBR) only exists to help the parent company advertise the brand, market the style, and subsequently sell as many drinks as possible. This brand is young, energetic and vibrant.
          Lewis Hamilton fits this brand more than any of the current Red Bull drivers. He is young, hip, vibrant, fashionable, and has the star girlfriend to go with it. As good as Seb is, he is not this brand, nor is it Webber by a long shot.
          Hamilton has by far the largest brand appeal of any driver outside of Formula 1; in Europe, Africa and the USA. This is in no small part helped by his association with Nicole Sherzinger – who is the lead singer in one of the biggest girl groups in the world. If approached right, this is a marketer’s dream come true. And lets not forget, he is the young upstart who came into F1 an energized it for a whole new generation of fans, based on the fact that he is the first “black” driver in the formulae – never mind the fact that he didn’t do too badly in his first year.

          Christian Horner is a team principal, Dietrich Mateschitz runs a USD 5 Billion company. Guess whose decision makes the most sense to the company?
          Christian has no desire to upset the very well balanced apple cart he has put in place, but he KNOWS that Lewis is capable of delivering exactly what Seb has delivered to the company in the same machinery – so they are not losing anything. Dietrich knows this too.
          Lewis will go to RBR, but i don’t think Seb will be there when he does – and if he is, that is will be the stuff of wet dreams for Mr Mateschitz – 2 F1 champions. One to sell his brand all over the world the other to appeal to his home fans!

    2. @Prisoner Monkeys…I was sure I heard MB and DC suggesting during a race last year that it might be good for LH and for Mac for them to part ways at some point. So I don’t think this is just about LH fans wanting him in the best car. I think it is a valid concept to consider (LH leaving Mac), and I’m sure will continue to be so if LH doesn’t have a better season this year.

      Horner’s comments, for now, are coming at the cusp of a new season and I think the last thing he would admit to right now is the potential of a WDC like LH to replace MW.

      But I do think that Horner, having said a few years ago when it was still looking like MW was a potential WDC winner that year, that he could see MW winning the WDC then retiring after which SV would be the team’s future. So SV won the WDC instead, and won it again last year convincingly, proving that SV is the team’s future…so is Horner really that anxious to replace MW with a proven WDC? Would be great, and Horner says there is true racing between his drivers….but….

  8. Well, happy birthday to @Patrickl, haven’t seen you commenting on here lately. And the same for @chapmankillie

  9. That Mallya article is very interesting, as it states that Mallya put in 22 million of the total as sponsorship money from Kingfisher airlines as well as his beer/liquor companies. Wonder how the airline will be able to pay much when its broke and not even paying salaries, another loan?

    1. i guess he wants to move out of airlines none of the airlines are making any serious money. fuel prices & taxes remain very high compared to other countries. it’s clear that he will not put more money in the airlines till new laws regarding investments, taxation & fuel price taxes are made reasonable.

      1. Yes, @dev, I can see the reasons for getting out of the airline business fast. But that does not make it any less strange, that a highly indebted airline, sailing on the edge of bankruptcy, is putting in millions in sponsorship money into an F1 team.

        1. I don’t see how F1 is a better business than airlines either, especially if you are in the midfield.

        2. yes. Kingfisher airlines owes $600K to the company I work for. It looks as though we will need to write off this amount to bad debt, and seeing this article made me smile. Looks like a few hundredths of a second is more important to VJ than salaries of his employees or bills with his suppliers. As a fan of F1 i dont really mind. But from a professional standpoint its a bit strange.

          I suspect Kingfisher beer must be making a lot of money.

        3. @bascb he is clearly playing a crazy game of poker. since most of the bank which have lent him are owned by the govt. there is a good chance that certain rules will be twisted to make operating airlines a decent business. Honestly i felt that after him buying out Royal Challengers Bangalore there was little point in him sticking to Airline business. He is doing the right thing by not pumping in good money after bad money unless the environment changes for good. Air India which is owned & operated by Govt of India is also bankrupt and gets timely bailouts from govt every now and then. Air India keeps fares so low that anyone one competing will not make operating profits unless accounts are fudged. Even if the Airlines is not making profits 44% of it’s revenue goes as taxes.

          There are many investors who will be ready to put money in Kingfisher Airlines, but only when govt reduces tax burdens on airlines & maintains a stable policy.

          1. In short – its a mess!

  10. Vijay Mallya pumps in $32 million into Force India!!!

    his Kingfisher airlines owes Bank of Scotland $25 million. clearly he has money but does not want to support his airline…

  11. Abbey’s Step Sister.

    1. Very clever @alexf1man :)

  12. Ah, Joe. Joe, Joe, Joe. I just can’t help myself but point this out:

    I will now leave you for 24 hours in the unsafe hands of the “F1 media” that would get lost trying to find the average racing circuit. Beware of stories suggesting Michael Schumacher will win the World Championship; or that Sebastian Vettel is going to ride to the North Pole on a llama called Maurice.

    Apparently, Joe is the only person in Formula 1 who is actually competent to do anything, and that if it weren’t for him, we’d all be horrendously lost and falling victim to evil reporters trying to sell us a dummy. But it’s a good thing we have Joe to save us from all that, eh? He’s the one who is looking out for us. There’s no bias here, no siree. After all, it’s not like he has a long-standing grudge against a team principal for releasing his favourite driver from their contract early, is it? And he would never attack that team principal for saying something that he never actually said, either …

    1. @Prisoner-monkeys, as this is not JS’s blog, and we really do not know if he ever reads this, why post that here? Why not post it on his blog instead.

      I really think that most people here are interested in what you think of Joe (or even your grudge against him) as much as they are about reading someone play up his own ego.

    2. Or why don’t you start your own blog, just to give Joe the opportunity to comment on someone else blog (a third party’s) where you are not able to defend yourself.

      1. Excellent idea. It’s let down by one tiny flaw: I would be able to defend myself on my own blog.

        1. Keith will probably let you have this one after you’ve finished driving everyone away

          1. Why don’t you start the exodus, then? I’m sure everyone else will follow. You know, because you bring so much to the blogs with your constant attacks on other members.

            But how about you actually register an account first? Then everyone would be able to appreciate your wit. Of course, that would also mean they would be able to report your abusive posts, so maybe it’s better you remain an anonymous coward.

    3. I lost all hope for Joe’s objectivity when It was confirmed he was hired as director at Caterham Cars Group (owner of the team), after year long bashing of Group Lotus. Now I just laugh sadly.

      1. director at Caterham, now i can confirm my instinct about Tony Fernandes this guy is a crook!!!

    4. Yawn. Can’t you post this tripe somewhere else, PM? I realise I’m simply feeding the troll here, but honestly, I can’t imagine you’re vain enough to think that anyone cares what you think about somebody else.

      Posting this kind of thing is what personal blogs/Facebook/Twitter are for – having a whinge about something you can’t change.

    5. As much as I may agree with you, I don’t think it’s particularly relevant to this article at all. Nor does anyone really care what I have to think about the matter. There are other areas of life where my opinion really does matter, and where your opinion really does matter. This site isn’t really one of them.

      If it annoys you that much, simply stop reading it. I did a long a time ago.

      1. Yeah, I have a lot of problems with Saward — more and more as time goes on. It rankles particularly because I think he could be one of the better, more candid journalists in F1, and he often is.

        I came here with an issue about him the other day, even though it probably wasn’t the best venue for it — so I can sympathize, @prisoner-monkeys . I do find it frustrating. I’m running out of F1 journalists I can respect, frankly!

  13. I imagine Red Bull are happy with their driver development programme. Even if Hamilton has another bad season I can’t see him leaving McLaren. The only way I envisage Hamilton anywhere else is if he does what Button did and throw himself in at the sweep end on the back of a world championship.

  14. thatscienceguy
    14th March 2012, 10:18

    Well I sure hope Kelvin Thomson doesn’t ever stay at any Hilton hotels on taxpayer-funded trips. Cheap political point-scoring, nothing more.

  15. Yay, Comment of the Day, that’s my third (or two and a quarter). Anyway, thanks Keith. :)

  16. Just curious as to why people think @alo_oficial is the real deal? It seems unlike him to me, he really doesn’t seem the tweeting type.

    1. Check his first couple of tweets. There’s a video of him holding up his @ tag on a piece of paper.

      1. D’oh! Somehow totally missed your reply.

    2. Possibly because one of the first things he did was post a video of himself holding up a piece of paper with his Twitter account name on it…

  17. Christian Horner really can’t say anything else at this moment, but I think people are mistaken if they think all is rosy in the Hamilton/McLaren partnership. I simply don’t believe the consensus of opinion that suggests Hamilton’s poor form in 2011 was done to just ‘girlfriend trouble’ alone.
    Ofcourse it is in McLaren’s best interests to imply that both their drivers are happy and that there is no ill feeling, but we have had this propaganda before from them. In 2007 McLaren tried, unsuccessfully, to convince the world that there was harmony between Alonso and Hamilton. It was abit like telling the passengers on a sinking Titanic that the were not going to get their feet wet, and it backfired terribly.
    I have said in past posts that Hamilton enjoyed a close working relationship with Ron Dennis, something I am convinced does not exist with Martin Whitmarsh. Naturally this is my opinion and I am only speculating, but the arrival and good performances of Jenson Button recently I think have done alot to undermine Hamilton’s standing with the Woking team.
    Lets not forget that when Lewis was crowned champion back in 2008 he had the world at his feet. He had played a major factor in both of his first two F1 seasons, driving a car that was arguably the class of the field at times. To some, it seemed inevitable that Lewis would enter 2009 as not just the bookie’s favourite but eventual champion, a multiple champion and dominant force, just as his idle Aryton Senna had been two decades before.
    It didn’t happen. 2009 for Hamilton was a big letdown! The car was nowhere near the performance levels of his previous two machines, and although the car in the last two seasons has been better, Hamilton has failed to factor into the championship in either 2010 or 2011.
    To make matters worse, Red Bull and Sebastien Vettel have started to dominate. If anybody reminded me of Aryton Senna last year it was Vettel and not Hamilton, especially during qualifying! Sebastien destroyed the grid in 2011 in a way Lewis would have relished, disappointment compounded by being beaten by Jenson Button in the sister McLaren
    I can see Hamilton quite easily driving a Red Bull in the future in his fortunes at McLaren don’t change soon. I can also see him relishing trying to outdo Vettel in equal machinery also, as its in Hamilton’s nature to be seen as the best of the best. He admitted recently that by now he had envisaged winning three championships, which I found very telling that he had planned out his life in such detail. This is a man who is never satisfied and will never be satisfied with just one title to his credit, and titles only come to those with fast cars and Lewis knows this.
    Ambition aside, Hamilton’s biggest target when the lights go out on Sunday will almost certainly be setting about destroying Jenson Button’s confidence early. This will not be easy, but when Lewis is in the mood he is a handfull for any driver on the grid , as Alonso discovered in 2007. He has to remind all at McLaren why Ron Dennis’ interest was aroused back in 1995 by a young kid from Stevenage claiming ‘he would drive for Ron’s team and become champion’. In essence, Lewis has to race this grands prix like he did five years ago and start the season consistenly and aggressively. The world is tired of talk about how good Hamilton is, they want to be reminded by the man on the racetrack.
    If that happens, then Hamilton joining Red Bull ‘may’ become more than just a rumour!

    1. @The Limit…I agree.

      I too think LH could end up at Red Bull…I don’t agree with Prisoner Monkeys that this rumour is only about LH’s fans wanting him in the best car after a ragged year last year. I believe it was during a race last year that MB and DC suggested that perhaps it would be good for LH and for Mac for them to part ways at some point in the future.

      I also agree that sitting as we are at the cusp of the new season Horner is not going to say anything other than that he is happy with their current driver line-up, and Mac would say the same thing. But is Horner really happy with MW? And/or is Horner really interested in hiring a driver who will probably challenge SV more than MW has been able to? Or in fact does Horner say through one side of his mouth there is racing between the teammates at Red Bull, both of them with an equal opportunity, when in fact the truth is that life is easier for him if SV isn’t truly challenged, and a tough decision needn’t be made during the season as to who to emphasize for the WDC chase. Nor would there be as much points grabbing by a ‘lesser’ teammate to SV.

      There’s no question that the fans deserve and should be seeing a true fight between the best two gladiators that a top team can put in the cars, and there is no question that while being better for the show for the fans it does make the likes of Horner’s job harder when a tough decision might have to be made as to who to emphasize for the title if it comes down to the math dictating that.

      Mac has proved they are willing to have 2 proven WDCs as teammates…Red Bull still has to show us they are willing to do the same, and I don’t mean a proven WDC and a potential but unproven one. The terrible MS/Ferrari era proved how the formula of hanging one driver out to dry to the extreme, from race one of every season, can help a team ‘win’ and compile numbers…but it wasn’t racing in the pinnacle of racing and the fans were robbed. It should be about the fans and the show and the sport, while understandably at the same time being a business…it just shouldn’t be all business and from that aspect I just hope that LH, as a WDC, is always on a team with another WDC if at all possible.

    2. Have to agree with this, I did comment a number of times last year that I dont think Whitmarsh is as pro Hamilton as Dennis was. Ron Dennis always promoted fair racing in his team but as Coulthard stated in his autobiography he always psychologically backed Hakkinen over DC. I think Dennis saw Hamilton as the next guy to really lead Mclaren like Senna and then Hakkinen did. My feeling is that Whitmarsh, having signed Button, would rather see Button do better as it reflects well on his management if his new signing came in and starts being the main point scorer for the team.

      Cant take anything away from Button last year he was consistent, especially in the 2nd half of the season…but I cant see Button in a 1 on 1 fight with Vettel coming out on top..he doesnt seem too have that X Factor to drag the car to victory the way Hamilton/Alonso can and Schumacher used to.

      Lewis needs to sort his head out..stop trying to win the race in the first 10 laps and allow the race to come to him more…if he’s got decent shaped tyres in the last 10 laps there’s a good chance he can take places just like Button did last year. But he needs to get back to his 2007 and I’d say first half of 2010 form and consistently keep scoring podiums, if he can do that he will be there or thereabouts end of season.

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