Equal Chances at McLaren for Lewis and Jenson

McLaren believe that they will be able to provide Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button with equal chances of success when they are team-mates next season.

McLaren famously ran into difficulties in 2007 when Hamilton was partnered with double champion Fernando Alonso.

But team boss Martin Whitmarsh said: “We’ll be able to manage the demands and expectations of our drivers.

“They know what it takes to win and I’m sure they’ll both be very motivated to push each other to greater results.”
Alonso left McLaren at the end of 2007, one year into a three-year contract after his relationship with the team broke down irretrievably.
Button has joined McLaren after winning the world championship with Brawn, who have now been bought by Mercedes.

That means McLaren will be the first team to start a season with the last two world champions as their drivers.
But Whitmarsh described having to balance their demands as “a very nice problem to have”.
“It’s a proposition that some teams might find troubling, but which we are absolutely relishing,” he said.

“I think we’re very lucky in that, with Jenson and Lewis, we have two fiercely competitive individuals who both fully understand the benefit of teamwork.
“Jenson did a fantastic job at Brawn GP last year – not just from a technical standpoint, but also from a motivational point of view – as did the whole team, and full credit to them.
“Similarly, Lewis has done an incredible amount in a very short space of time to earn the trust and respect of everyone in this organisation.
“They’re both phenomenal team players. And my job is to manage that racer’s instinct.
“They are there to race each other – and the only instruction they’ll receive from me is to respect each other on the track. But that’s it – other than that, they’re free to race.”
Hamilton and Button have very different driving styles, and it has been suggested that inevitably one will therefore end up being advantaged over the other.
But managing director Jonathan Neale rejected those concerns.
“I’m absolutely convinced that they’ll be a fantastic and competitive partnership,” Neale said.

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