McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton faces a challenging season like all the drivers on the 2012 Formula One grid. Hamilton has a new look to his management team that should help him cope with F1's adversities and this comes as good news for fans who watched the young champion struggle in 2011.
XIX management has retained the services of Didier Coton for 2012 as part of Lewis's management team. Coton has worked in F1 for a long time having managed the career of Mika Hakkinen. Hamilton said:
"They are committed to creating a team that will help me achieve my ambitions."
When Hamilton chose XIX as his management team it was questioned in the F1 media as XIX had no history of handling driver's career in Formula One. Like all sports, F1 has its nuance and the concern was that Hamilton's new management company may be able to make stars of singers but could it truly represent a young champion in the formative years of his life?
If 2011 was any indicator, perhaps they weren't best positioned to help Hamilton stay focused. While the 2008 champion had a good year, it was argued that it was also his worst year since becoming a race car driver. There were myriad reasons given as to his struggles in 2011 but perhaps the most public reason was his on/off relationship with Nicole Scherzinger and the Hollywood crowd.
If XIX were fully capable of managing a high-profile Formula One champion, they would have no need for bringing in Coton and yet the other side of that coin is that XIX is capable of managing his career because they have brought Coton in and applied resources where they feel they need them. That's certainly good news and a good move on XIX's part.
Somewhere in between being a world champion and being a young man discovering life is the critical pressure points of success and failure. This is where XIX is to really apply its skills and Coton is a terrific guy to help manage the grey areas and help Hamilton find his ground again. In my estimation, XIX has made the right move and I applaud them for it.
Follow Todd McCandless on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@formula1blog