McLaren: Force India deal no distraction
|By Edd Straw and Jonathan Noble||Monday, November 10th 2008, 14:39 GMT|
McLaren have promised Lewis Hamilton that their new technical partnership deal with Force India will not be a distraction in their bid to win more world championships.
Just more than one week since Hamilton clinched the title at the Brazilian Grand Prix, McLaren have announced an extensive five-year link-up with Force India.
And although the move potentially means McLaren focusing resources on helping getting Force India get up to speed, the team's F1 CEO Martin Whitmarsh thinks the efforts will actually make them stronger in the future.
"McLaren have, over the years, been accused of being distracted by a whole range of different issues," he told autosport.com. "Our view is simple: if you put any resource into not winning the next race then arguably you are distracted.
"When I joined McLaren we were probably a third of the size of Force India today and we've done many things which arguably were a short-term distraction, but they have helped to grow the capability and strength of our organisation.
"We want to be a major player in this sport and to contribute to its health and well being. Our core business is motorsport and that's what we are focusing on. I expect us to be strong. I expect that the people who are involved in the McLaren group will grow and develop in this environment.
"We are going to learn lessons by looking over the shoulder of Force India. I believe that we will become stronger as a consequence of this. I would not have gone into this partnership unless I believed it was going to help us to win world championships in the future.
"Lewis is at the start of his career, he's still a very young man and I'm sure he's going to win more world championships with us in the coming years. All the things that we have done have contributed to the breadth and the development of our management team and of our business. I believe that, otherwise I wouldn't have done this. McLaren exists to win in Formula One."
Whitmarsh admitted that he would have been unable to get the Force India deal go-ahead from his team unless it boosted competitiveness, as well as brought in extra finance.
"At the end of the day we're a private business. I report to the shareholders and they have got two checks to make of me.
"One, is it going to help us to win the world championship? And the second one, is it going to make some money? Unless I could go to them and say yes and yes I wouldn't have taken the proposition to them."