Good inter-team relationship key for Hamilton at Mercedes

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Lewis Hamilton has stressed the importance of a good working relationship with your teammate as the Formula One world casts its opinion on Ferrari’s decision to sign Kimi Raikkonen for 2014.

Raikkonen will work alongside Fernando Alonso at the team, with Hamilton having partnered the Spaniard during his debut season at McLaren in 2007. Hamilton’s pace came as a surprise to many, particularly Alonso who believed that the team was favoring the British driver. As a result, Alonso left after just one season and returned to Renault. Speaking from experience, Hamilton believes that it is key to get on with your teammate.

“I think always in whatever team you’re in – whether it’s football or basketball – you’ve got to have that good communication and you’ve got to help create good ambience in the team, and that’s largely to do with people like Ross but also the two drivers make quite a big impact on that,” Hamilton said in response to NBC Sports’ question about inter-team relations. “It’s good that me and Nico get along well, I think the energy we send out to the team and the atmosphere that we help create really levels the team and gives them that positive energy.”

Hamilton admitted that there is always a desire to beat your teammate, but he affirmed that the collective effort at Mercedes must always come first.

“We’ve got two great drivers. They get on well, they know their stuff, and they’re on it. We don’t have that battle internally from my side of the garage to his. Obviously deep down inside everyone want to beat the other, but we don’t make it a personal thing. At the end of the day, we want to win for the team.”

Hamilton is chasing his second victory in Singapore this weekend, having won the race back in 2009 for McLaren.

IndyCar: Schmidt Peterson Motorsports expands mentoring program for tech school students

Photos: Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
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IndyCar team Schmidt Peterson Motorsports announced today that it is extending and widening a unique sponsorship and mentoring program that began last season with students from Lincoln Technical Institute.

The program began last year, with students from several Lincoln Tech branches attending select IndyCar events for an entire weekend.

The students, primarily from auto and diesel training programs, got an insiders experience with the team, taking part in team meetings, watching team workers prepare and service the No. 5 Arrow Electronics Honda of driver James Hinchcliffe, sat on pit boxes during practices, qualifying and, of course races.

The overall experience was to get students more interested and involved in potential careers in the IndyCar field.

“We said at the beginning of last season that we knew our students would benefit and learn from the professionalism and drive of the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team,” Lincoln Tech President and CEO Scott Shaw said. “But the experience they received working with the entire pit crew team and in particular crew member Cole Jagger – a Lincoln Tech graduate himself – went beyond even our own expectations.

“We were grateful for the time they spent mentoring our students, and we are thrilled to once again be part of the racing legacy of team owners Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson.”

Lincoln Tech will once again serve as an associate sponsor on Hinchcliffe’s car for the entire 2018 IndyCar season. In addition, it is expanding its Mentor Program to select students to attend a minimum of nine IndyCar races from six last season.

Students are selected based upon their grade point average, attendance, conduct and overall commitment to becoming outstanding automotive technicians. An interest in IndyCar and a desire to work in the industry is also considered.

One student that took part last season, Tyler Crist of Lincoln Tech’s Denver campus, joined the team at the IndyCar race in Long Beach last April, watching as Hinchcliffe won the event.

“It was the best weekend of my life,” Crist said after the event. “It reminded me of why I joined this field in the first place and to never give up on my dreams.”

Jagger will oversee the expanded mentoring program this season. For Jagger, being involved especially hits home, as he is a graduate of Lincoln Tech’s Indianapolis campus.

“I totally enjoyed working with the Lincoln Tech students that participated in the Mentor Program last year and look forward to meeting this year’s group,” Jagger said. “Being a Lincoln Tech grad, I hope the students realize that if you have a passion for cars, a career in racing is something that’s not out of reach. If I can be an example for them to follow, that makes it even more rewarding.”

In addition to the at-track activities of the mentoring program, several Lincoln Tech branches across the country will utilize CNC computerized machining and manufacturing tools to assist in creating car parts for SPM.

“Through this unique partnership, we’re able to hopefully find the next class of talent that could one day be part of our organization,” SPM president Jon Flack said. “We’re looking forward to another year of the mentorship program and having their students be ‘boots on the ground’ gaining real-life experience with our team.”

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