Hamilton 'suggested Button as a team-mate'
"Something you won't know is that I actually called Martin and said 'What about Jenson?', which was before they had negotiations," said Hamilton.
"At the time I was calling them and asking them, 'What's going on? I keep reading all these different stories about different drivers. What's happening?'.
"Fortunately I would be told who they were talking to, but I had absolutely no input into who they would pick.
"So I would say, 'Have you spoken to this person? Have you spoken to Jenson?'.
"And why Jenson? Because he is the best driver there is, and they wanted to get the best driver possible. I just wanted to find out because people kept asking me as to who was going to be my team-mate.
"I was happy with the team-mate I had, but it seemed like they were looking for someone else."
I want the best team I can possibly have to score the points alongside me," replied Hamilton. When he's winning I've got to be finishing second, and when I'm winning he's got to be finishing second.
"I need a team. I can't win the Constructors' Championship on my own, so I need to have as strong a team-mate as possible.
"You want someone to push you. I had Fernando (Alonso) pushing me in 2007, and at certain points in the year in 2008, I had Heikki pushing me.
Let me say it up-front: This is NOT a bash thread, go somewhere else for those tiresome 07 debates..
Lewis has raised a number of key points, related to his involvement in the team.
I find it interesting he was even interested in the negotiations. The Constructors' argument makes sense, but he would have been "happy" with Heikki anyway. Doesn't this suggest McLaren 'forced' a better teammate on him..?!
Did Hamilton really have any influence? IMO McLaren didn't need any persuading to sign the current WDC, but Lewis' interest in the matter is striking.
Edited by RodrigoL, 30 January 2010 - 11:49.