Reshuffle at McLaren to ensure driver equality

Jenson Button is to benefit from a behind-the-scenes reshuffle at McLaren as the team strive to guarantee equality between their two drivers.

Since Lewis Hamilton burst onto the scene in 2007, McLaren have consistently faced questions about favouritism within the team, and insistently replied their drivers are given equal treatment.



It has today emerged Button, on a visit to the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, even asked, 'Is this Lewis' team'?



It would appear Button is eager for parity ahead of the defence of the Formula One world title he won last year, and in facing a team-mate who has been with McLaren since the age of 13.



With Button now on board, and believing it to be the right time to make changes, Hamilton's race engineer for the last three years, Phil Prew, becomes McLaren's principal race engineer.



Hamilton will now have at his side Andy Latham, who has been with McLaren Racing since 2000, while Button will be overseen by Jakob Andreason, who was Prew's assistant with Hamilton.



"When Jenson visited MTC, one of the questions he asked was, 'Is this Lewis' team?'," said McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale.



"The answer was, 'Yes, of course it's Lewis' team, as it was Heikki Kovalainen's team, Fernando Alonso's, Juan Pablo Montoya's and Kimi Raikkonen's, and it will be your team as well.'



"Is this Lewis' team to the exclusion of any other high-performance driver? Absolutely not.



"At McLaren, we love winning drivers and we want to go about telling the world that story."



As to the reasoning behind the reshuffle, Neale replied: "Firstly, we felt it was the right time.



"Both our current race engineers, Phil Prew and Mark Slade (Heikki Kovalainen), have been the team's race engineers for more than 15 years.



"We've now a number of very good people who are trained and ready to go and we want to give them the platform from which they can make their experience and expertise really count.



"We also want to build an engineering team around Jenson in exactly the same way we did with Lewis back in 2007.



"We want to create a strong group of individuals who can bring out the best in Jenson's naturally smooth style.



"Now we have Jenson confirmed to drive alongside Lewis, we want to make absolutely sure we can do an equal job for both drivers.



"We're giving both drivers a fresh engineering team, with Phil as the bridge between them both.



"It ensures greater parity between the drivers but it's primarily to ensure there's total transfer in the learning of set-up development.



"It gives us a figurehead and a go-to person for the rest of the organisation across the race weekend, so they can ask Phil: 'What's happening with set-up? Which way are we going?"'



News
Sir David Attenborough
people
Life and Style
Young girl and bowl of cereal
food + drink
News
Comic miserablist Larry David in 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'
peopleDirector of new documentary Misery Loves Comedy reveals how he got them to open up
Arts and Entertainment
Henry VIII played by Damien Lewis
tvReview: Scheming queens-in-waiting, tangled lines of succession and men of lowly birth rising to power – sound familiar?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
football
Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Ready to open the Baftas, rockers Kasabian are also ‘great film fans’
musicExclusive: Rockers promise an explosive opening to the evening
Life and Style
David Bowie by Duffy
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Hell, yeah: members of the 369th Infantry arrive back in New York
booksWorld War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel
News
advertisingVideo: The company that brought you the 'Bud' 'Weis' 'Er' frogs and 'Wasssssup' ads, has something up its sleeve for Sunday's big match
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
i100
Environment
Dame Vivienne Westwood speaking at a fracking protest outside Parliament on Monday (AP)
environment
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness