F1: Lewis and Anthony Hamilton to end their professional relationship

By LJ Hutchins

CalendarFriday, March 5th, 2010

 
 

This week we learned how Lewis Hamilton had lost a manager and gained a father.

Anthony Hamilton has managed his son’s career since he started karting at the age of eight, helping him win the backing of McLaren and secure a drive with that team which led to one of the most impressive rookie debuts in Formula One since that of Michael Schumacher.

Lewis, with his father’s support, has driven his way to the ultimate motorsport prize – the Formula One World Championship.

But the pair have announced that, with Lewis reaching the age of 25 and Anthony developing an increasingly demanding range of sport business interests, the time has come to end a professional partnership that has endured for 17 years – the vast majority of Lewis’ life.

Announcing the move, Lewis told Autosport: “I think it was inevitable that there had to be change at some point. Over the past few years, we looked around to see if we could bring someone else into the picture to help with the situation – whether to help with guidance, or sponsors, or whatever it was.

“We looked at it and I just never felt comfortable with anyone else. At the time I loved my dad being my manager and taking care of things, because I trust him.

“Other managers you hire as employees, but my dad is my dad. I know he does things for only the right reasons, and I can just trust him with my full heart.”

He said the point had now come where he felt able to take the step – and said that he could not achieve the things he had without his father’s help: “He’s done a fantastic job.”

“Because my dad has always been my manager, and because we’ve always been working and doing business stuff, I’ve not fully had that relationship with my dad since when I was maybe a kid and we went radio control car racing – and did it just for fun. So that’s what I want.

“The great thing is, I am here at McLaren for the next three years at least – and of course without my dad I would not be in this position. But we at McLaren are a family, the guys all help look after me in many ways, so there is no need for us to rush to find a new manager.”

Read the full, lengthy Autosport interview with Hamilton here.

The entrepreneurial instincts that saw Anthony set up his own computer company as part of his strategy for supporting his son have certainly been hard at work over the past couple of years.

He has joined forces with former racing driver Mark Blundell to run 2MB Sports Management, after Martin Brundle left to concentrate on his broadcasting career. The company is based in Royston, Hertfordshire, not far from his home south of Stevenage.

2MB, which formerly had a modest list of drivers on the books headed by Gary Paffett and Mike Conway, has undergone a major change of direction and is now targeting its services at Premiership footballers. Also on board is former Tottenham Hotspur player Les Ferdinand.

And Anthony Hamilton has also just got FIA and FOM approval for another venture. GP Prep is an attempt to provide teams needing experienced drivers, and with no realistic way of giving them that experience within the current rules, with a commercial alternative.

Drivers with sufficient experience in formulas including DTM, IndyCar or the now-defunct Champ Car, GP2, Formula Renault or Formula 3 will be eligible to take part in test sessions in F1 machinery, presumably at Silverstone since that is where the company is based.

It certainly shows the business instincts of the man who once took on multiple contracts to support his young son’s racing career are alive and well.

And Hamilton, facing a challenging year at McLaren with a promising car to go racing in, and the reigning world champion as a team-mate, will need to be on the top of his form too.

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