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?"'

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave long-running series
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam