McLaren’s managing director Jonathan Neale is stepping up and saying, “Our bad,” over the team’s tire strategy for Lewis Hamilton at the Australian GP.
Yep, the strategy that caused Lewis to over the radio — aka publicly — pronounce the team a bunch of idiots.
Here’s Neale via the BBC:
“I completely understand why Lewis was frustrated.
“Every time Lewis comes in he has left nothing on the circuit and it is up to us to step up and follow him.”
“We don’t end up being bruised about it,” said Neale.
“If our driver is frustrated because we have done something, made a mistake or put him in a situation that is difficult in the race, then we have to look at ourselves and say ‘did we do the best to get the job done for him?’
“If the driver is frustrated, it is our job to do something better to support them.
“Do I think with the benefit of hindsight we got that wrong in Melbourne? Yes.
“But that’s just the way it is when you get split-second or 30-second decisions to make.
“We go to Malaysia with Lewis very much a man on a mission.”
It sounds like Todd’s pronouncements on the podcast that Lewis would show up with something to prove are right. (Although I had to love that he only slotted Lewis third, behind Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso. I doubt a podium is going to placate Hamilton.)
I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that Lewis might be smarter than all of us who are arguing about how he’s “done” or a “d!(khead” or anything else. Seems to me that his comments might have been more calculated and well-thought than we have given them credit for being. He’s getting just what he wants (if we can trust Neale): The team to focus on him.
And who loses when McLaren is rushing around trying to make Lewis happy?
McLaren, at this juncture, is definitely the team to watch in Sepang. I’d pronounce the team at a steady simmer and ready to boil over at any moment.