Lewis Hamilton says Didier Coton's experience of Formula 1 and the McLaren operation will be a big asset to his management team.
Simon Fuller's XIX Entertainment company, which looks after Hamilton's affairs, announced yesterday that Coton – formerly two-time World Champion Mika Hakkinen's manager – would be joining the team behind Hamilton this season.
"I thought it was a good idea. Me and Simon wanted to strengthen the team a little bit, and we wanted someone who could potentially have a bit more racing experience," Hamilton explained. "Didier's been a good friend of mine for many years and he's got great experience of my team and the F1 paddock. I thought it would be good to have him just there when I need him. That's generally what he's there for."
Hamilton insisted he was not implying that XIX was short of motorsport expertise.
"Simon knows quite a bit about Formula 1. He was here back in the day with BAR," said the McLaren driver. "It was not necessarily having someone who knows more about Formula 1, but having someone there who I can offload a lot of stuff to. Last year I didn't always have someone there. I wanted to make it our goal to make sure we have someone there at grands prix. And we have Didier."
Near the end of a troubled 2011 season, Hamilton said he wanted to emulate the "great bubble" of people his McLaren teammate Jenson Button had around him, and felt the appointment of Coton was part of this process.
"It's definitely a step toward that direction," said Hamilton. "I think I'm closer to having that already."