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McLaren in the News – 21st March 2010

Hamilton returns to scene of Australian Grand Prix disqualification @ Welwyn & Hatfield Times 24
Sunday 21st May 2010
LEWIS Hamilton returns to the scene of his biggest Formula 1 controversy insisting he still loves the Australian Grand Prix.

Hamilton was disqualified from last year’s season opener around the scenic Albert Park circuit and stripped of his podium points after misleading race stewards.

The controversy centred on an incident between the then world champion from Herts and Jarno Trulli following the deployment of the safety car in the closing laps. (read more…)

Button worried rule changes may make F1 ‘a procession’ @ BBC.co.uk Formula 1
Sunday 21st May 2010
Jenson Button has expressed concern that new regulations could turn the 2010 season into a “procession”.

McLaren’s Button is dismayed by the ban on refuelling during a race and new tyre regulations which made the season opener in Bahrain a dull spectacle.

“It’s annoying because it’s a sport I love and it’s tough to see a procession,” said the 30-year-old. (read more…)

Dennis suspects Vettel ran out of fuel in Bahrain @ Motorsport.com F1
Sunday 21st May 2010
Ron Dennis has been quoted as questioning Red Bull’s claim that Sebastian Vettel suffered a spark plug failure whilst leading the 2010 season opener in Bahrain last weekend.

Initially after the 22-year-old pole sitter gave up the lead of the race to the eventual three podium-getters, Red Bull diagnosed an exhaust problem.

A subsequent media statement clarified that it was actually a spark plug problem within the Renault engine that was the matter, but Spain’s AS newspaper reported last week that Vettel simply slowed to prevent running out of fuel. (read more…)

Hamilton: Red Bull is the fastest @ Pitpass.com
Sunday 21st May 2010
2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton claims that the Red Bull is the fastest car this season, indeed, the Englishman says the RB6 is “ridiculously fast”.

“The Red Bull is ridiculously faster than anyone else’s car,” the McLaren driver told reporters. “It’s insane. The downforce they had on their car last year was at some points just about double what we had. Even at the end of the year they had so much more than us, even though we had won a couple of Grands Prix.”

Certainly, Sebastian Vettel looked to have the season opener in Bahrain wrapped up last week, having stormed to pole and subsequently eased away at the start of the race. However, spark plug failure 15 laps from the end of the race saw the German slip back to fourth with teammate Mark Webber finishing eighth behind Hamilton’s teammate Jenson Button. (read more…)

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McLaren in the News – 10th March 2010

Button: Lewis doesn’t have an edge @ PlanetF1.com
Wednesday 10th March 2010
Jenson Button has once again dismissed suggestions that Lewis Hamilton will start the new season with an edge over him.

Sir Jackie Stewart recently claimed “Lewis will be the natural No 1” at McLaren while Nigel Mansell believes “Jenson will take a few races to get up to speed with the car”.

Button, though, insists the team have done everything possible to make him feel at home and says he’ll start the season on equal footing with Hamilton.

“I don’t think there’s an edge, particularly,” he told the official Formula One website. “Of course, Lewis knows the team, and he feels very much at home here, but the team has done everything it possibly can to make sure that we receive equal treatment and equipment. (read more…)

McLaren admit to ‘contingency’ plan over rear wing dispute @ Crash.net
Wednesday 10th March 2010
McLaren-Mercedes has confirmed that whilst it is 100 per cent ‘confident’ in the legality of the disputed rear wing on its F1 2010 MP4-25 contender, it is nonetheless taking an alternative package to the curtain-raising Bahrain Grand Prix at Sakhir this weekend since ‘you just never know what the stewards are going to do on the day’.

The point of contention is a slot above the driver’s helmet that diverts air flow away from the rear wing in an effort to reduce drag and thereby increase downforce – and by extension add roughly 6mph to the car’s straight-line speed figure. A number of rival teams have called the device into question, and whilst nowhere near as great an issue as the double-decker diffuser row that blighted the early stages of the 2009 season, still clarification from the governing body is required. (read more…)

Button looks to Bahrain @ viagogo
Tuesday 9th March 2010
Jenson Button, the reigning Formula 1 world champion, has sent out a message to his title rivals ahead of the start of his championship defence on Sunday.

The new F1 season gets underway at Bahrain and, the coveted champion’s number one adorning his car for the first time, Button is anxious to pick up where he left off last season.

He told the Mirror: “I’m really looking forward to getting in my car on Friday morning in Bahrain knowing I’m world champion. It’s a responsibility and an honour but it’s something I’m going to enjoy as long as I can. (read more…)

Why stakes are high for Jenson Button & Lewis Hamilton @ BBC.co.uk F1
Monday 8th March 2010
The pairing of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button at McLaren this year is potentially explosive.

Both have an inner certainty that they are the best in the business – but they can’t both be right.

In the past, pairings of two megastars in a race-winning car have resulted in volcanic fall-out. As one of those drivers is presented with stark evidence that fails to meet with his own inner certainty, so things tend to get very difficult – and the driver on the losing end tends never to be quite the same again. (read more…)

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McLaren in the News –14th February 2010

Hamilton expected to earn £379m @ The Independent on Sunday Business News
Sunday 14th February
British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton is expected to earn more in his career than any other driver in the sport, according to new research.

The study, carried out by F1’s industry monitor, Formula Money, ranks drivers based on total predicted career earnings from salary and endorsements. It shows that Hamilton, who drives for the McLaren team, will earn £378.9m during his career. This is more than Michael Schumacher, who returns to F1 this year, and] outstrips the predicted earnings of Hamilton’s team-mate Jenson Button. (read more…)

Hamilton Steps Up the Pace @ The Press Association
Saturday 13th February
Lewis Hamilton ended this week’s Jerez test on a high note as the Briton powered his McLaren to the top of the timesheets with a string of blistering late laps.
The McLaren team were happy to bide their time over the previous three days of the rain-affected multi-team test as they concentrated on aero-mapping runs conducted at slower speeds.
But they took the shackles off the MP4-25 on Saturday afternoon, allowing Hamilton to pump in a succession of hot laps and finish half a second clear of second-placed Adrian Sutil in the new Force India VJM03. Hamilton’s best lap of one minute 19.583 seconds was also the quickest of the four-day test. (read more…)

RBR: Ferrari, McLaren have improved @ Autosport.com
Thursday 11th February
Red Bull Racing team boss Christian Horner says his squad is expecting a much greater threat from Ferrari and McLaren this year judging by early testing results.

Although RBR dominated the final three races of 2009 and starts this season among the title favourites, Horner is not underestimating the challenge from former champions Ferrari and McLaren – who he believes have made great strides during the winter. (read more…)

Button finally happy in McLaren MP4-25 @ ESPN F1
Thursday 11th February
Jenson Button said that the second day of testing at Jerez was the first time he had really felt comfortable in the new McLaren.

Last week Button said he was “frustrated” by his first day of testing in Valencia, as he hadn’t been able to get his seating position right. But after two days in Jerez, where he set the third fastest time of the week so far, he said he was finally comfortable with the MP4-25 and was making progress. (read more…)

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McLaren in the News – 16th December 2009

A Profile and Interview of new Lotus Driver – Heikki Kovalainen @ The Sports Campus F1
Tuesday 15th November
28-year old Finn Heikki Kovalainen was this Monday appointed to the Lotus F1 Racing team for the 2010 season alongside Italian Jarno Trulli and Malaysian Fairuz Fauzy.

Heikki started his motor racing career karting in the early 1990’s. His first recognition came with second place in the Finnish Formula A Championship in 1999 and 2000. That year also saw Heikki add the Scandinavian Championship and the Elf Masters, held at Paris Bercy, to his achievements, earning him title of Karting Driver of the Year in his native Finland. Heikki’s success saw him move up to the British Formula Renault Championship in 2001, bringing two wins, two poles and three fastest laps, enough to give him fourth place in the Championship, plus the 2001 Finnish Automobile Sports Federation “Rookie of the Year” award. That same year, Heikki made his F3 debut at the world renowned Macau Grand Prix, finishing 8th. In 2002 Heikki moved on to compete in the British F3 Championship, scoring an impressive five wins, three poles and three fastest laps, securing his third position in drivers’ standings. He was once again given the “Rookie of the Year” award, and won the prestigious F3 support race at the British Grand Prix. He capped an impressive year by finishing second in Macau and fourth at the Marlboro Masters at Zandvoort. (read more…)

I will not settle for being second best: Jenson Button @ DNA Sport
Tuesday 15th November
London: Reigning Formula One world champion Jenson Button has warned former champion and McLaren team mate Lewis Hamilton that he will not settle for being second best in the team.

Button’s comment came after he finished runner-up in the BBC Sports Personality awards, where he was the favourite, but lost out to Manchester United star Ryan Giggs.

“Any sportsman does not like coming second, but Ryan is the best man I could have lost to,” The Sun quoted Button, as saying. “I’m looking forward to working with Lewis. We will work together to build a good car but, on circuit, we will be fierce rivals. That’s the way it is,” he added. (read more…)

Mosley speaks out on ‘spygate’ @ Yahoo! F1
Monday 14th November
Max Mosley, the former president of the FIA, has spoken out about the way in which he handed the ‘spygate’ saga which affected the 2007 F1 season – and the proposed breakaway from earlier this year.
Mosley, who has now been replaced by Jean Todt as the head of motorsport’s governing body, spoke at length in an article published by Britain’s Sunday Telegraph in which he discussed the two scandals – which revealed how he had wanted to ban McLaren for its involvement in ‘spygate’ and how he remains convinced that his proposed budget cap for F1 was the correct idea to take the sport forwards…
“On July 3, 2007 I got a call from Ron Dennis, the boss of the McLaren Formula One team, to say that at 7.30 that morning, lawyers acting for Ferrari had raided the home of Mike Coughlan, McLaren’s chief designer, and recovered CDs which were believed to contain the entire technical details of the current Ferrari Formula One car. “Spygate” had begun,” he wrote. (read more…)

Whitmarsh to become FOTA chairman @ Aurosport.com
Thursday 10th November
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has been voted in as Luca di Montezemolo’s successor as the chairman of the Formula One Teams’ Association (FOTA), AUTOSPORT can reveal.

Following a meeting of the Formula 1 Commission in Monaco on Thursday, team principals then got together for a FOTA gathering to discuss plans for next year – which included the election of new senior officials.

Sources have confirmed that Whitmarsh was ratified as the new chairman, and he will take over the mandate from di Montezemolo whose one-year term ends later this month. (read more…)

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McLaren in the News – 30th November 2009

2010 car will be more aggressive: McLaren @ The Times of India, Racing
Monday 30th November
LONDON: Formula One world champion Jenson Button will start next season with a more aggressively designed McLaren than the one Lewis Hamilton

“It’s still too early to be able to say with any confidence how competitive we’ll be,” engineering director Paddy Lowe said in a Q&A provided by the Mercedes-powered team on Monday.

“All we can say with any certainty is that we’ve approached this (20010) car more aggressively than we perhaps have in the past.” (read more…)

Turvey to test for McLaren F1 team @ The Times of India, Racing
Monday 30th November
LONDON: Britain’s Oliver Turvey will have his first taste of a Formula One car with McLaren in southern Spain this week, the team said on Monday.

Turvey, 22, secured the test as a prize for winning the 2006 Autosport BRDC (British Racing Drivers’ Club) young driver award, following in the tracks of David Coulthard and world champion Jenson Button.

The three-day Jerez test is reserved for drivers with limited F1 experience. “I’ve gone over this moment so many times in my mind,” the Cambridge University graduate told the McLaren website. “My aim is to enjoy the experience, but also to learn as much as I can from it.” (read more…)

Herbert: Button must build McLaren ties @ Autosport.com
Monday 30th November
Jenson Button can boost his chances of taking the fight to Lewis Hamilton at McLaren in 2010 if he establishes strong ties with the men he will work most closely with as soon as he can.

That is the view of former grand prix driver Johnny Herbert, who thinks his own experience of going up against Michael Schumacher at Benetton in 1995 has taught him the importance of building-up good relationships with team staff.

“The biggest thing I would say to Jenson is to just settle as quick you can – and make the biggest effort now to integrate with all the people, and all the personnel,” Herbert said in an interview with AUTOSPORT. “Now is key to getting those relationships early and positive. (read more…)

Hungry Button will give us bite @ The Sun F1 & Motorsport
Monday 30th November
McLAREN believe Jenson Button’s “hunger” will give the team extra bite next year.

Managing director Jonathan Neale revealed the Woking squad’s engineers are “excited” at the prospect of running the world champion alongside his predecessor Lewis Hamilton.

But he dismissed suggestions of a war between the pair and promised they would get equal treatment. (read more…)

McLaren: teaming Button with Hamilton will work @ The First Post
Monday 30th November
eaming up of current Formula 1 drivers’ champion Jenson Button with his predecessor Lewis Hamilton is a great idea, but McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh is bullish that the team can make the partnership work and has said that managing the pairing is a “very nice problem to have.”.

Whitmarsh, the principal for the Woking-based team, told the BBC: “We’ll be able to manage the demands and expectations of our drivers. They know what it takes to win and I’m sure they’ll both be very motivated to push each other to greater results.” The drivers will be considered as equals in the team hierarchy, and will receive exactly the same numbers of staff and resources.

It won’t be the first time that McLaren has fielded an all-star team: in the late 1980s Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna won back-to-back world championships for the team, despite having a fiery relationship, and two years ago Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton raced together during the Briton’s first season in F1. That experiment ended acrimoniously as the Spaniard was convinced that Hamilton was getting preferential treatment. (read more…)

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McLaren in the News – 20th November 2009

Mercedes war with McLaren over Jenson Button switch @ Mirror.co.uk Motorsport
Friday 20th November
Mercedes last night declared war on McLaren over Jenson Button’s switch.

The bad blood between the two teams spilled over less than 24 hours after his £12million move to Woking.

Furious at being dumped for McLaren, the Brackleybased operation has refused to allow Button to start work for his new bosses until after Christmas.(read more…)

New challenge drove Jenson @ Sky Sports Formula 1
Friday 20th November
Jenson Button insists that the challenge of driving with and against Lewis Hamilton as McLaren team-mates was the main reason behind his switch from Brawn.

Button left the team he won the World Championship with in order to move to Woking-based McLaren and complete a stellar all-British line-up with the last two F1 world champions at the same team.

A lot has been said after Button’s decision, with Brawn boss Nick Fry still feeling some bitterness at what he sees as a lack of loyalty from the driver towards a team that gave him a title-winning car. (read more…)

Hamilton/Button would be ‘excellent’ lineup – Massa @ MSN Formula One
Friday 20th November
Experts and pundits are questioning the wisdom of Jenson Button’s reportedly likely move from Brawn/Mercedes to McLaren for 2010.

Sir Jackie Stewart and David Coulthard have advised their British countryman to stay put rather than accept a bigger-money offer from McLaren, where 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton is regarded the unofficial number 1 driver.

The Daily Telegraph said Button, 29, has been assured equal billing, but Martin Brundle – who drove for the team in 1994 – told BBC radio on Tuesday: “In the past they (McLaren) have had a history of really being able to only fully support one driver.” (read more…)

McLaren races back into the black thanks to Hamilton F1 win @ Evening Standard Business
Friday 20th November
Lewis Hamilton’s Formula One world championship victory last year drove his McLaren team from the red to a £14 million pre-tax profit according to its accounts to 31 December 2008.

It comes as good news for the outfit after Mercedes said on Monday that it is selling its 40% stake in McLaren to the team’s co-owners and investing in rival Brawn GP, which took the F1 title this year.

Mercedes is said to be annoyed at the scandals which have dogged McLaren over the past two years. In April the team was given a suspended three-race ban for misleading officials and in 2007 it was fined $100 million. (read more…)

Jenson Button will be pushed by Lewis Hamilton @ Mirror.co.uk Motorsport
Friday 20th November
Now Jenson Button has joined Lewis Hamilton at McLaren we have the prospect of two young Brits in the same car driving at speeds of up to 220mph, and for once the police won’t be in hot pursuit.

Button has been forced out of Brawn because Mercedes are taking over, and they want a wholly German team, preferably with blond hair, blue eyes and jackboots. After his world title win Button said to them: “Show me the money.” They replied: “Show me your papers.”

Button was so anxious to escape the German camp there were fears he’d end up on a motorbike wrapped in barbed wire. Last week he was spotted at McLaren HQ, where it’s rumoured playboy Button demanded the same pay as Hamilton, the same status as driver, and the same Pussycat Doll. (read more…)

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McLaren in the News – 15th November 2009

I’m still the best in the world, says Hamilton @ Little About
Sunday 15th November
London, Nov 15- ANI: Former Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton, who saw his Brawn GP rival Jenson Button succeed him as the F1 champ this season, insists that he is still the best in the world.

Hamilton scored just nine points in the first nine races, but had a stunning second half, bagging two wins to finish fifth in the standings.

I love having No.1 on my car, I love being recognized as the best driver out there. At the end of the season the No.1 was taken off my car, but that doesn’t mean anything changes in that sense, The News of the World quoted Hamilton, as saying. (read more…)

Mercedes driving champ Button out @ Mirror.co.uk Sport
Sunday 15th November
Jenson BUTTON’s bid to stay at Brawn is being torpedoed by Mercedes’ plans to turn the Brackley operation into Team Germany.

Formula 1 world champion Button has been made a final £3.5million take-it-or-leave-it deal by Brawn GP, according to sources at the team.

That is nearly £5m less than the 29-year-old wants for bringing in the sport’s ultimate silverware. Mercedes is only days from announcing a buyout of Brawn which will give it a controlling interest in the team. (read more…)

Go For The Car Not The Cash, Jens @ Daily Star Sunday Motorsports
Sunday 15th November
DAVID Coulthard has warned 2009 world champion Jenson Button not to take a wrong turn in his search for a mega pay rise.

Brit Button, 28, wants his £3million-a-year wages at Brawn GP to rocket to £8m.

He says that’s the amount he sacrificed to help keep the team afloat following Honda’s withdrawal from Formula One. (read more…)

Button to McLaren – the real deal or just pretend? @ Reuters
Saturday 14th November
Jenson Button’s eye-catching visit to McLaren on Friday is of obvious benefit to both parties, whatever the reality behind the headlines.

If a deal is done, the new Formula One champion gets the bigger salary that Brawn are reluctant or unable to pay as well as a potentially winning car for next season.

McLaren would get a line-up of champions that will appeal to global sponsors like Vodafone and show that they remain, along with Ferrari, a big hitting team that can always pull in the top talent. (read more…)

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