New evidence has come to light that Martin Whitmarsh, team principal of the McLaren F1 team has had his head turned by the good looking Jenson Button. Back in 2009, when Whitmarsh signed Button, his first signing as Team principal, Whitmarsh described his two drivers as “disturbingly good looking”, an odd choice of words to describe racing drivers. It soon became apparent which driver was 'disturbing' Mr. Whitmarsh, as he heaped praises on Button, gazed at him fondly and cried when he won a GP. Hamilton, the driver of the other Mclaren, known for his speed and audacious overtaking, was often mentioned in interviews as an afterthought, Whitmarsh even went so far as to suggest suggested that Hamilton “could learn a lot from Button”.
Subsequently Hamilton left Mclaren and now drives for Mercedes, but a recently leaked conversation from the McLaren pitwall at the 2011 Suzuka GP in Japan, confirms the extent to which Martin’s actions are governed by his feelings for Button.
The following transcript is the original. The abbreviations for the participants are as follows.
MW = Martin Whitmarsh HE = Hamilton’s engineer BE = Button’s engineer H = Hamilton
H: Something’s wrong. I’m losing time to Vettel and Jenson’s catching me. The car isn’t handling.
HE: Understood Lewis. (To Whitmarsh) Lewis is falling back, he might have a problem. Jenson has halved the gap to him.
MW: Jenson is a bloody good driver! Bloody good!
HE: Yes but the cars not handling, there’s something wrong.
MW: It’s just Lewis, he can’t manage the tyres. He could learn something from Jenson. Jenson’s a bloody good driver.
HE: Jenson is right behind Lewis now.
MW: What! (grabs microphone) Listen! Jenson is faster than you! Do you understand? Jenson is faster than you!
H: I know. I’m about to let him past. I’ve got a puncture.
MW: Stop whining.
MW: (to Button) Well done my boy! You’re a bloody good driver. You’ve done some of the best drives in the history of F1!
HE: He’s got a puncture, can we bring him in?
MW: Not yet. Jenson might need to pit. The RB’s are heavy on tyres, if Vettel comes in we have to cover him.
BE: Its ok Jenson won’t need to pit for a few more laps.
MW: Ok you’d better bring lewis in. He’s been nothing but trouble this year. He should learn from Jenson. All we need now is another clash with Massa.
A few laps later
HE: Er, Martin….
Martin turns from Button’s screen to Hamilton’s, where he has just clashed with Massa.
MW: Oh for fuck’s sake!