Mclaren reshuffle weakens Hamilton’s advantage

Yesterday Autosport reported that Mclaren were to restructure their engineering crews, with the most notable movement being that Lewis Hamilton will lose his race engineer Phil Prew.  Prew who had worked with Lewis since 2007 will now assume a position of principle race engineer who will oversee that both Hamilton and Buttons data is available to each other in order to achieve fairness and also to help one or the other should they lose their direction in terms of set-up over the course of a race weekend.

This is excellent news for Jenson, who will now face less of a barrier in getting up to speed with the way the Mclaren handles and which direction his team mate is taking in terms of set up.  Bad news for Lewis who’s trade secrets of how the Mclaren handles and keeping that hidden from Jenson is now all but impossible.

One wonders if this is a paranoid step from Mclaren to avoid the clash of personalities when Alonso and Hamilton were in the team in 2007, or even if this has been a request from Button to ensure parity in a team that has a deep history and commitment to Lewis Hamilton.

During Button’s time as team mate to Barrichello rumours would often surface about how Jenson loses his way with a car set-up if it is not already handling as he likes, he would often revert to Barrichello’s set-up after exhausting his own ideas, perhaps Mclaren have seen this and are pre-empting that in order to give the team the best possible chance of winning the constructors championship, they need both drivers to succeed and this restructuring could be as a result of such a philosophy.

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