Today big news broke in the F1 world. According to BBC analyst Eddie Jordan – former owner of Jordan F1 team – Lewis Hamilton is very close to agreeing a deal with Mercedes to drive for them next year, replacing Michael Schumacher who is expected to retire. This news comes following news in recent weeks that Lewis has been struggling to get McLaren to agree to his high wage demands which would make him the highest paid driver in the grid.
Now many people will take this news as a surprise – I for one – so lets discuss the reasons for the move. Remember it hasn’t been officially announced yet so we don’t know that this is definitely going to happen.
Reasons for the move:
- Mercedes have fallen a long way behind in the development race after starting brightly, this suggests that already the team has moved fully into 2013 car mode, in a move similar to what Ross Braun did in 2008 before the championship wins in 2009.
- Mercedes may be more willing to pay him high wages, McLaren have repeatedly told us that they can’t afford his wages, especially with McLaren having to pay for their Mercedes engines for the first time next year.
- Mercedes would need a big name to replace Schumacher, and Hamilton would definitely give them that.
What would be the immediate consequences of this move:
- Michael Schumacher would be retiring for the second time following a poor return to F1.
- Current Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg would almost certainly be sidelined to the 2nd driver spot, this could lead to him becoming unhappy and maybe wanting to leave the team.
- McLaren would need to replace Hamilton, the obvious choice is Paul Di Resta who is the only other Brit in F1 and could make it as a race winner. But other names should be put in the hat, ex-McLaren driver Kimi Raikkonen who McLaren negotiated with in 2010 before signing Button and Nico Hulkenburg, Paul’s Force India and arguably more talented teammate. For any of these three drivers to move McLaren would have to pay their current team compensation.
Reasons why it may not happen:
- Michael Schumacher may still want to stay in F1.
- Mercedes were set up to be a team to only use German drivers, I may not be the greatest geographer but I’m sure Stevenage isn’t in Germany.
- Hamilton has been with McLaren since he was 10, and only made it to F1 due to his McLaren backing, surely he feels he owes the team.
- If Mercedes give in to Hamilton’s wage demands it will make Lewis the highest paid driver in the field, is that value for money when there are more talented drivers who will be on smaller wages. (By smaller I mean only living on the ‘measly’ wage of £15 million a year).
With an announcement still to be made what do you think will happen, will Hamilton join Mercedes or will he stay with McLaren.