Ex-McLaren mechanic reveals engineers ‘fought not to work on Lewis Hamilton’s car’

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LEWIS HAMILTON could have been underestimated by McLaren earlier than his debut season in F1.

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Former McLaren mechanic Marc Priestley claims that the crew fought to keep away from Lewis Hamilton throughout his rookie season in favour of working with Fernando Alonso. The Brit defied expectations by going near the world title in his first 12 months as an F1 driver, regardless of having teamed up with a reigning double world champion. 

Hamilton was formidable on his rise by way of the motorsport ranks, successful a title in every of the 4 years earlier than he was promoted to F1. The stress was nonetheless enormous upon becoming a member of McLaren, nonetheless, the place he raced alongside some of the fearsome opponents in Alonso. 

The Brit has since gone on to have a glittering profession within the sport, boasting seven Championships to Alonso’s two. Priestley outlined the extent to which mechanics and engineers underestimated the newcomer as they actively fought to work for his team-mate in 2007. 

“The mechanics and engineers fought amongst themselves to work in Fernando’s storage,” Priestley advised the Pitlane Life Classes podcast. “Individuals did not wish to work on Hamilton’s automobile, as a result of they did not anticipate a lot from him.”

Ex-McLaren mechanic reveals engineers 'fought not to work on Lewis Hamilton's car'

Lewis Hamilton was underestimated by McLaren mechanics and engineers, in keeping with Marc Priestley (Picture: GETTY)

With 12 podiums and 4 wins in his debut 12 months, Hamilton sensationally completed degree on factors with Alonso and just one level behind eventual world champion Kimi Raikkonen. The Stevenage-born star would go one higher the next 12 months when he claimed his first Drivers’ Championship on the age of 23. 

That was to be his solely particular person title with McLaren as, in 2013, he raised eyebrows by becoming a member of up with Mercedes. The Silver Arrows delivered on their guarantees in his second season, and 6 titles in seven years drew Hamilton alongside Michael Schumacher because the joint-most adorned F1 driver of all time. 

A full 15 years after Hamilton was the unfancied pupil alongside the seasoned Alonso, the roles have been reversed this season with Mercedes. George Russell was anticipated to path his vastly skilled team-mate after making the step up from Williams, however he has opened up a staggering 23-point hole after 5 races. 

Whereas Russell will certainly be delighted at how he has stacked up towards his Silver Arrows accomplice to this point, a lot in the identical means Hamilton would have been when he gave Alonso a run for his cash in 2007, the teen has not been shy at voicing his issues over Mercedes’ efficiency points. Pink Bull and Ferrari look set to interrupt clear within the Constructors’ Championship having proven the form of tempo Mercedes can solely dream of at this stage of the season. 

Ex-McLaren mechanic reveals engineers 'fought not to work on Lewis Hamilton's car'

George Russell’s spectacular kind has left Lewis Hamilton in an uncommon place (Picture: GETTY)

“On the finish of the day there is no such thing as a completely satisfied or not completely satisfied second in the mean time simply because we’re a bit down,” mentioned crew boss Toto Wolff in Miami. “We’re third quickest on the highway and we’re in no man’s land.

“We had a great Friday. We have to dissect why that was after which come again. That is the place we’re. We’re not as fast in qualifying and we’re behind the Pink Bulls and Ferrari.”

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