You have to have confidence in your employees. Anyone in a management position can tell you that and it seems McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh has just that. In fact, he has massive confidence when your two drivers are the best in the world. According to ITV:
“I’m told I sometimes over-use the phrase ‘fantastic job’ when describing the performances of Lewis and Jenson, but I make no apology whatsoever for using that phrase again,” said Whitmarsh.
“Yes, Lewis and Jenson did indeed do a fantastic job in Montreal.
“They drove with controlled aggression when it was needed, tempered by patience and discipline when those qualities were required.
“I firmly believe that Vodafone McLaren Mercedes has the two best racing drivers in the world today.”
I think it’s terrific that drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button have had a great weekend. In fact, I gave my “drive of the race” award to Hamilton for the very same reason Whitmarsh explained (no, I said it before this quote came out).
Hamilton drove a superb race with controlled aggression, patience and calm in the face of confusion. I was very impressed by both drivers. Whitmarsh was too.
The best drivers in the world? One can forgive the bias as their boss but I am not sure I would go quite that far. There are too many fantastic drivers in the world to be throwing comments like that around…unless you’re the boss of McLaren and you just finished 1,2 in Canada.
I think it’s very nice of Whitmarsh to feel confident in his drivers and it’s important they also feel Whitmarsh is behind them and rates them as the best. I also think Alonso, Rosberg, Vettel, Kubica, Schumacher, McNish, Kristensen, Loeb, Franchitti and Raikkonen are all some of the best in the world too.
What I will concede is that for McLaren, at this moment, Button and Hamilton are the best they’ve had for some time. I will also say that running nose-to-tail in the points has presented the team with some harmony but should one start to consistently outpace the other, there is plenty of room to throw the toys from the pram.
The year isn’t over and I sense that the harmonious nature of the drivers is tempered by the relative pace and results. When that ceases, so do the nice feelings.
Having said that, what a brilliant race McLaren had this weekend. The patience, aggression and maturity both drivers displayed was nothing short of brilliant. I would also like to give a nod to Button as I think he has and will be a terrific influence on Hamilton not only in pressuring him to perform (as if Hamilton needed that) but in how to be patient and conserve a car.
In short, yeah, I’d say McLaren has the two best drivers in the world…for McLaren anyway.