Martin Whitmarsh has backed Lewis Hamilton’s decision earlier this year to tread a new path in his professional career.
The 2008 world champion’s split with his manager and father Anthony was reported as a significant disruption in his life, but team boss Whitmarsh indicated that it was not the only step taken by the 25-year-old for his future.
“Lewis was in bits at the start of the year,” he is quoted by the Telegraph.
“But it was always going to come about because he was suffocated to an extent by his dad and Ron (Dennis).”
Dennis, Whitmarsh’s predecessor and long-time McLaren chief, groomed and nurtured Hamilton from his first signature on a team contract as a boy.
“They (Anthony Hamilton and Dennis) would hate to think it, but they are quite similar characters,” said Whitmarsh. “They are controlling influences.”
But now on his own, Hamilton’s next step is the likely appointment of a global management giant to expand his image and marketability beyond the F1 paddock.
“There is concern (about that),” Whitmarsh admitted, adding that there are “vulnerabilities” in Hamilton’s makeup.
“When he establishes the management structure he wants – and I hope he does it during the winter as I do not want it to be a distraction – then I hope they keep it simple,” said the Briton.
“Lewis could rewrite the F1 record books. He could become the greatest ever,” claimed Whitmarsh.
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