The driver market is like Jiffy Pop Popcorn, you hear a bunch of things happening under that magical tinfoil but you have no idea what the hell is going on in there. Such is the case with out good friend Lewis hamilton and his contract at McLaren. It’s starting to read like Tolkien’s chapters on Mordor to be honest. Ron Dennis says he’ll have to take a haircut, Whitmarsh says he’s not going to consider the teams poor form in his decision and that there is no hurry but he knows Lewis has a heart for the team and even Lewis himself suggesting he’s been there a long time and knows where the bodies are buried.
As I said, it’s becoming a tedious situation but then with a talent like Lewis, things are not as easy as spitting in your palm and shaking Ron Dennis’s hand until he grimaces while you grip and grin for photographers. No, this deal has all the earmarks of a traditional, emotional, gut-wrenching butt-pounding ride on the athlete, team and agent tour bus ride to hell. There are some lucky men in suits at 19 Entertainment group who will trip over the pounds and shillings (if they’re smart because it’s strong against the dollar) falling out of their pockets on the Hamilton deal. At least that’s what they would like to think.
Then there is the steely-eyed Ron Dennis who isn’t afraid to let a driver walk and figures the bad economy has to shed some reality on the Hamilton representatives at 19. He may be right but then they’ve sponsored Hamilton since he was a tike on a trike. Perhaps they should send Matt Bishop in to call them all F*^@#ers! That seemed to work on Ralf Schumacher.
Lewis told the Russian press that he is envisioning the summer break as the time to talk:
“We haven’t sat down and discussed anything yet but I’m sure over the summer break, when we have the summer break it would be nice to get something in place.”
“That would be a time when we can be more relaxed and make the most sensible decision for the future.”
That’s a nice and pleasant time to chat but keep in mind that in order to determine one’s future, they have to be part of a moving target at other teams should there be interest in leaving. Rumors say Lewis could be interested in Mercedes or even Ferrari but those teams have their own driver contracts to figure out so the whole dance is orchestrated in a elastic timeline that has elements of stall, push and fold to it.
For my money, Hamilton is perfect for McLaren and the team have been patient and amenable to his maturation process and even his bone-headed moves of youth. Now he’s driving well and acting well and not recording R&B records so it’s time for the duo to get on with winning titles.
Hamilton also has a good teammate and decent working conditions. It’s not like he’s polishing the inside of artillery shells at the age of 5 or sewing pant legs with his gnarled fingers at 10 years old, he’s got a nice office and team built just for him. He has a terrific engineering team and while the car is difficult this year and Red Bull have been dominant, nothing lasts forever and McLaren know what they’re doing even if Adrian Newey has Red Bull doing it better. In the end, Hamilton is a great match for a team, like Hamilton, that has serious talent and can deliver when the stakes are high.