Sir Jackie Stewart spoke this weekend at the AUTOSPORT Show International and offered a warning to Lewis Hamilton regarding his move to MErcedes in 2013. The former Formula One driver and 3-time champion cautioned Hamilton that moving to a manufacturer could be a risky venture in the long run. The reason is quite simple, carmakers are in the sport to win and if they don’t, they leave. Stewart said:
“That’s the risk. If for whatever reason, they do not win, it’s a five-minute board meeting decision with a bunch of people on the board who are not passionate about motorsport.”
There is precedent for this as Sir Jackie knows. Mercedes has come and gone before in F1 and so has BMW, Toyota, Honda and Ford in recent years. In fact, the Mercedes team is actually the remaining vestiges of what was once the Honda F1 team.
Is Lewis running the risk of instantly being out of a ride? That may all depend on if the team can get him to the front quickly enough to keep the Merc board happy. If they struggle, like they have been the past three years, then there could be a decision that would leave Hamilton looking for a top ride and it would be difficult to find one if contracts are all locked up at McLaren, Ferrari and Red Bull.
Time will tell and if Hamilton has anything to say about it, Mercedes will be winning as soon as 2013 but they face stiff competition on and off the track.