Reading and article over at the Daily Mail, I was considering the issue of contract renewal and Mercedes. The article quotes former Mercedes driver, Nico Rosberg, who joined the Sky Sports F1 team last weekend for color commentary.
In that broadcast he said:
‘I do think it matters. Lewis is convinced Toto is an integral part of the success of the team, which is true, because Toto absolutely is. And it’s not guaranteed that if Toto goes and there is a new leader that the stability remains.
‘Also, if Toto goes it could potentially have a spiralling effect. Many of the team leaders in key positions may say, “OK, it’s the end of an era, Toto’s going, I loved to work with him, let’s also move on to something new”. That could be a really bad turn of events for the team.’
There have been rumors of Toto joining his friend Lawrence Stroll over at Aston Martin and that his part ownership of Aston and the appointment of Vettel are all part of his ultimate arrival at the team. Those, it must be said are dots that have been connected but not verified.
The fact that neither Toto nor Lewis have agreed to new contracts is an interesting situation and some of the comments Toto has made add fuel to the rumor fire as it were.
‘With the schedule, we don’t have time to sit down with Lewis and have a chat, and it is the same for my own contract.
‘Things are happening in the background and are being negotiated, but it is not so simple.
‘From the Daimler side and for myself we want to continue to work in the partnership we have, and for Lewis he wants to be in the quickest car. We need to find the time to sit down and discuss it.’
I am not buying this explanation given the fact that they managed to get a contract done for Valtteri Bottas and getting Lewis secured would seem paramount. It’s not as if this season is a close run thing that occupies all of their time.
I suspect there are a lot of elements at play here and it was last weekend the news stories ran suggesting Lewis was close to signing an $120m contract extension with Mercedes. The hints and allegations are all over the board at this point but what do you think? Do you think Toto is leaving and if so, would he go to Aston Martin? He joined Mercedes when he was still a Williams F1 shareholder.
It’s a little more difficult for Lewis because he wants eight titles and who can blame him. His best bet would be to stay with Mercedes even sans Toto because the regulations aren’t changing for next year. A one year deal would be optimum but perhaps he’s fine with a 2-3 year deal even without Toto if the money is big enough? What do you think?