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Hamilton defends management company

NEWS STORY
13/12/2011

In the wake of Bernie Ecclestone's claim that Lewis Hamilton's annus horribilis is partly the fault of his management company, the English driver has jumped to its defence.

Speaking at the weekend, Ecclestone blasted Simon Fuller's XIX Entertainment, singling out its various celebrity clients as causing Hamilton to take his eye off the ball.

However, the McLaren star was quick to jump to the company's defence, claiming that the F1 supremo's attack was entirely unjustified.

"I think this year XIX have taken a huge amount of criticism which has been massively unfair and that's a lot to do with me, my fault really," Hamilton told the Press Association. "They've wanted to be here every single race, they've been nothing but supportive. I control it and I decided not to have them at every race because I wanted to be on my own at some races. For the future I'll have them at every race.

"They've taken negative criticism and they're still there supporting me," he continued. "They've never ever had any impact on my thought process of how I handle things. I've really taken that all on board myself."

While Ecclestone claims that Hamilton became star struck by XIX's fellow celebrity clients, the English driver says, truth be told, he didn't make full use of the company's resources.

"This year I've not used the resources that I have to the optimum," he said. But I know that moving forward it will be a successful relationship and partnership. I think they're fantastic.

"Recently I had lunch with Simon in New York and I loved it," he added. "He's a really fantastic guy. I couldn't be happier with the decision I've made because I've some incredible people around me and I'm really looking forward to the future."

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