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We can handle Lewis and Jenson, insists Whitmarsh

NEWS STORY
29/11/2009

While some are expecting problems at McLaren in 2010 as the Woking team attempts to manage two world champions, both with somewhat sizeable egos, team boss Martin Whitmarsh insists that his team will not only be able to successfully manage the duo but is relishing the prospect.

"We feel confident that, as an organisation, we'll be able to manage the demands and expectations of our drivers," Whitmarsh told the Independent. "Lewis and Jenson are both world champions, they know what it takes to win, and I'm sure they'll both be very motivated to push each other to deliver even greater results. It's my job to positively harness that competitiveness for the greater benefit of the team.

"It's a proposition that some teams might find troubling, but which we are absolutely relishing," he continued, "it's a very nice problem to have! We have two fiercely competitive individuals who both fully understand the benefit of teamwork. They are phenomenal team players. My job is to manage that racer's instinct: they are there to race each other - and the only instruction they'll receive from me is to respect each other on the track. But that's it - other than that, they're free to race."

While some insist that McLaren is Hamilton's team and that Button will find it near impossible to exert any influence, Whitmarsh dismisses this, saying that the new world champion will be made to feel like part of the McLaren 'family' from the outset.

"One of the most important tasks will be to get Jenson familiarised with our procedures," he said, "how we work at McLaren and how we go racing. He'll need to start putting names to faces, of course, but it should all be a very straightforward job for someone of his experience.

"We've always traditionally involved our drivers in the development of the car," he continued, "and the most important thing we can do in the early days of our relationship is to get Jenson to look at what we do, evaluate it and to ask questions and make suggestions. Preparation is everything: with Lewis at the start of 2007, he showed just how much could be achieved with a combination of rock-solid preparation and solid hard work."

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