Sky Sports F1 ran a story today in which it quoted several newspapers suggesting where Lewis Hamilton may or may not go in 2013. The lingering question has galvanized the Formula One news cycle and for good reason…Lewis is a very good driver and has been nurtured at McLaren since he was 13-years-old so a departure is a big deal. Mercedes is said to be the team he’s speaking with and it’s really been left up to tea leaves, body language and speculation as to what decision he will actually make.
the story says that McLaren have upped the yearly salary in hopes of keeping Hamilton but no decision has ben made except to say that his body language at the Singapore Grand Prix was markedly better than that of the italian Grand Prix. What does all that mean? Your guess is as good as anyones and when it comes to anyone, perhaps formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone is one of the men you can count on for pot-stirring and bean-spilling. Sky quoted Ecclestone as saying:
“I don’t think Hamilton knows what he will do,” said Ecclestone. “These last couple or three races he has been doing very well. Before that, why he was upset I don’t know, but he was definitely going to move no matter what.
“He had made up his mind that he was going. Whether he has changed now a little bit I don’t know.”
With Red Bull the only team to declare their driver lineup for 2013, there are lots of moves to be made. Some suggest that Felipe Massa has done enough to secure his ride and other say that Sergio Perez should get a top ride along with Paul Di Resta. Others wonder in Heikki Kovalainen or Timo Glock will ever get another shot in a better car or if Michael Schumacher will ever retire. It’s all speculation but Hamilton has been dominating the entire silly season. At this point and with so many unanswered questions regarding driver lineups, do we really care where Lewis goes at this point?
If he stays, he’s with the team that gave him the chance to be the superstar he is. having strung them over the coals in contract negotiations, I’d say there will be some sour faces there as they would have expected more loyalty for the McLaren empire. If he goes to Mercedes, then you have the Schumacher issue and the quagmire of being at a team that does not yet look like it’s going to provide Lewis with the best car on the grid at the moment. It also says that money is more important than wins which is something Lewis cares very much about. He entered F1 boasting of future achievements and many had him beating Schumacher’s record three months into his first season.
So Lewis to Merc or Macca? Who cares at this point, I think there other moves that could be very intriguing for 2013. Namely Alonso’s teammate, Sauber’s plans, Lotus F1’s idea for drivers and more.I’m intrigued to see what happens to Charles Pic or Jean-Eric Vergne let alone what Williams F1 does (hint, he used to drive for you and his name is Nico…yes, pick one of the two). Red Bull had its act together and got the job done and you didn’t see Sebastian Vettel or Mark Webber making a huge production around their decision. Mark quietly spoke to Ferrari and decided it wasn’t going to happen. If rumors are true that Vettel has a contract already signed with Ferrari, you don’t him him crowing about it.
At this point it seems Lewis and his XIX Entertainment entourage are blazing new ground with a pop star management company in F1. Who knows, maybe they could get Lewis at Merc and a recording contract for Ross Brawn while they’re at it…Ross croons the 70’s ballads. I’ll be happy when Lewis makes up his mind only to then allow us to focus on things that aren’t as dog-eared as this story has become due to the XIX camp’s dawdling around and waiting for Ron Dennis to offer more money. I’ll be honest, if I were Ron, which I am not, I would feel betrayed but I am not sure I’d cave in and bend over backwards for Lewis. He’s a very talented young man and part of his long-overdue maturation process may be the need to be at another team…just as it was to be with another manager rather than his father. Hurry up Lewis, the rest of the adults are waiting to determine what they’ll be doing in 2013 so when you’re done hanging with Katy Perry, Flo Rida and Nicole, could you kindly let Ron know what you’re doing?