Why two top drivers are better than one

Why two top drivers are better than one

Tony Dodgins weighs up the pros and cons of McLaren's decision to pair the last two world champions as team-mates

There was no hiding the excitement when the covers came off the new McLaren MP4-25 at Vodafone's Newbury HQ last Friday. With 2008 king Lewis Hamilton joined by 2009 champion Jenson Button, it will be the first time that two consecutive world champions have driven for the same F1 team. And there's no denying it, the inter-team dust-up here is one of the juiciest plums of a potentially terrific 2010 world championship.

One of the reasons I happen to think that Jean Todt could turn out to be a tremendously effective FIA president is that, work ethic apart, the two principal traits he displayed while masterminding unprecedented success at Ferrari were pragmatism and single-mindedness. Todt happened to think that the best way to win world championships was to put the team effort behind a clear #1 and he would not deviate. Austria 2002 told you all you needed to know about that. It's sound strategy undoubtedly, so long as the #1 doesn't hurt himself like Schumacher did in 1999, but it's just not very exciting, especially if you have a dominant car.

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