McLaren may have to alter the design of its car’s mirrors in order to help Lewis Hamilton, team boss Martin Whitmarsh has admitted.
The 2008 world champion has had multiple on-track incidents in 2011, and after the latest – yet another collision with Felipe Massa – he acknowledged that one problem could be the MP4-26’s rear view side mirrors.
“Sadly, they (Hamilton and Massa) do seem to be magnetised don’t they?” Whitmarsh is quoted by AFP news agency. “Lewis did not see him (at Suzuka).
“You could say ‘well he should have done’, but are the mirrors big enough, good enough? Maybe not, but it was one of those things,” he added.
Some commentators are not sure visibility is not Hamilton’s biggest problem at present, pointing instead at a lack of trackside support since his managerial split with his father, or a lack of focus.
“I don’t think so,” the 26-year-old told British reporters this week. “You are all trying to come up with solutions as to why I am not doing well. There is no solution.
“There is no answer to it so I’d appreciate it if you didn’t just jump to conclusions,” added Hamilton.
But there is no doubt one strong theory is that his teammate and Suzuka winner Jenson Button’s surge in recent form has rattled Hamilton.
“Jenson is proving to be a formidable teammate,” agreed Whitmarsh.
“Bear in mind he is five years ahead of Lewis in his professional development. We have these massive expectations, and Lewis has massive expectations on very young shoulders.”