x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Lewis Hamilton and father Anthony end managerial relationship

One of the closest partnerships in Formula One ends as Lewis Hamilton and his father part company due to Anthony's growing business interests.

LONDON // Lewis Hamilton is looking for a new manager after he and his father Anthony decided to call time on one of the closest partnerships in Formula One. McLaren's 2008 world champion, whose career has been guided by his father since he started out in karting at eight years old, said that both felt the moment had come for the relationship to change. "We've been discussing it for a while and it's only just come out now that we are going to be making some changes," the 25-year-old driver said.

"There's no need to rush, but at some stage I will find a new manager." Hamilton, who will be partnered at McLaren by compatriot and current world champion Jenson Button when the season starts in Bahrain on March 14, said the decision was more due to his father's increasing business interests than any desire to strike out as his own man. "He's building his sports management business, it's growing really fast right now," he said. "I feel he should focus his full attention on that."

Hamilton senior's interests include managing the Force India reserve driver Paul di Resta and the teenage Dutch go-karter Nyck de Vries. He also has some work in football and is setting up an academy to give aspiring youngsters a taste of Formula One cars. "For me, he's done his job. Our goal was always to get to Formula One and be world champion," said Hamilton. "I couldn't have done it without him."

"He's been to every race in my whole life. I don't know anyone who could say their dad has been there every single race," he added. "Whilst I can drive, there's no way in this world I would be here if it wasn't for him ? the decisions he helped me make, the routes that he took and the effort that he put into it." Hamilton said he would still benefit from his father's advice but looked forward to being able to lead a normal father-son relationship with him.

"It's definitely going to feel weird at the first couple of races but I feel positive about it and I think hopefully in the future it will feel really comfortable," he added. * Reuters