Lewis Hamilton has backed team principal Ross Brawn, amid speculation the Mercedes team boss is set to be replaced by McLaren’s Paddy Lowe.
Former technical director Lowe is already on ‘gardening leave’ from his duties at McLaren, and tipped to take over Brawn’s management and technical responsibilities at some point in the foreseeable future.
Indeed, the German squad’s new director Toto Wolff hinted recently that Lowe is in fact Brawn’s “successor”, even though pole for Hamilton in China last week might have changed things a bit.
“What happens with Lowe does not mean that Ross will be leaving us,” Wolff said in Shanghai.
Now, 2008 world champion Hamilton has come out fighting for Brawn, insisting he wants to continue to work with the 58-year-old Briton because of the good working environment he has created.
“I signed with Ross being here and I’m very happy working with him and the great relationship we are building,” the former McLaren driver said in Bahrain.
“Inevitably at some stage he’ll want to stop. Who knows when that’ll be. I hope it’s not too soon and I hope we get to have many victories together.”
Hamilton suggested he admired Brawn’s fighting spirit not only to improve Mercedes’ form but also stay at the helm despite an apparent power struggle with the team’s new guard.
“He has absolutely proved a point,” said Hamilton. “He’s shown even though he’s been in the business a long time he still has that fighting spirit and stuck it out and now it’s coming good.”
Meanwhile, Fernando Alonso suggested it is Hamilton who is the key to Mercedes’ boosted form in 2013, having arrived from McLaren over the winter.
“Last year,” said the Spaniard, “Lewis put McLaren in a very competitive position and now he is putting Mercedes in a very competitive position, so he’s proving his talent once more.”
And Hamilton has returned the compliment, admitting Alonso is going to be hard to beat for the 2013 title after winning in China.
“The best driver has got the quickest car at the moment so that is going to be tough to beat,” he said. (GMM)