The words are coming fast and furious as to what will become of Lewis Hamilton. Many consider the deal done and the move to Mercedes as imminent and who can blame them for thinking this way. The faces at McLaren looked positively dour at Monza and there was no feeling of team at all. Heck, James Allen has Lewis already bunking up with Rosberg and putting his feet on the desk at Merc. I’m not saying it isn’t true but who really knows?
With that, AUTOSPORT quoted McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh as suggesting they have no back-up plan for a Hamilton departure:
“I haven’t given plan B any thought,” he said when asked about alternatives if a deal with Hamilton cannot be agreed. “We want Lewis to stay, and we want him to stay if he wants to stay.
“I’ve a number of priorities, in terms of when you are trying to win a championship, and you divide your time, energy and focus on those things.
“One of them is making the car faster, better; another is dealing with all the operational issues to make sure you don’t make mistakes, and the other is dealing with your own drivers.
“But rightly or wrongly I haven’t spent a lot of energy on that subject [of drivers].”
Now, I was born at night but it wasn’t last night and I’m not going to believe that McLaren have not looked at contingency plans. If they haven’t, they’re being completely silly and not the team I give them credit for. McLaren isn’t about Lewis Hamilton, it’s about McLaren and having a contingency plan is something the do during each race weekend.
Having said that, let’s assume that Hamilton is, indeed, going to Mercedes because he’s all about the brand and big bucks instead of loyalty and team. Let’s assume this is happening and Martin Whitmarsh, as well as McLaren, are engaged in pants-on-head lunacy by having no contingency plane. Who would you like to see at McLaren? Who would fit in? Don’t pick Alonso or someone under contract. Who could fill the role for 2013 with minimal contract issues? Let me throw a few names out to get things started:
Schumacher, Di Resta, Sutil, Kovalainen, Glock, Kubica, Bottas, Perez, Massa, Barrichello, Paul Charsley, Turvey, D’Ambrosio, Raikkonen.
Any ideas? Who would you suggest?