Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

Hamilton and Button help McLaren's marketing hit the road // Yet more video genius from the McLaren drivers

Published by Christine

Right, now, this is just getting silly. We can't go around posting the McLaren videos every time they come out, but they are too good to ignore. Fresh from building a car, and getting nostalgic about Ye Olde McLarens, Hamilton and Button are back for their next adventure. This time, they're taking to the road... in a VW camper van.

Lewis chats to Jenson in the Vodafone camper van.
Lewis chats to Jenson in the Vodafone camper van.Credit: Vodafone UK

The two boys take a bright red van from the McLaren Technology Centre to Silverstone, passing through a petrol station along the way. They surprise the other visitors to the station with autographs, and with free tickets to the British Grand Prix this weekend. They're also genuinely happy, smiling, funny and warm as they go about their duties.

So, are you thinking what I'm thinking? What has happened to McLaren and when did they get so cool? For the longest time, we've seen the team as rather stuffy, a bit uptight, and generally not that forward thinking when it comes to promoting the brand. A couple of years ago, we were worried that all original thinking had completely disappeared from the team.

What a turnaround! Something has happened to bring the team a fresh perspective, one that wants to bring the fans in, give us an insight into the relationship between the pair, and generally just be quite fun.

It puts pay to all those miserable rumours about rivalries within the team. Of course they want to beat each other, but they're clearly quite capable of having a good laugh about it as they go.

This year, everything seems to have clicked into place at the team. Two teammates that get on, are very personable and more importantly, marketable, a reasonably fast car (although not so far this weekend!) and some great promotional strategies all combine to make great things. If I had a Christine's Team Rankings, they would be number one.

It's all very strange, because as many people have noticed, Red Bull were the 'cool' team up until very recently. I had a bit of a break from F1, and when I returned to watch qualifying I was surprised to find an enormously grumpy Vettel, and a Hamilton who would push his car down the track for the fans entertainment. Instead of Whitmarsh bumbling through some tricky situations, we've got Horner putting his foot in it when his drivers cause controversy. How quickly the tables have turned. The question is, when will they turn again?