Lewis Hamilton lacked freedom of expression at McLaren

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McLaren's guidelines meant drivers like Lewis Hamilton lacked the freedom to express themselves, Kevin Magnussen claims.

Always known for his clean-cut image under Ron Dennis, the real Hamilton was unleashed upon his move to Mercedes with his off-track celebrity status increasing and even within the F1 paddock, he brought his dog Roscoe to races and is often seen zipping around on a scooter.

“McLaren expected a certain type of behaviour from us, a certain attitude, they created drivers, so to speak,” Magnussen told RacingNews365.

“Lewis Hamilton is the perfect example of a driver who couldn’t express himself at McLaren. Freedom was taken from Lewis.

“Sometimes, you have to compare drivers to musicians or artists – they need space to come up with brilliant things.

“If you put a label on a driver he can’t remove, it can be tricky.”

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The Dane had the same experience upon following the Briton up the ranks at McLaren, eventually gaining his chance in 2014 only to be dropped after a single season.

A return with Renault in 2016 was disappointing but he has found a new lease of life at Haas the past two seasons with Magnussen also wanting to reveal his true self.

“Of course, I miss the people who work at McLaren sometimes and I can’t complain about my time there, but for my personal growth it’s good that I’m no longer with the team,” he admitted.