Hamilton not team favourite – Whitmarsh

Mon, 7 January 2008, 07:27

McLaren will not abandon the policy of treating its race drivers equally in 2008, managing director Martin Whitmarsh insisted on Monday.

At the launch of the team’s new car, the MP4-23, the Briton addressed speculation that Heikki Kovalainen has been signed as an unofficial ‘number two’ driver to support championship contender Lewis Hamilton this season.

In interviews prepared for the press for the launch event in Stuttgart, Kovalainen said his goal for the season was simply to “fight for a good position in the championship”. Hamilton, rather – runner-up in 2007 – stated his intention to “try to go one better and win the drivers’ world championship”.

But despite the turmoil of the warring teammates Hamilton and Fernando Alonso last year, Whitmarsh is adamant that the new lineup will also have equal billing in 2008.

“Last year we treated the drivers the same, and we will do so this season,” Whitmarsh is quoted as saying.

“We want to win the championship, we have no internal favourite. Both will have the same material and the same conditions.”

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