Martin Whitmarsh is sure McLaren’s recent errors will not affect contract negotiations with Lewis Hamilton.
The British team’s latest mistake not only cost Lewis Hamilton pole in Spain, it put the 2008 world champion to the very back of the grid. Asked if he worries that the now seemingly constant flow of team gaffes will damage McLaren’s efforts to re-sign Hamilton, Whitmarsh insisted: “No, I don’t.
“He has got to build the support of the team, he has got to feel comfortable doing it, he has got to want to drive and he is in good shape,” British newspapers quote the McLaren team principal as saying. “I look forward to working with him for a long time to come.”
But Whitmarsh admitted that, given Hamilton’s tumultuous 2011 season, he was worried the British driver might have despaired last Saturday when the team’s refuelling mistake cost the 27-year-old pole.
“I was concerned,” he said, “because it is a pretty tough thing to happen to a driver. “But I have to say he showed some greatness I had not seen before. By the end of our chat he was consoling me.
“The relationship between Lewis and the team is stronger and better and hopefully we will work together for a long time,” added Whitmarsh.