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McLaren's approach to driver equality (Ron Dennis comments)


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#51 Dolph

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 19:11

Ron Dennis says Lewis was 'let go' in favour of Perez, Martin Whitmarsh says they did everything possible to keep him, including offering a deal which would have made him the highest paid driver in F1, so which one is telling the truth?


Things ar enot that simple. Perez probably wants 15 mil per annum less, probably does not mind PR work and probably does not want personal sponsors as much as HAmilton does.

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#52 BillBald

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 20:18

A few sallies being fired in the Press. http://www.dailymail...o=feeds-newsxml
The conditions to win is an interesting one: what is RD referring too?

I would assume that perhaps Lewis wanted a less conservative approach to development
or
to be allowed to push ahead even while the team were sorting out Jenson’s problems (as opposed to stalling Lewis while sorting out the other driver)
or
to be allowed to test during the season like other teams

Equality can only be interpreted so many ways.

but that’s just my opinion what do you think?
...
If what I suspect is the case will Perez be up to speed immediately? Will engineers be re-assigned or ‘promoted’ ? if not will Jenson be slowed down to ensure they are operating ‘equally’?
or alternatively
will McLaren push boundaries with their new car?


It actually looks as though you are still trying to flog some nonsense theories about Lewis being 'held back' by the team's supposed dedication to equality and sorting out Jenson's problems. And you are still grumbling on about Lewis not testing at Mugello.

At the end of the season, it's even more clear that those theories were completely absurd - if development was held back, why was the McLaren the only car which could match or beat the Red Bull for pace (once Newey had finally sorted out his aero) ?

Lewis was held back by lack of reliability, poor pitstops (mainly early in the season) and some bad decisions, eg Spain. Nothing to do with driver equality, nothing to do with being conservative in development, nothing to do with helping Jenson with setup, nothing to do with anything you mention.

Ron Dennis wasn't discussing your theories, so his comments seem like a poor excuse for bringing them up again.



#53 jjcale

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 20:22

That part is not an RD quote, but the newspaper. RD's direct quotes;



I'm not sure I understand what the link between the thread title and this article is either.


Is the Mail the worst newspaper in the world??

#54 Craven Morehead

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 20:47

I don't see any bitterness in what RD is saying. It's pretty straightforward. I was in a similar employment situation recently. They weren't willing to give me what I was asking for, which wasn't just about finances and I wasn't willing to accept what they offered, so we parted ways. There was no animosity, I thanked them, they thanked me and that was it.


I think you've summed it up very nicely. :)

#55 BernieEc

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 20:49

Is the Mail the worst newspaper in the world??


That will be the daily star, Although the page 3 girls are fit as............

#56 Buttoneer

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 21:25

Is the Mail the worst newspaper in the world??

Hard to say. The list of candidates for that title is long.

#57 Bloggsworth

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 21:29

That was then, this is now - I don't care.

#58 pinkypants

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 23:01

Not sure if this is just me but.. does the article seem to have been rewritten and headline changed?

Perhaps McLaren have got a pretty active legal team :)

#59 halifaxf1fan

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 23:13

Dennis pretty much had to ditch Hamilton after he tweeted the teams qualifying data, that would have been the final straw. Can't blame him.

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#60 CHIUNDA

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 00:54

Dennis pretty much had to ditch Hamilton after he tweeted the teams qualifying data, that would have been the final straw. Can't blame him.


The tweet probably came after the ditching. McLaren had the audacity to offer Lewis a pay cut at some stage - that says a lot. I am just curious why Dennis finds it necessary to explain at this stage - negotiations fail, big deal! We have all moved on. Why must we not see Lewis as not having walked out on McLaren, why is that so important?

#61 jstrains

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:15

It is interesting that all top drivers leave McLaren... Prost, Senna, Raikkonen, Alonso, Hamilton... who is making the mistake?

#62 senna da silva

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:32

Dennis pretty much had to ditch Hamilton after he tweeted the teams qualifying data, that would have been the final straw. Can't blame him.


Sure, that's why they offered him more money. :drunk:

#63 senna da silva

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:32

It is interesting that all top drivers leave McLaren... Prost, Senna, Raikkonen, Alonso, Hamilton... who is making the mistake?


:up:

#64 Risil

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 02:09

It is interesting that all top drivers leave McLaren... Prost, Senna, Raikkonen, Alonso, Hamilton... who is making the mistake?


And Ferrari sack top drivers. Who's making the bigger mistake?

#65 royalblue0

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 02:37

Not sure if this is just me but.. does the article seem to have been rewritten and headline changed?

Perhaps McLaren have got a pretty active legal team :)



The link no longer works, but you can still find the article on the website. It seems totally different and very much shorter. Apparently a lot of the comments unfavourable to Ron Dennis have also been culled.

#66 Cult

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 03:10

It is interesting that all top drivers leave McLaren... Prost, Senna, Raikkonen, Alonso, Hamilton... who is making the mistake?


Interesting about the reasons they left though:

Prost - inability to get the upper hand on teammate plus politics.
Senna - better car available
Raikkonen - better car available, McLaren potentially being too rigid in demands.
Alonso - inability to get the upper hand on teammate plus politics.
Hamilton - new challenge, McLaren potentially being too rigid in demands.

There are a few common themes - employing strong teammates together, which is almost certainly the reason Prost and Alonso moved on, and being too rigid for driver demands.

You could also point a finger at Ferrari's mismanagement - Prost and Raikkonen (the only two drivers who we know moved on) left under messy circumstances. Who knows what will happen with Alonso if Vettel keeps winning and wants to come over to Ferrari.

#67 SpaMaster

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 05:10

..
Ultimately, and I think this is very important, the final decision to separate was Lewis's.

If it is in the middle of a contract or a contract extension option, one could say that. But, the contract ends this year and both parties are free to do whatever they want after that. So, in that case, both parties need to want to work together. If they don't work together, it just means both parties could not agree to terms. It is not a case of one making the decision.

#68 03011969

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 09:57

It is interesting that all top drivers leave McLaren... Prost, Senna, Raikkonen, Alonso, Hamilton... who is making the mistake?

All drivers ultimately leave all teams. If the best ones leave you it simply indicates you had some of the best drivers.

#69 garoidb

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 10:14

That's not true. Mac didn't push Lewis out, if they had wanted to they wouldn't have changed their offer to him.
What Ron is saying is that both sides would have had to compromise in order to continue a working relationship which apparantley neither side was willing to do.
Ultimately, and I think this is very important, the final decision to separate was Lewis's.


On the one hand, Lewis decided not to accept their offer. On the other hand, McLaren decided not to meet his demands. There are two ways to look at it. Unless this was a situation where Lewis would not accept any workable offer from McLaren, then it is not so clear cut. That may be the case, but it is not how things are being presented.

#70 sheepgobba

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 10:22

And Ferrari sack top drivers. Who's making the bigger mistake?


I guess why they've been involved in more championship battles over the past few years :drunk:

Edited by sheepgobba, 05 January 2013 - 10:22.


#71 tifosiMac

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 10:28

On the one hand, Lewis decided not to accept their offer. On the other hand, McLaren decided not to meet his demands. There are two ways to look at it. Unless this was a situation where Lewis would not accept any workable offer from McLaren, then it is not so clear cut. That may be the case, but it is not how things are being presented.

I can imagine McLaren did everything they could within a reasonable limit but when it became obvious Lewis wasn't interested they decided not to pursue him further with higher offers. That's very different to the feeling by some here that McLaren dropped him because they didn't want him any more. I don't believe Martin Whitmarsh's comments and visible disappointment in interviews after the news had broke, were all part of an act. If anything a team should want to give the perception they called the shots but in this case it appears things didn't quite go the way they wanted.

#72 garoidb

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 10:42

I can imagine McLaren did everything they could within a reasonable limit but when it became obvious Lewis wasn't interested they decided not to pursue him further with higher offers. That's very different to the feeling by some here that McLaren dropped him because they didn't want him any more. I don't believe Martin Whitmarsh's comments and visible disappointment in interviews after the news had broke, were all part of an act. If anything a team should want to give the perception they called the shots but in this case it appears things didn't quite go the way they wanted.


I agree with almost all of this, but I would like to comment is about the bolded section. In the end McLaren had to manage the PR implications of Lewis leaving the team. It would be very bad PR for them to be seen to have disrespected Lewis, and so it was important to them to be seen to make a last ditch, positive effort to keep him. This is true even if they knew he wouldn't take it. Being seen to call the shots would have done nothing at all for the team, except maybe the short term gratification of individuals. The first, more professional approach, seems to me to have been taken by McLaren, and it makes sense to me.

Edited by garoidb, 05 January 2013 - 10:44.


#73 tifosiMac

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:14

I agree with almost all of this, but I would like to comment is about the bolded section. In the end McLaren had to manage the PR implications of Lewis leaving the team. It would be very bad PR for them to be seen to have disrespected Lewis, and so it was important to them to be seen to make a last ditch, positive effort to keep him. This is true even if they knew he wouldn't take it. Being seen to call the shots would have done nothing at all for the team, except maybe the short term gratification of individuals. The first, more professional approach, seems to me to have been taken by McLaren, and it makes sense to me.

I wouldn't have expected them to have 'disrespected' Lewis publicly, but my reference was to Whitmarsh and his comments about Lewis making a big mistake leaving the team. I think had the team decided Lewis was leaving before he did, they would have been a little more neutral on the subject. Both parties were professional however and I wasn't criticising, more observing a few key details.

#74 jjcale

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:20

I agree with almost all of this, but I would like to comment is about the bolded section. In the end McLaren had to manage the PR implications of Lewis leaving the team. It would be very bad PR for them to be seen to have disrespected Lewis, and so it was important to them to be seen to make a last ditch, positive effort to keep him. This is true even if they knew he wouldn't take it. Being seen to call the shots would have done nothing at all for the team, except maybe the short term gratification of individuals. The first, more professional approach, seems to me to have been taken by McLaren, and it makes sense to me.


This is standard procedure for football teams in England ... and Macca's management would be well aware of the this PR tactic.

I wouldn't have expected them to have 'disrespected' Lewis publicly, but my reference was to Whitmarsh and his comments about Lewis making a big mistake leaving the team. I think had the team decided Lewis was leaving before he did, they would have been a little more neutral on the subject. Both parties were professional however and I wasn't criticising, more observing a few key details.


The fact that they offerred him a paycut and Ron made this public early in the "negotiations" is the most telling detail.

As for Whitmarsh... nothing he says (good or bad) should be trusted.

Edited by jjcale, 05 January 2013 - 11:23.


#75 spacekid

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:36

I am constantly baffled by the approach to 'driver equality' on message boards like this.

F1 is a team sport, and the driver is just a part of that team. Often in the case of McLaren a very well paid member of the team. And the team operates to achieve maximum results - they don't owe the driver any favours, and McLaren certainly don't exist for the sole purpose of providing Mr Hamilton with drivers championships. That goes for any team/driver of course, but for some reason there seems to be this sense of entitlement when Lewis is discussed.

In 2011 Lewis had a difficult season and it looked like McLaren stood by him and he worked through it. Button had some very difficult times in 2012 and it looked like McLaren stood by him and they worked through it. Seems reasonable, and fairly equal to me. Of course McLaren probably play the 'team' game from time to time and this will annoy a highly egotistical F1 driver, but thats just how it is. f1 drivers also need to be professional.

Reagrds who said what when... I'm sure Mclaren would love to have kept Lewis the driver, he is a talent. I believe they put a reasonable offer on the table. However, this is a team that has seem, among others, Senna, Prost, Lauda and Hakkinen through their doors. No driver is bigger than any team, and McLaren will get over it. Lewis, on the other hand, only has a relatively short amount of time left to make things work.

#76 senna da silva

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 12:46

If it is in the middle of a contract or a contract extension option, one could say that. But, the contract ends this year and both parties are free to do whatever they want after that. So, in that case, both parties need to want to work together. If they don't work together, it just means both parties could not agree to terms. It is not a case of one making the decision.


Any way you slice it, McLaren made an offer, regardless of what that was, therefore it was Lewis's decision not to accept.

#77 Mr.Wayne

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 12:57

Any way you slice it, McLaren made an offer, regardless of what that was, therefore it was Lewis's decision not to accept.

Unless McLaren made an offer that they knew Lewis wasn't going to take...

I have said this several times since Belgium: Lewis should consider himself lucky he was allowed to finish the season in McLaren, and was not put "on the street" effective immediately after what, no doubts, was a flagrant breach of contract, by twitting the team's telemetry after being beaten by Jenson in Belgium.

If anything, I would have been VERY disappointed that a big and glorious name as McLaren would have put their head down to the tantrums of one of their drivers.

Truth be told, Lewis is a terrific driver, but he is not a team player; and he is also not very effective in his conversion ratio. He should have won in 2007, 2008 and 2012. He only won one of these. And not thanks to his driving, but to the cheating that was taking place in Renault. Lewis can be very fast, and he can enjoy throwing hints at "I am like Senna" at every chance, but he is miles behind of being the great champion he promised during his rookie season.

And certainly, good luck at Mercedes! Brawn is not going to give him the nurturing and protective environment that Dennis provided. Good luck when twitting the telemetry after Rosberg qualifies better than him!

#78 garoidb

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 13:06

Reagrds who said what when... I'm sure Mclaren would love to have kept Lewis the driver, he is a talent. I believe they put a reasonable offer on the table. However, this is a team that has seem, among others, Senna, Prost, Lauda and Hakkinen through their doors. No driver is bigger than any team, and McLaren will get over it. Lewis, on the other hand, only has a relatively short amount of time left to make things work.


McLaren will be fine, as you say. I think Lewis will have more opportunities after Mercedes if it doesn't work out, and he has eight to ten peak years left. Obviously, the pressure to turn things around would be greater if, for example, he had three lean years at Mercedes. This might be the last time he can afford to take a risk on a team.

#79 spacekid

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 13:23

McLaren will be fine, as you say. I think Lewis will have more opportunities after Mercedes if it doesn't work out, and he has eight to ten peak years left. Obviously, the pressure to turn things around would be greater if, for example, he had three lean years at Mercedes. This might be the last time he can afford to take a risk on a team.


This probably deserves its own thread as it is OT, but I'm not sure Lewis has that much longer 'peak' remaining. He'll be 28 going in to this season (he's older than I thought. How time flies...)

I don't know, I tend to think that by around 34 an F1 driver has plateuaed and is probably going downhill in terms of speed. Of course there are exceptions and everyone is different, but I can't think of a single driver who is still 'peak' at 34, let alone 36 or 38.

I'm just musing really - I might look for or make a thread on drivers 'peak years' - I do agree with you overall that Lewis still has time, but I think his tenure at Mercedes will be difficult and that his chances for a competitive drive after that might be in the lap of the gods. Really Lewis has done this all the wrong way round - he is now a seasoned driver presumably at his best, and now is really when he should be moving from a team like Mercedes to a team like McLaren to start a run of serious title campaigns.

Edited by spacekid, 05 January 2013 - 13:24.


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#80 Risil

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 13:37

he has eight to ten peak years left.


Some people would say you only have eight to ten peak years in your whole career. The pressure of training, family, travel and competition ultimately blunts the edge. I believe there was a study in the 80s or 90s among Japanese motorcycle racers that confirmed it, though I have no idea whether modern conditions make it easier or harder to stretch out that window.

Though if Hamilton's moved because he wants to reduce his media commitments a la Casey Stoner, it sounds like the bastards are grinding him down already.

#81 senna da silva

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 14:00

Unless McLaren made an offer that they knew Lewis wasn't going to take...

I have said this several times since Belgium: Lewis should consider himself lucky he was allowed to finish the season in McLaren, and was not put "on the street" effective immediately after what, no doubts, was a flagrant breach of contract, by twitting the team's telemetry after being beaten by Jenson in Belgium.

If anything, I would have been VERY disappointed that a big and glorious name as McLaren would have put their head down to the tantrums of one of their drivers.

Truth be told, Lewis is a terrific driver, but he is not a team player; and he is also not very effective in his conversion ratio. He should have won in 2007, 2008 and 2012. He only won one of these. And not thanks to his driving, but to the cheating that was taking place in Renault. Lewis can be very fast, and he can enjoy throwing hints at "I am like Senna" at every chance, but he is miles behind of being the great champion he promised during his rookie season.

And certainly, good luck at Mercedes! Brawn is not going to give him the nurturing and protective environment that Dennis provided. Good luck when twitting the telemetry after Rosberg qualifies better than him!


McLaren made an offer. Even if they thought he wasn't going to accept, what if he had? Lewis's decision, end of.

I think McLaren made sure of two things this season, that Lewis doesn't win the championship and that Jenson finish as close as possible to make him look better. At Spa they played silly buggers with the wings and Lewis was pissed, rightly so.

Anyway McLaren have made their bed and now they're stuck with an unknown quantity and a guy who struggles to find balance. They had better hope that Perez can be a benchmark because when they can't find a setup that suits button it'll look embarrassing not getting out of Q1.

#82 Watkins74

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 14:06

Any way you slice it, McLaren made an offer, regardless of what that was, therefore it was Lewis's decision not to accept.

So hamilton's management never made a counter offer that was rejected or altered by mclaren?

#83 undersquare

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 14:07

Really Lewis has done this all the wrong way round - he is now a seasoned driver presumably at his best, and now is really when he should be moving from a team like Mercedes to a team like McLaren to start a run of serious title campaigns.

Well it would have been fine if McLaren had adjusted their relationship with him, but they didn't. Ron said pretty much that he expected Lewis to re-sign out of gratitude. They offered him a lower salary. Treated Jenson more like the wdc than Lewis. Foisted Latham on him. McLaren talk about Perez being the same age as though he's a possible repeat of Hamilton, showing that they lost the plot completely, as Checo promptly demonstrated once he was signed.

He's top 3 but he has to go to another team to have the same status as Vettel and Alonso in theirs. So it's not Lewis who's got it wrong, but McLaren.

Anyway he might have a performance clause at Merc, and it might even work out there. If not he can rejoin Mac on a much better footing, or go to Red Bull where he belongs IMO.

#84 spacekid

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 14:08

I think McLaren made sure of two things this season, that Lewis doesn't win the championship and that Jenson finish as close as possible to make him look better. At Spa they played silly buggers with the wings and Lewis was pissed, rightly so.


Do you honestly believe this? If so I absolutely despair at the mentality of F1 fans.

Why would McLaren spend $10s millions on car development and pay Lewis further $millions, and then do everything they can to ensure he didn't win?

Maybe McLaren desperately wanted to keep Lewis at all costs and offered him the best they have, maybe they were secretly not that unhappy to lose some of the headaches that he sometimes presents so offered him a pretty meh deal, maybe its just the usual churn of the drivers market in f1 (everyone else moves team at some point, why should Lewis be different?)

#85 senna da silva

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 14:11

So hamilton's management never made a counter offer that was rejected or altered by mclaren?


Why make an offer in the first place if you have no intention of wanting to retain someone's services. Optics? Then why amend the offer?
The reality was that they made an offer, Lewis's management countered and McLaren upped their offer. Lewis turned it down.

Personally I believe Lewis had made his mind up to leave long before the 2012 season even started.

#86 senna da silva

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 14:17

Do you honestly believe this? If so I absolutely despair at the mentality of F1 fans.

Why would McLaren spend $10s millions on car development and pay Lewis further $millions, and then do everything they can to ensure he didn't win?

Maybe McLaren desperately wanted to keep Lewis at all costs and offered him the best they have, maybe they were secretly not that unhappy to lose some of the headaches that he sometimes presents so offered him a pretty meh deal, maybe its just the usual churn of the drivers market in f1 (everyone else moves team at some point, why should Lewis be different?)


I don't believe that they did everything they can to ensure he didn't win.
But I do believe they didn't do everything they could to ensure he did win. Lol, hopefully that makes sense to you.
2012 was forgettable for McLaren, a very quick car stymied by cockups and failures.

#87 spacekid

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 14:17

Well it would have been fine if McLaren had adjusted their relationship with him, but they didn't. Ron said pretty much that he expected Lewis to re-sign out of gratitude. They offered him a lower salary. Treated Jenson more like the wdc than Lewis. Foisted Latham on him. McLaren talk about Perez being the same age as though he's a possible repeat of Hamilton, showing that they lost the plot completely, as Checo promptly demonstrated once he was signed.

He's top 3 but he has to go to another team to have the same status as Vettel and Alonso in theirs. So it's not Lewis who's got it wrong, but McLaren.

Anyway he might have a performance clause at Merc, and it might even work out there. If not he can rejoin Mac on a much better footing, or go to Red Bull where he belongs IMO.


I still don't agree that Lewis was that 'badly' treated, but we can agree to disagree on that one. I honestly don't know exactly what the atmosphere was like in the team, and you can look at various news stories or accounts from within the team in several ways.

The rest I agree with. I think signing Perez was probably a mistake, and McLaren will need a rethink.

Lewis' management team would have to be monumentally stupid not to have put a performance clause in his contract with Merc, and I also agree he will probably end up at Red Bull.

I don't think Lewis will find himself automatic #1 at Mercedes he'll have to work for it, and even then I don't think Mercedes is a team that will give him the same status as Alonso or Vettel.
What happens if Nico matches Lewis, or is even able to better him? If Lewis went to Merc to get clear #1 status I think it would break his head.

#88 garoidb

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 14:24

This probably deserves its own thread as it is OT, but I'm not sure Lewis has that much longer 'peak' remaining. He'll be 28 going in to this season (he's older than I thought. How time flies...)

I don't know, I tend to think that by around 34 an F1 driver has plateuaed and is probably going downhill in terms of speed. Of course there are exceptions and everyone is different, but I can't think of a single driver who is still 'peak' at 34, let alone 36 or 38.


This is a subjective question, so I am not saying you are wrong. I guessed eight to ten years on the basis that Michael Schumacher won his last WDC at 35 in 2004 and came close to a WDC at 37 in 2006. That would give Lewis seven to nine more years. Those WDC campaigns were at the end of a programme that he started at a much younger age. If Mercedes does not work out, Lewis would need to secure a long berth at a top team fairly quickly to have time to reap the benefits (IMO). Fernando was 28 when he joined Ferrari.

I'm just musing really - I might look for or make a thread on drivers 'peak years' - I do agree with you overall that Lewis still has time, but I think his tenure at Mercedes will be difficult and that his chances for a competitive drive after that might be in the lap of the gods. Really Lewis has done this all the wrong way round - he is now a seasoned driver presumably at his best, and now is really when he should be moving from a team like Mercedes to a team like McLaren to start a run of serious title campaigns.


Like Button you mean (30 when he joined McLaren)? [Runs for cover]

Edited by garoidb, 05 January 2013 - 14:26.


#89 spacekid

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 14:27

I don't believe that they did everything they can to ensure he didn't win.
But I do believe they didn't do everything they could to ensure he did win. Lol, hopefully that makes sense to you.
2012 was forgettable for McLaren, a very quick car stymied by cockups and failures.


I'm afraid I've never been a fan of tin foil hats. I just can't believe that a professional business like McLaren (and lets face it, thats what they are) would do anything less than their absolute best to achieve results. Why would a team that keeps all the trophies give a stuff which driver happened to win them? The key thing is that the trophy was won in a McLaren.

Yes McLaren made mistakes during the year, but they tried to rectify them - I noticed for instance that after a problem with the front jack at every pit stop henceforth there was a back up front jack man just in case - these aren't the actions of a team trying to 'throw' the result or make sure that Lewis doesn't win.

When you look at the drivers McLaren have had over the years, Lewis isn't exceptional. He's a great driver, but not exceptional for McLaren. I just can't believe they would try anything other than their best (even if this year their 'best' fell short) just to make Lewis look bad. He isn't that dazzling to them, they've had plenty of other drivers at his level, and I think they are too professinal with too much money at stake to play silly buggers like that.

#90 sheepgobba

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 14:40

Wow, Lewis will be 30 by his tenure at Mercedes.

However, that aside McLaren in my mind won't win another championship with the current driver 'equality'. Over the entire season it tends to ruin their chances trying to resolve issues for one driver whilst the other is doing fine and on song.



#91 spacekid

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 14:41

This is a subjective question, so I am not saying you are wrong. I guessed eight to ten years on the basis that Michael Schumacher won his last WDC at 35 in 2004 and came close to a WDC at 37 in 2006. That would give Lewis seven to nine more years. Those WDC campaigns were at the end of a programme that he started at a much younger age. If Mercedes does not work out, Lewis would need to secure a long berth at a top team fairly quickly to have time to reap the benefits (IMO). Fernando was 28 when he joined Ferrari.


Oh for sure, there is not right answer. Who knows when any particular driver will either burn out mentally, or lose their edge. Lewis could do a Schumi, or he could do a Mika?

Generally speaking I think Schumi was past his best by 2004, and certainly by 2006. He started from a high base line, like Lewis, and the decline was slow enough that he was still a solid if not great F1 driver at the age of 43, but decline he did.

In part my opinion is also informed by the fact I don't think the Brackley team are capable of getting it together in any meaningful way. They were meant to have a 3 year program with Michael and Nico and ended 2012 barely able to scrape a point. I regard the first half of 2009 to be a Honda powered fluke and its been mostly downhill since then, I've seen nothing else from the team to suggest they will be doing anything other than fighting over the lower points for the next few seasons. I don't think Lewis will get #1 status at Merc, but even if he did it won't be much good if its only for preferential strategy to secure 9th place.

Like Button you mean (30 when he joined McLaren)? [Runs for cover]


Ah yes, the curious career of Jenson Button! There really is no answer to that!!

If Nico had moved this season from Merc to Mac, that to me would be a sensible f1 career progression. But what do I know?


#92 senna da silva

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 14:43

When you look at the drivers McLaren have had over the years, Lewis isn't exceptional. He's a great driver, but not exceptional for McLaren. I just can't believe they would try anything other than their best (even if this year their 'best' fell short) just to make Lewis look bad. He isn't that dazzling to them, they've had plenty of other drivers at his level, and I think they are too professinal with too much money at stake to play silly buggers like that.


I disagree that Lewis isn't exceptional. He's top three in the sport with Vettel and Alonso.

#93 spacekid

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 14:45

Wow, Lewis will be 30 by his tenure at Mercedes.

However, that aside McLaren in my mind won't win another championship with the current driver 'equality'. Over the entire season it tends to ruin their chances trying to resolve issues for one driver whilst the other is doing fine and on song.


Hmmm. Maybe. The flip side of this is that if Massa had had a stronger start to the season he could have secured podium positions taking points away from Seb when it mattered, which would have secured the title for Alonso. You need both cars scoring points to reduce your rivals haul. Similarly Webber could have made things easier for Seb.

Where has this idea that McLaren ruined Lewis' chances by favouring Button come from? I see it a lot here. Are there hard sources for this, or is it one of those internet forum zombie facts?

#94 spacekid

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 14:47

I disagree that Lewis isn't exceptional. He's top three in the sport with Vettel and Alonso.


Please read my post again. Yes Lewis is a very very good driver, and in the current top 3.

However, when you compare Lewis to the previous drivers McLaren have had - Senna, Prost, Lauda, Hakkinen, Lewis Hamilton is not exceptional. I'm sorry but against that company he is the norm, not an exception.

#95 garoidb

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 14:50

Oh for sure, there is not right answer. Who knows when any particular driver will either burn out mentally, or lose their edge. Lewis could do a Schumi, or he could do a Mika?


Yes, I suppose he could just fall out of love with the sport and retire early. It is not so common nowadays to retire so young (voluntarily).

Generally speaking I think Schumi was past his best by 2004, and certainly by 2006. He started from a high base line, like Lewis, and the decline was slow enough that he was still a solid if not great F1 driver at the age of 43, but decline he did.


Yes, I would agree. It all depends what is meant by peak. I was thinking in terms of still being able to rack up significant achievements like the WDC. Anyway, perhaps this is moving too far off topic for this thread.


#96 sheepgobba

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 14:51

Hmmm. Maybe. The flip side of this is that if Massa had had a stronger start to the season he could have secured podium positions taking points away from Seb when it mattered, which would have secured the title for Alonso. You need both cars scoring points to reduce your rivals haul. Similarly Webber could have made things easier for Seb.

Where has this idea that McLaren ruined Lewis' chances by favouring Button come from? I see it a lot here. Are there hard sources for this, or is it one of those internet forum zombie facts?


IMO, i think McLaren should have focused on Lewis for the WDC earlier than playing the 'equality' game. That's partly why i believe they somewhat ruined the chances of at least one championship. Sure, I would try and resolve the problems the other driver is having but it wouldn't at the detriment of the driver that's performing brilliantly and looking like the better candidate for the championship. Somewhat reminds me of Ferrari in 2010.



#97 senna da silva

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 14:52

Where has this idea that McLaren ruined Lewis' chances by favouring Button come from? I see it a lot here. Are there hard sources for this, or is it one of those internet forum zombie facts?


Definitely an internet forum zombie fact!
That said, when a company knows an employee is leaving things change. Furthermore in the competitive environment that is F1 someone who can create relationships and make people feel good can gain a small advantage over his competitor, I think this is where Button excels, not on the track where he is anything but exceptional.

#98 senna da silva

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 14:55

Please read my post again. Yes Lewis is a very very good driver, and in the current top 3.

However, when you compare Lewis to the previous drivers McLaren have had - Senna, Prost, Lauda, Hakkinen, Lewis Hamilton is not exceptional. I'm sorry but against that company he is the norm, not an exception.


Hmm, and what would that make Button then?
You equate Lewis to a three time and a two time champion but not previous Mac champions? Looking at the past with rose tinted glasses perhaps?


#99 sheepgobba

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 14:58

Hmm, and what would that make Button then?
You equate Lewis to a three time and a two time champion but not previous Mac champions? Looking at the past with rose tinted glasses perhaps?


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#100 spacekid

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 14:59

IMO, i think McLaren should have focused on Lewis for the WDC earlier than playing the 'equality' game. That's partly why i believe they somewhat ruined the chances of at least one championship. Sure, I would try and resolve the problems the other driver is having but it wouldn't at the detriment of the driver that's performing brilliantly and looking like the better candidate for the championship. Somewhat reminds me of Ferrari in 2010.


Yes ok, but as this is the McLaren equality thread, where is the evidence that this actually took place? I'm genuinly curious, are there any quotes, sources, credible reasons for believing that McLaren took the focus away from Lewis to push Jenson forward?

Yes McLaren made some mistakes with Lewis and they were unfortunate, but they looked pretty random to me. Buttons form fluctuated, but where is the evidence that when his form improved it was to Lewis' deteriment?

There are several routes to titles, and I maintain that having both drivers achieving maximum returns thus removing points from your rivals is a good one. I just don't see the evidence that McLarens approach to driver equality hampered Lewis.