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


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#101 Clatter

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 15:02

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


It doesn't matter who made what offer or counter offer, the end result wasn't Mac dumping him, but giving him a take it or leave it offer.

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#102 spacekid

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 15:10

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?


I'm sorry I don't understand what you are saying?

I am equating Lewis to previous McLaren champions - specifically - all of whom are legends. In fact I might be flattering him slightly. My point is that for McLaren having a driver like Lewis in the team is quite normal and they aren't going to be dazzled by him, and therefore I don't see why the team would feel the need to be anything other than 100% professional in their approach to F1 racing with him. McLaren exist to maximise the results for McLaren, and they have the funds and technical ability to secure the best resources to achieve this. I'll acknowledge that their driver line up for 2013 is... sub optimal... but these things tend to work in cycles.

I don't think Button is in the same league, but thats got nothing to do with the point I'm making, which I suspect you know full well. There is no reason for McLaren to treat Lewis differently to any other top flight driver that they have had, and such commodities come and go.

#103 garoidb

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 15:12

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


The other former McLaren drivers being mentioned would also have been in the top three of their eras.

Edited by garoidb, 05 January 2013 - 15:13.


#104 senna da silva

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 15:14

The other former McLaren drivers being mentioned would also have been in the top three of their eras.


And they're all exceptional, just like Lewis.  ;)

#105 senna da silva

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 15:17

I'm sorry I don't understand what you are saying?

I am equating Lewis to previous McLaren champions - specifically - all of whom are legends. In fact I might be flattering him slightly. My point is that for McLaren having a driver like Lewis in the team is quite normal and they aren't going to be dazzled by him, and therefore I don't see why the team would feel the need to be anything other than 100% professional in their approach to F1 racing with him. McLaren exist to maximise the results for McLaren, and they have the funds and technical ability to secure the best resources to achieve this. I'll acknowledge that their driver line up for 2013 is... sub optimal... but these things tend to work in cycles.

I don't think Button is in the same league, but thats got nothing to do with the point I'm making, which I suspect you know full well. There is no reason for McLaren to treat Lewis differently to any other top flight driver that they have had, and such commodities come and go.


My bad if I'm misunderstanding you. I think you are saying Lewis is equal to previous Mac Champs and that is the norm for Mac. That wasn't my initial interpretation. :up:

Edited by senna da silva, 05 January 2013 - 15:18.


#106 PARAZAR

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 15:17

And they're all exceptional, just like Lewis. ;)


IMO, none of the drivers on the current grid are yet at a level where I can compare them to Prost, Senna etc. Maybe Alonso.

#107 bub

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 15:23

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.


I agree he was lucky to get off so lightly with that tweet but I doubt he would have cared too much even if his contract had ended due to it because he didn't seem happy at McLaren and ended up leaving anyway. He has plenty of money in the bank and probably would have enjoyed the time off. He still could have ended up at Mercedes because they know all about the tweet and signed him regardless. It would have worked out worse for McLaren to sack him because they would have had to draft in some reserve who most likely would have struggled. Not that I condone what he did because it was wrong and stupid regardless of what went on behind the scenes.

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.


How do any of us know if he's a good team player or not? Seems ok to me overall. You could also say McLaren aren't very effective in their conversion ratio because I haven't seen anyone else winning championships at McLaren whilst he's been there and two of his team-mates were WDC's. In fact I'd say since Hamilton has been there McLaren have been equally if not more responsible for their lack of titles won through spy-gate, operational issues and building cars that were simply not fast/reliable enough.

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!


Well Mercedes don't seem too worried about it and if he'd accepted their contract terms I think McLaren would have been happy to keep him so I don't think they were too worried either.

#108 Boxerevo

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 18:17

For me,that Spa spec was the end for the relationship.

Even if you are a truly hater of LH,you have to understand my words now and see that Mclaren should know and put Hamilton on the best wing available.

If they really cared about the WDC,they should do like Ferrari and RBR,they help the stronger driver no matter what.

Lewis was getting it wrong ? Didn't adapt to the wing as fast as Button ?
Don't matter,lets make a team effort,take all our power and make him comfortable with the spec.

But what they did... "Lewis,the two specs are near performance wise,let it be and we will SPLIT AGAIN our specs/strategy,will be the BEST FOR THE TEAM".

The pairing with Button was good to make LH a more solid driver but was very very nocive too because he lost the "full" support of the team like 2008/2009.

A JB victory or LH victory for the team was the same,Button won SPA and Hamilton got a DNF.

Mclaren was happy,the team won ! but LH lost.

My rant of the day. :blush:

Edited by Boxerevo, 05 January 2013 - 18:28.


#109 loki0420

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 18:36

But what they did... "Lewis,the two specs are near performance wise,let it be and we will SPLIT AGAIN our specs/strategy,will be the BEST FOR THE TEAM".

Thats how Lewis's fans remember that story. I am pretty sure it was not quite like that.

#110 olliek88

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 19:05

Hamilton on SpaWingGate.

Hamilton said: "In P3, I had some instability with the new wing that we tried. At the time, we had a relatively big gap between ourselves and the Red Bulls and the Ferrari, so we felt on our side of the garage that we should try something to fix it.


I don't think it was a case of Mclaren failing to back him, I can't imagine Lewis or Mclaren would of chosen the old spec wing if they didn't believe it was the better option. JB had a different preference, he liked the new spec wing in P3 so he used it, Lewis didn't like it so he didn't use it. I think its pretty much that simple.

#111 BernieEc

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 19:14

The other former McLaren drivers being mentioned would also have been in the top three of their eras.


hence why they were regarded as exceptional.......see how your argument came back full circle and eventually landed on the point :)

#112 study

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 19:26

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?



I agree that McLaren once Lewis was leaving practically let Lewis swing and the end result was dangerous and could have being harmful, totally unforgivable for a team like mclaren in this day and age, and the faults continued until even people who previously didn't think anything of the issue began to believe in the bias.

As for facts you've got to watch the seasons and some of the facts that came out over the season.

The season was a disgrace for mclaren and lost them many fans.

#113 onewingedangel

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 19:27

Even if you are a truly hater of LH,you have to understand my words now and see that Mclaren should know and put Hamilton on the best wing available.

If they really cared about the WDC,they should do like Ferrari and RBR,they help the stronger driver no matter what.


Running in Free Practice was limited due to the weather, and both drivers were experiencing issues with the new wing in FP3 - where Jenson was over half a second faster than Lewis running the same wings.

Lewis wasn't happy with the car and with the option to run a tested setup that on paper would be largely equivalent over a lap, and with the potential to pay out should the bad weather continue through the weekend, his side of the garage went for the conservative option, wheras Jensons side tried to get the new wing to work, which was a risk - one he could take as he was realistically out of the WDC fight.

Lewis' side of the garage thought the higher downforce wing was the better option all things considered - and it certainly wasn't 8 tenths slower.

Edited by onewingedangel, 05 January 2013 - 19:27.


#114 study

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 19:31

Running in Free Practice was limited due to the weather, and both drivers were experiencing issues with the new wing in FP3 - where Jenson was over half a second faster than Lewis running the same wings.

Lewis wasn't happy with the car and with the option to run a tested setup that on paper would be largely equivalent over a lap, and with the potential to pay out should the bad weather continue through the weekend, his side of the garage went for the conservative option, wheras Jensons side tried to get the new wing to work, which was a risk - one he could take as he was realistically out of the WDC fight.

Lewis' side of the garage thought the higher downforce wing was the better option all things considered - and it certainly wasn't 8 tenths slower.



I don't think we know the true story about that weekend, a lot of stuff came out that contridicted each other, eg at first it was what lewis team had decided that option, then it changed to the management saying take this wing, its got the same performance as the other.

I'd like to know the truth what actually happened. Lewis didn't get as pissed off as he did, over a mistake off his own making.

#115 bourbon

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 20:11

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 don't think that cock-ups are a reason to leave, unless they are permanent. Macca is generally much better. Drivers are not perfect either. Hamilton is usually much better than his 2011 season also.
I doubt that 2012's failures were a deal breaker for Lewis, just as 2011 wasn't a deal breaker for Macca. After all Macca produced a great car for many races as Lewis did turn in some great performances in 2011, so the big picture is what would be taken into consideration, imo. Perhaps the team and driver wanted to part for many reasons, reasons they have not discussed publicly.

But Ron Dennis should not have said that McLaren could have done more to retain lewis but didn't want to. That is unnecessary and shows a distinct lack of class, imo. The title of this thread does not fit what I am discussing, but I think this is the right thread, so maybe it should be modified.

Edited by bourbon, 05 January 2013 - 20:40.


#116 Watkins74

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 20:49

I don't think that cock-ups are a reason to leave, unless they are permanent. Macca is generally much better. Drivers are not perfect either. Hamilton is usually much better than his 2011 season also.
I doubt that 2012's failures were a deal breaker for Lewis, just as 2011 wasn't a deal breaker for Macca. After all Macca produced a great car for many races as Lewis did turn in some great performances in 2011, so the big picture is what would be taken into consideration, imo. Perhaps the team and driver wanted to part for many reasons, reasons they have not discussed publicly.

But Ron Dennis should not have said that McLaren could have done more to retain lewis but didn't want to. That is unnecessary and shows a distinct lack of class, imo. The title of this thread does not fit what I am discussing, but I think this is the right thread, so maybe it should be modified.

When driver's speak their minds they are the coolest dudes on earth. Whenever someone from a team does it they are classless, lowlifes. :drunk:

Edited by Watkins74, 05 January 2013 - 20:49.


#117 techspeed

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 23:38

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.

Really, we are still on conspiracy theories that McLaren are happy to throw away millions of dollars in FOM fees to make Button look good? :drunk:
You're not going to suggest Hulkenberg deliberately threw away his first race win to take Hamilton out in Brazil to give Button another are you. :rotfl:
Or that McLaren deliberately made themselves look like idiots when messing up the pitstops to prevent Hamilton scoring more points than Button. :stoned:
Or that Hamiltons race engineers knew the new wing was the wing to have at Spa, but deliberately chose to throw away points (and therefore lots of money) by putting the old wing on instead. :drunk:

At Spa McLaren put a wing that they knew would work fine on race day on Hamiltons car. They gambled on the new wing which they didn't have much testing with on Buttons car. A perfectly sensible way of working for any professional race team, you put what you think is the best wing on your lead driver and take a gamble with your other driver in the hope it works out, if not you get plenty of data on the new parts. McLaren had no way of knowing beforehand which wing would have worked the best, they have said all their data showed there wasn't much difference over a lap, of course the difference couldn't be down to the drivers even though Button had been faster in practice when they were using the same wing. I'm sure if the new wing hadn't worked you wouldn't be at the front of the queue suggesting McLaren had deliberately put the wrong wing on Buttons car.

#118 techspeed

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 23:47

But Ron Dennis should not have said that McLaren could have done more to retain lewis but didn't want to. That is unnecessary and shows a distinct lack of class, imo. The title of this thread does not fit what I am discussing, but I think this is the right thread, so maybe it should be modified.

I don't think it shows a lack of class at all, he is just making a statement of the situation.
We have wild speculation in this and previous threads about why Hamilton and McLaren couldn't sign a new contract, and we will never find out the details unless either Hamilton, Whitmarsh or Dennis writes them down in a future autobiography, so in reality we won't really know why they couldn't agree terms.

Dennis has just pointed out the obvious. Hamiltons contract had ended, McLaren made him a new offer. Hamilton came back with what he wanted and even though it seems McLaren improved their offer didn't want to, or couldn't, give him everything he asked for.

If your work contract ended and you asked for double your salary with a lot more time off work, no matter how good you are your boss is not going to want to agree to that either. Would that be your boss showing a lack of class as well?

#119 bourbon

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 00:00

I don't think it shows a lack of class at all, he is just making a statement of the situation.
We have wild speculation in this and previous threads about why Hamilton and McLaren couldn't sign a new contract, and we will never find out the details unless either Hamilton, Whitmarsh or Dennis writes them down in a future autobiography, so in reality we won't really know why they couldn't agree terms.

Dennis has just pointed out the obvious. Hamiltons contract had ended, McLaren made him a new offer. Hamilton came back with what he wanted and even though it seems McLaren improved their offer didn't want to, or couldn't, give him everything he asked for.

If your work contract ended and you asked for double your salary with a lot more time off work, no matter how good you are your boss is not going to want to agree to that either. Would that be your boss showing a lack of class as well?


Only if he went out and told the press that he could have offered more, but didn't want to. That would make it seem as though my efforts were not overly valued. That is how his statement about Lewis comes across. Macca could have done more, but didn't want to. Why not? If you have a valuable employee you will want to. So even if that is true, there is no reason to make special note of it in the press. He should have stuck with the story Martin told. Hamilton has been very complimentary of McLaren in the press since his decision, we all know there are many negative things he could say. Dennis just invited him to do so if you ask me, by virtue of his statement. If I were their PR man, Dennis would have been strongly advised from opening that door. It makes him (and Macca) seem quite petty.

Edited by bourbon, 06 January 2013 - 00:02.


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#120 techspeed

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 00:05

Is the Mail the worst newspaper in the world??

Highly likely.

It has been caught out many times for having created whole stories around a small quote, such as the Ron Dennis interview here, just to generate page hits on their website. They have even created whole stories and fake interviews if it can help page hits.
Two days ago they were found out having put up a story that a woman in a car accident had had both her legs amputated. Strangely enough the next day they wrote a new article about how the surgeons were trying to save her legs. :eek:

#121 BillBald

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 02:28

Really, we are still on conspiracy theories that McLaren are happy to throw away millions of dollars in FOM fees to make Button look good? :drunk:
You're not going to suggest Hulkenberg deliberately threw away his first race win to take Hamilton out in Brazil to give Button another are you. :rotfl:
Or that McLaren deliberately made themselves look like idiots when messing up the pitstops to prevent Hamilton scoring more points than Button. :stoned:
Or that Hamiltons race engineers knew the new wing was the wing to have at Spa, but deliberately chose to throw away points (and therefore lots of money) by putting the old wing on instead. :drunk:

At Spa McLaren put a wing that they knew would work fine on race day on Hamiltons car. They gambled on the new wing which they didn't have much testing with on Buttons car. A perfectly sensible way of working for any professional race team, you put what you think is the best wing on your lead driver and take a gamble with your other driver in the hope it works out, if not you get plenty of data on the new parts. McLaren had no way of knowing beforehand which wing would have worked the best, they have said all their data showed there wasn't much difference over a lap, of course the difference couldn't be down to the drivers even though Button had been faster in practice when they were using the same wing. I'm sure if the new wing hadn't worked you wouldn't be at the front of the queue suggesting McLaren had deliberately put the wrong wing on Buttons car.


:up: :up:

I'm really looking forward to the time when all this nonsense moves to the Lewis vs Nico thread!!




#122 Velocifer

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 04:14

Whitmarsh and Dennis have now both said McLaren didn't meet Hamilton's demands which judging from the trophies demand and his outrage for not being faster than his team mate in Spa qualifying were probably all about special status, not about money. My guess is Ferrari'esque like no. 1 status or at least when leading the championship (even early), and maybe more.

Even though McLaren is not entirely 50-50 between drives as we know from previous drivers' comments, they are not about to give in to crazy stuff, especially from someone who should in all honesty be somewhat grateful for the chance and title he got at McLaren, so no wonder Dennis got pissed when he started acting diva as if he was triple champion and the hottest asset around.

#123 CHIUNDA

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 08:46

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?


In 2007, it was Ron Dennis not the fans who said McLaren was racing its own driver rather than the competition.

It was also Ron Dennis who in 2012 declared McLaren prioritises race wins over championships.

If the Executive Chairman says irrational things who are the fans to disagree?

#124 spacekid

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 11:52

In 2007, it was Ron Dennis not the fans who said McLaren was racing its own driver rather than the competition.

It was also Ron Dennis who in 2012 declared McLaren prioritises race wins over championships.

If the Executive Chairman says irrational things who are the fans to disagree?


In 2007 both McLarens were the likely contenders in the title hunt, and there was a split in the team, not helped by Fonzie (allegedly? I can't remember if it was ever confirmed in the press) blackmailing Ron Dennis.

And did either half of the team not try their best to get the results for their driver?

No.

Lewis' side worked hard to get the best results, and so did Alonso's.

So what your example shows me is that at McLaren even when there is a terrible atmosphere like in 2007, all the technicians and race engineers etc. will still be professional and to the very best work they can within their team.

I'm sorry but reading this thread I have still not seen a single shred of evidence to suggest that Hamilton was somehow intentionally hampered or sabotaged by McLaren, to the benefit of Jenson Button. The drivers splitting strategy at 1 GP on a new front wing doesn't really cut it as definitive proof for me.

#125 garoidb

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 12:04

In 2007 both McLarens were the likely contenders in the title hunt, and there was a split in the team, not helped by Fonzie (allegedly? I can't remember if it was ever confirmed in the press) blackmailing Ron Dennis.

And did either half of the team not try their best to get the results for their driver?

No.

Lewis' side worked hard to get the best results, and so did Alonso's.

So what your example shows me is that at McLaren even when there is a terrible atmosphere like in 2007, all the technicians and race engineers etc. will still be professional and to the very best work they can within their team.


It shows that Ron Dennis was personally in the Lewis Hamilton camp, but it doesn't mean that Alonso's own crew were against him.

I'm sorry but reading this thread I have still not seen a single shred of evidence to suggest that Hamilton was somehow intentionally hampered or sabotaged by McLaren, to the benefit of Jenson Button. The drivers splitting strategy at 1 GP on a new front wing doesn't really cut it as definitive proof for me.


I agree. Why on earth would they bother? Lewis winning more races or the WDC would have been good for McLaren financially and reputationally. It is not like it was a two horse race with Jenson either. JB could never have benefited, only SV or FA (or maybe KR). Also, intimating to members of a competitive team like McLaren that it is OK to sometimes not try to win could cause a terrible break down in the esprit de corps, and might let team members think that this is up for discussion (or action) on a regular basis.



#126 race addicted

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 12:54

At Spa McLaren put a wing that they knew would work fine on race day on Hamiltons car. They gambled on the new wing which they didn't have much testing with on Buttons car. A perfectly sensible way of working for any professional race team, you put what you think is the best wing on your lead driver and take a gamble with your other driver in the hope it works out, if not you get plenty of data on the new parts. McLaren had no way of knowing beforehand which wing would have worked the best, they have said all their data showed there wasn't much difference over a lap, of course the difference couldn't be down to the drivers even though Button had been faster in practice when they were using the same wing. I'm sure if the new wing hadn't worked you wouldn't be at the front of the queue suggesting McLaren had deliberately put the wrong wing on Buttons car.


Sorry man, but saying that "McLaren had no way of knowing beforehand which wing would have worked the best(...)", is suggesting that they are incompetent. That's exactly the opposite of what you want to say, but in seeing the result, you've got to wonder what the h*ll was going on.
First of all, with wind tunnel tests and simulator running, McLaren must've known what this rear wing would give them, and second; they still weren't on top of things to the tune of being able to say with certainty which wing should be the preferred choice. That actually raises a few eyebrows around.
I assume they weren't sure of the trade-off for the new wing, qual vs race, Q-DRS vs race-DRS, but it was pretty obvious in third free wasn't it? If memory serves Button had two tenths on Hamilton in all three sectors, and higher top-speed. I can't believe that McLaren, with the car they had, didn't entertain thoughts of qualifying on pole when Button, with a so-so lap was five tenths down in third free.
Perhaps the new rear wing had less on offer in terms of DRS-gains in the race, but they still must've seen that the front-row was on offer and hence must've thought about a race ala Vettel, where they could just disappear from the front.
That McLaren were in doubt when things looked so clear-cut with Button, shows a bit of ineptness IMHO.

Edited by race addicted, 06 January 2013 - 12:56.


#127 onewingedangel

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 13:08

That McLaren were in doubt when things looked so clear-cut with Button, shows a bit of ineptness IMHO.


Things were not clear cut - Hamilton was slower than Button with the same wing, and was experiencing issues. And there was a 'safe' option available.

The higher downforce rear wing was not a bad option, the Saubers did well with a higher DF setting, but Lewis couldn't extract the most out of the car with higher downforce - whether due to lack of practice in that configuration or him just being a little off that day -his qualifying performance made the difference between wing performance appear greater than it was - he mad mistakes on both his Q3 runs - and Button was faster in the areas of the track where downforce was required as well as the straights.

We don't know what would have happened in the race, but I suspect Lewis would have been pretty much as fast as Button.

#128 race addicted

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 13:48

I still think that the signs must've been clear enough. I mean, losing nine tenths on the straights is monstrous (yes, that was from qualifying but they MUST have seen this tendency or effect from the new rear wing in third free too), and traditionally, you'd rather give the more slippery car to Hamilton, not Button.
It is absolutely irrelevant what Sauber or anyone else did. Different cars and they all work with an aero-package made to function in symbiosis with the other aero-bits.

#129 spacekid

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 14:14

So basically for Hamilton fans it all boils down to - Mclaren screwed Lewis by trying to provide 'equality' for Button, and Spa is the proof.

I still think its perfectly normal for an F1 team to split a new part between drivers to judge performance. It could have gone the other way and led to all sorts of balance issues during the race, sims and the wind tunnel don't reveal everything and the testing now happens at the races. If Hamilton had got the new wing and it turned out to be bad for the race I'm sure you'd all be complaining that new parts should have been 'tested' by Button and Hamilton should be given equipment that was a known quantity.

However, if you like you can easily twist this - F1 is a very competitive business, and the best drivers must be strong within the team, and also have a good understanding of the technicalities of the sport (I believe this is the case for Lewis). For all his fans protesting you'd think he was some hapless child with no say or control of whats going on around him. Do you think Senna or Prost would have allowed such a situation to arise where the team knowingly and intentionally gave them substandard equipment? The perception I get from these threads is that Lewis isn't enough of a grown up to handle F1 and needs everything on a plate for him.

As a Schumi fan I can well see why so many people who were neutral or ambivalent towards him got so frustrated, as such a one eyed view of the sport is impossible to debate with.

#130 race addicted

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 14:34

I'm not arguing about Hamilton's feedback value or his ability to get his demands across, I'm airing my thoughts around McLaren's operational and engineering team, which I think fell short once again during the Spa weekend. Telling a driver there isn't much in it, when it turns out it was approaching a full second on the straights alone, is unheard of.

#131 P123

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 14:38

So basically for Hamilton fans it all boils down to - Mclaren screwed Lewis by trying to provide 'equality' for Button, and Spa is the proof.


No, and no.

#132 bub

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 14:49

So basically for Hamilton fans it all boils down to - Mclaren screwed Lewis by trying to provide 'equality' for Button, and Spa is the proof.


Hamilton has a huge amount of fans. What you've seen is an extremely small minority claim what you say above. It's kind of offensive to accuse all Hamilton fans of having this view.


The perception I get from these threads is that Lewis isn't enough of a grown up to handle F1 and needs everything on a plate for him.

As a Schumi fan I can well see why so many people who were neutral or ambivalent towards him got so frustrated, as such a one eyed view of the sport is impossible to debate with.


You probably shouldn't let the opinions of random people on the internet affect your perception of anyone other than the people giving those opinions.

#133 Slartibartfast

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 15:04

The October 2012 issue of Motorsport carries a Nigel Roebuck article about F1 driver contracts and how they have changed over the years. He interviewed Martin Whitmarsh and was given access to some McLaren contracts.
Driver equality is mentioned in the contract the drivers have with the team.

"During preparations for each World Championship, team will act in a manner, so far as reasonably possible, so as to provide both drivers an equal opportunity to win the drivers' World Championship."
...
"From the first race of the World Championship, team will in each race take all decisions and actions in connection with the World Championship to achieve, so far as is reasonably possible, an equal treatment of each driver, in taking into account the different situations that arise in the course of such race."

- Quotes apparently from current McLaren driver contract

There are, apparently, three contracts rather than one; a driving agreement, a promotions agreement and a linking agreement that ties the first two together. Hypothetically, if a driver were being paid $10 million, part of that would be paid under the driver contract and the rest under the promotions contract.

In 2007, it was Ron Dennis not the fans who said McLaren was racing its own driver rather than the competition.

It never ceases to amaze me how many people quote Dennis' words under the apparent misapprehension that "racing" is a synonym for "sabotaging". Although most of those people don't then go on to suggest that Dennis thinks that one can't race both one's team-mate and the drivers of the other teams at the same time.




#134 spacekid

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 15:34

Hamilton has a huge amount of fans. What you've seen is an extremely small minority claim what you say above. It's kind of offensive to accuse all Hamilton fans of having this view.

You probably shouldn't let the opinions of random people on the internet affect your perception of anyone other than the people giving those opinions.


Please don't selectively quote me. If you had quoted my entire post I clearly said I do not believe this to be the case.

I've read the threads over the years, and frankly avoided them as reasonable debate on anything Hamilton related seems very difficult. I would have thought it is also quite offensive to suggest that McLaren is an operation that would cheerfully spunk away $millions just to make Lewis look bad. I'm still waiting for any kind of evidence at all for this except for being told that if I had watched the races (I did) I would have seen all the proof I needed.

I agree that the views put forward are not those of all Hamilton fans. This is why I said as a schumi fan I understood how frustrating it was for some people to try to put debate a reasonable view.

Edited by spacekid, 06 January 2013 - 15:36.


#135 P123

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 15:37

It never ceases to amaze me how many people quote Dennis' words under the apparent misapprehension that "racing" is a synonym for "sabotaging". Although most of those people don't then go on to suggest that Dennis thinks that one can't race both one's team-mate and the drivers of the other teams at the same time.


Those words are always paraphrased, and repeated without any consideration given to the context in which they were made, or to what was happening on track.


#136 spacekid

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 15:46

I'm not arguing about Hamilton's feedback value or his ability to get his demands across, I'm airing my thoughts around McLaren's operational and engineering team, which I think fell short once again during the Spa weekend. Telling a driver there isn't much in it, when it turns out it was approaching a full second on the straights alone, is unheard of.


I would have expected the drivers to follow the telemetry and understand what is happening with the cars, and be able to form their own opinions (with their race engineers). Do you think McLaren deliberately mislead Lewis?

Please bear in mind I'm talking to the thread topic, and what was put to me by other posters that McLaren deliberately did not want Lewis performing to the best of his abilities.

#137 halifaxf1fan

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 15:57

It never ceases to amaze me how many people quote Dennis' words under the apparent misapprehension that "racing" is a synonym for "sabotaging". Although most of those people don't then go on to suggest that Dennis thinks that one can't race both one's team-mate and the drivers of the other teams at the same time.


Except in this case Dennis specifically said he wasn't racing Raikkonen, so he wasn't targeting strategy for Hamilton against 'the other teams' but against Alonso.

Quote: Dennis said "We weren't racing Kimi, we were basically racing Fernando."

Kimi wasn't the guy Dennis was wanting Hamilton to beat that day, it was Alonso.

Edited by halifaxf1fan, 06 January 2013 - 23:50.


#138 bub

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 15:59

Please don't selectively quote me. If you had quoted my entire post I clearly said I do not believe this to be the case.

I've read the threads over the years, and frankly avoided them as reasonable debate on anything Hamilton related seems very difficult. I would have thought it is also quite offensive to suggest that McLaren is an operation that would cheerfully spunk away $millions just to make Lewis look bad. I'm still waiting for any kind of evidence at all for this except for being told that if I had watched the races (I did) I would have seen all the proof I needed.

I agree that the views put forward are not those of all Hamilton fans. This is why I said as a schumi fan I understood how frustrating it was for some people to try to put debate a reasonable view.


I misunderstood. I now get what you were saying. My post above can go out to people who actually are guilty of lumping fans into the same group and using fans etc as a reason to dislike an individual.

#139 tifosiMac

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 16:00

Except in this case Dennis specifically said he wasn't racing Raikkonen, so he wasn't targeting strategy for Hamilton against 'the other teams' but against Alonso.

Quote: Denns said "We weren't racing Kimi, we were basically racing Fernando."

Kimi wasn't the guy Dennis was wanting Hamilton to beat that day, it was Alonso.

You can't blame Dennis for giving Lewis the emotional support after the events earlier in the season. It didn't stop Fernando and his side of garage coming very close to winning the championship. A team principle hoping one driver beats the other is very different to sabotage. Surely you don't need that explained to you.

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#140 halifaxf1fan

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 16:07

You can't blame Dennis for giving Lewis the emotional support after the events earlier in the season. It didn't stop Fernando and his side of garage coming very close to winning the championship. A team principle hoping one driver beats the other is very different to sabotage. Surely you don't need that explained to you.



tifosi, employing different or optimal strategies for one team member over another is not 'emotional support' it is very tangible. And neither is it 'sabotage' as you are trying to describe it. It is the team providing a preferred strategy to its preferred driver.

#141 tifosiMac

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 16:13

tifosi, employing different or optimal strategies for one team member over another is not 'emotional support' it is very tangible. And neither is it 'sabotage' as you are trying to describe it. It is the team providing a preferred strategy to its preferred driver.

Lewis was ahead in the championship standings and had also qualified on pole, with Alonso in 4th that race. McLaren and other teams including Red Bull offer the better strategy to the driver who is ahead at that time. With only two rounds left of course they were going to root for Lewis. Jenson got the preferred strategies when he was ahead of Lewis for example China 2010. Its the way they have always worked. The fact they (Alonso/Hamilton) were allowed to race each other to the end of the season proves this. Alonso had his fair share of optimal strategies that season too, when he was ahead. You can't give both drivers the same strategy because its clashes. Its really not that hard to understand and the Dennis quote is justified every time its brought up.

#142 halifaxf1fan

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 16:27

Lewis was ahead in the championship standings and had also qualified on pole, with Alonso in 4th that race. McLaren and other teams including Red Bull offer the better strategy to the driver who is ahead at that time. With only two rounds left of course they were going to root for Lewis. Jenson got the preferred strategies when he was ahead of Lewis for example China 2010. Its the way they have always worked. The fact they (Alonso/Hamilton) were allowed to race each other to the end of the season proves this. Alonso had his fair share of optimal strategies that season too, when he was ahead. You can't give both drivers the same strategy because its clashes. Its really not that hard to understand and the Dennis quote is justified every time its brought up.



It is very simple - for Hamilton to win the championship that day in China he needed to finish ahead of Alonso. Dennis clearly was going to do anything he could to make that happen. And I have no issues with Dennis's quote nor his intent that day - helping Hamilton even if it was at Alonso's expense was the right thing to do imo to get Hamilton the title. It would have been glorious for Dennis & the McLaren team, a miracle season.

Dennis's quote just told it as it was, Hamilton was the golden child and Alonso was in the way.


#143 tifosiMac

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 16:33

It is very simple - for Hamilton to win the championship that day in China he needed to finish ahead of Alonso. Dennis clearly was going to do anything he could to make that happen. And I have no issues with Dennis's quote nor his intent that day - helping Hamilton even if it was at Alonso's expense was the right thing to do imo to get Hamilton the title. It would have been glorious for Dennis & the McLaren team, a miracle season.

Dennis's quote just told it as it was, Hamilton was the golden child and Alonso was in the way.

Alonso created the bad situation and it can't be overlooked that Lewis was doing a lot of the hard work on track that day until he went off. Hamilton was deserving of his championship position and even if he had have done it that day, you'd be hard pressed to find someone who thought he didn't deserve it. One of the drivers had to win it and I think I would go with the one who hadn't threatened the team, like most.

#144 Risil

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 16:48

It is very simple - for Hamilton to win the championship that day in China he needed to finish ahead of Alonso. Dennis clearly was going to do anything he could to make that happen. And I have no issues with Dennis's quote nor his intent that day - helping Hamilton even if it was at Alonso's expense was the right thing to do imo to get Hamilton the title. It would have been glorious for Dennis & the McLaren team, a miracle season.

Dennis's quote just told it as it was, Hamilton was the golden child and Alonso was in the way.


Roger Penske also calls race strategy for one his team's drivers. Maybe Dennis just enjoyed the thrill of competition you get from being part of a driver's crew, not just the Big Boss.

Edited by Risil, 06 January 2013 - 16:49.


#145 femi

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 17:01

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.


It is certainly in line with him behaving like a jilted spouse.

#146 race addicted

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 17:14

I would have expected the drivers to follow the telemetry and understand what is happening with the cars, and be able to form their own opinions (with their race engineers). Do you think McLaren deliberately mislead Lewis?

Please bear in mind I'm talking to the thread topic, and what was put to me by other posters that McLaren deliberately did not want Lewis performing to the best of his abilities.


No, I don't think he was deliberately mislead. They obviously didn't have a clue about what their new wing was good for vs the old one.

#147 techspeed

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 17:45

In 2007, it was Ron Dennis not the fans who said McLaren was racing its own driver rather than the competition.

It was also Ron Dennis who in 2012 declared McLaren prioritises race wins over championships.

If the Executive Chairman says irrational things who are the fans to disagree?

I'm sure if we all took replies to questions out of context, then shorten the full sentence to only keep the bit we want and then hang on to this fallacy for the next five years we should be able to confirm our conspiracy theories based on anything Ron Dennis has said.


#148 spacekid

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 19:46

No, I don't think he was deliberately mislead. They obviously didn't have a clue about what their new wing was good for vs the old one.


I think thats fair enough - I don't have any problem with the idea that McLaren were below their usually high standards, and its unquestionable that they made mistakes. For me the matter is whether there was any 'motive'.

#149 spacekid

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 19:50

I misunderstood. I now get what you were saying. My post above can go out to people who actually are guilty of lumping fans into the same group and using fans etc as a reason to dislike an individual.


No worries :up: I could have arranged my argument better, especially with regards paragraphs.

It can be tricky on a discussion forum as there are often a variety of different points running, some of which can run to cross purposes.

Threads involving Hamilton do often remind me of Schumi threads though - I'm sure there are plenty of Hamilton fans who read the comments put forward 'in favour' of their driver and they just think... oh you aren't seriously trying to argue that are you?

#150 garoidb

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 20:27

So, as of now, all the main protagonists from the 2007 McLaren fiascos (Hungary-gate and spy-gate) have moved on from the McLaren race team frontline. The last to move on was Lewis, and I suppose the topic of this thread concerns the eventual dissolution of the strong bond between Ron and Lewis (now fully severed). With Ron moved upstairs, and Lewis the last driver he had this bond with, it does not seem likely to me that he (Ron) will have much to do the McLaren driver equality policy from here on.

2007 has its own thread, and Jenson versus Lewis (retrospective) has its own thread. I suppose this is the Lewis versus Ron/MW/McLaren thread. We still don't know why the relationship between Ron Dennis and Lewis slipped away over the years, and why his once pre-eminent position in the team (2008-2009) evaporated. People will just blame Martin Whitmarsh, but I don't think it is that simple. Hiring Jenson was a clear signal that McLaren were not building the team around Lewis. Why weren't they? Did Jenson simply exceed expectations? Or was 2008-2009 an abberation, whereby they hired an unproven driver in a hurry after an unanticipated vacancy arose (somewhat like now IMO). Edit: to be clear, the unproven driver I refer to is Heikki, not Lewis.

Edited by garoidb, 06 January 2013 - 20:32.