Hamilton suddenly interested in McLaren technical details
By Berthold Bouman
Lewis Hamilton, who will leave his current team and will drive for Mercedes next season, has shown a sudden interest in the details of his McLaren MP4-27, that is the claim of the UK Independent newspaper. According to the newspaper Hamilton has shown a renewed interest in the technical aspects of his McLaren, especially the exhaust system and the telemetry seem to be his favourites.
During the Friday FIA press conference at Suzuka, Hamilton tried to dodge questions about his move to Mercedes, and when again quizzed about his new employer he said, “I’m not really here to talk about that this weekend. I’m here to talk about trying to win this World Championship still.”
Sergio Perez wasn’t interested in talking about his new employer either, and said he was also concentrating on the six final races of the season. But when Hamilton was asked about Perez taking over his car next year, he couldn’t help himself saying, “Trust me, it will be a good car next year as well, I know.” And then he turned to Perez and jokingly said, “I know exactly what’s going on next year with your car!”
McLaren Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh tried to play down the risk Hamilton could take McLaren’s secrets to Mercedes, “I think Lewis has been part of the team for a long time, I think he knows the people and what we’re trying to do, but I don’t think there’s any great secrets in that, so I don’t think it’s a concern.”
And he added, “I think if I was pursuing intellectual property from other teams, I’d probably go for engineers not drivers.” And Whitmarsh further commented, “But I think, again, Lewis is respectful of the team and what it’s doing, and I think he knows we’re going to do everything we can in the remaining six races to try and win, and try and win some championships. The best way to do that is to work together, be open and carry on as you ordinarily would.”
Most driver contracts have a clause that says drivers are not allowed to pass technical information when they leave their team to join another team, but Hamilton is of course at liberty to tell Mercedes what he has learned and has been taught at McLaren, and what he can still remember about his car.
But that is all theoretically of course, and meanwhile McLaren will certainly not give him more inside information about the 2013 McLaren, as he will not drive it in 2013. And last but not least, neither Hamilton, nor his boss-to-be, Ross Brawn, are fools; Hamilton will certainly not show up at the Mercedes headquarters in Brackley with a briefcase under his arm containing all McLaren’s ‘secrets’.
And that is why Hamilton said, “We’ve got six races ahead in a great team that I’ve had a great, an incredible journey with, and I’m working on trying to finish that on a high.”