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Sunday, 17 April 2011

Lewis Hamilton Leaving?

When a sports star starts to slip behind his peers he generally looks for a move.

For example, a football player who is replaced in the first team by a colleague whether taken off the field prematurely, or used a substitute only.

Left alone, feelings of neglect are often easily dissipated by being back in the first choice line up again in a team sport or another win in an individual one.  However in these days of ever more professional management, a need is cultivated to be first, visible, winning.  Sponsors need to be appeased and brand links require prominence and media exposure.

It is in this environment that Manchester United players leave for Real Madrid and F1 drivers move to other teams.

One of Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp's strengths is noted to be making his players feel wanted, important, even when they don't make the first team starting line up.  Other managers make it clear that the team is the thing and individuals need to fit in to whatever suits the team's best interests.

So when celebrity management moves into sport, the concept of 'the joy of taking part' and being loyal to the team comes into conflict with the need to promote the individual.

It is in this context that sportsmen say there is no interest in being with a team for life.  Exceptions like Ryan Giggs are rare.  Transfers make headlines and money for management and the individual.  He needs to be publicised as a winner.

That is why Lewis Hamilton will find it hard to tolerate being led by his team mate in the last race or being behind him on the grid in China.  A move may become inevitable if the season continues in this way.

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