Hamilton defends management team

Lewis Hamilton has once again embarked upon a robust defence of his management team XIX Entertainment.

Formula 1 News: Lewis Hamilton, McLaren

Run by Simon Fuller, XIX Entertainment were heavily criticised on numerous occasions during the 2011 season for seemingly failing to support Hamilton as he endured what has been a tough campaign.

Following a lengthy period running his own affairs after splitting from father Anthony as his manager early last year, Hamilton opted for XIX as he felt they afforded him a bright future in, and away from, F1.

However, the fact Fuller maintained his traditional low profile with a client - attending only two races all season - suggested the relationship was not particularly cosy.

On Monday, The Guardian printed an interview with Bernie Ecclestone in which the F1 supremo described Hamilton's decision to team up with Fuller as "a disaster".

Assessing the handling of Hamilton's personal life this year, a forthright Ecclestone added: "A lot to do with these things, it depends an awful lot on the people you surround yourself with, and who are in a position to influence you.

"I think he just fell into a lot of people that I think weren't good for him."

Hamilton, however, has staunchly defended XIX all year, and did so again recently - prior to Ecclestone's remarks - saying they have been a force for good since he signed with them in March.

"I think this year XIX have taken a huge amount of criticism which has been massively unfair and that's a lot to do with me, my fault really," the McLaren driver told SpeedTV.

"They've wanted to be here every single race, they've been nothing but supportive.

"I control it and I decided not to have them at every race because I wanted to be on my own at some races. For the future I'll have them at every race.

"But they've taken negative criticism and they're still there supporting me.

"They've never ever had any impact on my thought process of how I handle things. I've really taken that all on board myself."

With hindsight, the 2008 world champion believes he could have used XIX far more effectively than he did, and again has proposed change for the future.

Hamilton added: "This year I've not used the resources that I have to the optimum.

"They've been there to help and I've not used them when I needed them.

"But I know that moving forward it will be a successful relationship and partnership. I think they're fantastic.

"Recently I had lunch with Simon in New York and I loved it. He's a really fantastic guy.

"I couldn't be happier with the decision I've made because I've some incredible people around me and I'm really looking forward to the future."

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