Hamilton expects McLaren deal in summer break

F1 Fanatic round-up

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Silverstone, 2012In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton expects to get a new McLaren deal signed in August.

Links

Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Lewis Hamilton says McLaren contract to be decided during summer break (The Guardian)

“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.”

Whitmarsh: FIA must be part of F1 deal (Autosport)

“You can have a purely commercial agreement [between the teams and Ecclestone], but if you are competing in the FIA championship then if you don’t have a tripartite agreement it can be inherently confusing.”

BBC saves ??150m in Formula 1 deal with Sky (The Telegraph)

“Chief operating officer of the BBC news group Dominic Coles: ‘It is quite possible the sport may have ended up exclusively on pay TV if we had not successfully negotiated the deal.'”

German Grand Prix Preview (HRT)

“Dani Clos will step into the F112 once more for the first free practice session on Friday and for the third time this season will join Pedro de la Rosa on the track. Narain Karthikeyan, who didn?t take part in last year?s German Grand Prix, will return to the cockpit in FP2.”

Bruno Senna Receives the Lorenzo Bandini Trophy (Williams)

Bruno Senna: “It’s a huge honour to be chosen to receive such a prestigious award. I’ve seen some of the names who have won this in the past and what they have gone on to achieve in their careers, so let’s hope this is just the start of greater things for me too.”

Russia promises ‘top-class’ F1 circuit (ESPN)

Mikhail Kapirulin, director general circuit constructors Omega: “We solved all the problems in projecting the track. We’re building the track in tight co-operation with our colleagues, who are building Olympic venues in Sochi. It makes us confident that we will build a top-class racing track in Sochi. It will be a great track.”

Comment of the day

Thoughts on Maria de Villota’s crash from Chris_H:

You would find trucks and race cars mixed together in the paddock of almost all club racing and a lot of national and international series.

I work for a team which race in a support series for the British F3 and British GT series, and its common place to see race cars driving around the paddock maneuvering around trucks with the tail lifts at all manner of angles and heights. On many occasions I?ve had to thread one of our cars between trucks and team vehicles, with people also walking with little care for the vehicles trying to get through.

Unfortunately motor racing by its nature is unsafe, whether that be at top speed on the track or much slower through the paddock.
Chris_H

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Ten years ago today Renault team boss Flavio Briatore confirmed the team’s test driver Fernando Alonso would race in 2003.

Alonso drove for the team and quickly delivered on his promise with pole position in the Malaysian Grand Prix and eventually a maiden F1 win in Hungary.

Image ?? McLaren/Hoch Zwei

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104 comments on Hamilton expects McLaren deal in summer break

  1. Calum (@calum) said on 17th July 2012, 0:10

    Alonso – Ferrari
    Hamilton – Mclaren
    Vettel – RedBull Racing

    It would be fantastic for F1 if the three best drivers were signed up at three differant top teams all competing for wins. Don’t rob us F1 fans of some great 3-way battles over the next few years, Lewis – sign for Mclaren asap!

    • Traverse Mark Senior (@) said on 17th July 2012, 1:01

      I agree with you (although it would be interesting to see if Alonso could handle having an equally talented driver alongside him at Ferrari). When it comes to driver selection the best formula for success is when a team has a clearly defined number 1 and 2 hierarchy, e.g., Alonso and Massa, Hamilton and *cough* Jenson.

    • Macca (@macca) said on 17th July 2012, 2:02

      That would be a good comment if Hamilton was in the top 3 drivers on the grid.

    • Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 17th July 2012, 3:28

      Umm that is the current situation and as it stands, those drivers already belong to those teams. Vettel is behind his team mate who is also in front Lewis. There has been times this year when the Mclaren was clearly the best car and they haven’t been able to produce the results. RB and Ferrari how ever have worked well with what they have, especially Ferrari. Lotus have a great car with an evolving team which will soon get it right. I’m not sold on the fact that Mclaren in the best deal for Lewis.

      • Kimi4WDC said on 17th July 2012, 8:41

        Hamilton will be as good as he is now at any team. I mean he won’t have any troubles finding what car is capable of in any team he is one of the best drivers on grid. Everything else is speculation.

  2. Brownerboy (@brownerboy) said on 17th July 2012, 0:12

    This is expected, his only real option at red bull is gone.

  3. HoHum (@hohum) said on 17th July 2012, 0:28

    So the music continues until Schui grabs a chair, or has Webber signing with RBR again just made it to difficult for Hamilton to gain any concessions from McL.

    • Paul (@vodaclone) said on 17th July 2012, 0:57

      I don’t think Mercedes is somewhere Hamilton wants to be right now. They’re not exactly lighting up the time-sheets.

      • suka (@suka) said on 17th July 2012, 6:19

        But they could well be, pretty soon. If I were him, I would go take Schumacher’s seat if vacant.

        • Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 17th July 2012, 8:03

          Team Brackley has been over-promising and under-delivering since the Craig Pollock/BAR “We’re going to win our first race” days. Apart from 2009, where they benefited from Honda’s bajillions and some dubious pre-season wind tunnel usage, they have consistently delivered below expectations. Hamilton would be advised to stay away.

      • javlinsharp (@javlinsharp) said on 18th July 2012, 20:22

        @vodaclone
        I have to agree. Mercedes still have more work to do before they get that sharp edge. Currently #4 in the WCC seems too low.
        They have the 7x WDC who should be able to develop the car, a young hot-shoe in ROS who is capable of winning this year, and the mastermind of Ross Brawn trackside. Yet, some how, the pieces are not coming together yet, success is not assured, and Lotus (who has not yet won this year) is leading them.

        If the decision were mine to make, I would stick with McLaren-Mercedes through 2013 and have another look then. With the publicly available information, there seems to be no other option of a driver in HAM’s position at the current moment.

  4. schooner (@schooner) said on 17th July 2012, 1:29

    Given the current driver’s market, it’s hard to imagine Hamilton vacating his seat at McLaren. Maybe a one year extension would be the way to go, then have another look this time next year. The options could be a bit more interesting.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 17th July 2012, 2:44

      McLaren would never offer Hamilton a one-year deal if Hamilton only wanted it so thathe could go elsewhere in 2014. They know how good he is, and so they will want him for as long as possible. If Hamilton insists on a one-year contract, the team would probably be better off looking at someone else.

    • Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 17th July 2012, 3:32

      If Mclaren would allow that, which I can’t see what other option they would have, I believe that would be the best option for Lewis. A driver of Hamiltons talent can and should command a performance based contract on Mclaren considering their recent form.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 17th July 2012, 7:34

        While Lewis Hamilton has to get the best deal for Lewis Hamilton, bear in mind that McLaren have to get the best deal for McLaren. If Hamilton wants a one-year deal and McLaren want at least three years, why should they cave and give him a one-year contract? If they’re going to lose him at the end of 2013, they might as well take the brunt of his departure now while te driver market is open and snap up someone with a lot of potential. Sure, they’re passing onto the next-best alternative, but McLaren has to look to their future just as much as Hamilton does. And they don’t owe him anything, least of all a one-year contract so that he can easily move onto another team for 2014.

        • Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 17th July 2012, 14:28

          Who do you propose they can put in his seat that can achieve the results he has obtained this year? Especially since his teammate is not pulling his weight of late. Mclaren can not afford to be the 4th or 5th best team.

          • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 18th July 2012, 8:14

            Who do you propose they can put in his seat that can achieve the results he has obtained this year?

            Schumacher … mby ;)

        • schooner (@schooner) said on 18th July 2012, 1:15

          Good points. All things considered, I guess I’d expect Hamilton to sign on for another 2 or 3 years. The possibility for a driver in any of the top teams to totally dominate a season appears to be gone for the time being, and McLaren would be as good a bet as any to provide him with a winning machine.

        • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 18th July 2012, 8:23

          @prisoner-monkeys

          Good point. Also, While i think McLaren has done a lot for hamilton, i think it would be a mistake for Hamilton to sign a contract that is greater than one year. Frankly i think Hamilton needs to move on. There is still a chance Vettel moves to Ferrari, Hamilton to RB…

      • bag0 (@bag0) said on 17th July 2012, 9:22

        @funkyf1
        It is possible, but not probable, it all depends on the team and the driver market. In 1993 Senna had contracts race-by-race (1.000.000$/race), and it was with McLaren and with Ron Dennis, but that time they could take that risk as the driver market was very inferior to this days.

        • Kenny (@kenny) said on 17th July 2012, 15:27

          In 1993 Senna did not want to sign a contract with McLaren because he had doubts about the McLaren-Ford package. In the end he did a race by race deal with Philip Morris, not McLaren.

    • NickTheGeek (@nickthegeek) said on 17th July 2012, 12:17

      In my mind we are at the point where the money Lewis is asking for could be better spent elsewhere. This is complicated as the amount Lewis commands in salary needs to be offset by the amount his “personality status” brings in sponsorship that other drivers may not. There is a stark and simple fact that Lewis’s salary is around half the operating budget of a small team for an entire season. If I were running a team I might consider that a young gun (PDR / the Hulk) that will initially take a very small salary for the opportunity in a top car may be a good option as what we loose in driver speed (if that is even the case) we may gain in car development spend which helps both drivers!!!.

      • OOliver said on 17th July 2012, 23:59

        Not every amount thrown into developing a car yields a good outcome, hence you will still need a driver who can bring a rabbit out of a hat. It works both ways. It is better to have a good driver, that have the best cars with the driver unable to use it.

  5. Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 17th July 2012, 1:35

    shows that he was probably waiting to see what happens with redbull seat

  6. xeroxpt (@) said on 17th July 2012, 3:36

    Lorenzo Bandini again, Senna took alot of time to say something.

  7. Eggry (@eggry) said on 17th July 2012, 5:45

    so 4th consecutive season for top 3 drivers&teams.

  8. Jay Menon (@jaymenon10) said on 17th July 2012, 6:46

    Before I start, Im going to state that I am not a fan of Lewis, but I can recognize talent when I see it, and he has it in abundance. However, what I would question is his attitude.

    I dont think any driver should complain about his team to the media. Lewis has done this time and again. As driver, is it not one’s responsibility to work through the problems with the engineers and mechanics? This is where I see stark difference between Lewis and the likes and Vettel and Alonso. I dont recall either one of them ever complaining about their respective teams, even when faced with strategic or pit stop blunders (Alonso lost the WDC thanks Ferrari’s tactical clanger!). And the results are there to be seen, in Ferrari’s case, they have improved by leaps and bounds. The team provides immense support to these drivers because they get the deserved respect and support.

    They way I see it, if there is a problem, get on it and fix it. Lewis fancies comparison between his and Senna’s driving style, and in truth, there are similarities. They’re both natural racers and for the lack of a better description, go “Balls to the Wall”. However, Senna was a deeply involved with the engineers and the mechanics, often staying late into the night with the team as they worked in garage, hence he had the respect and support of the team. I havent been privy to Lewis’s daily schedule, but based on his demeanour and conduct, I dont get the feeling that he has a strong bond with his team and therein lies his downfall.

    My personal opinion is that it would be good for Lewis to leave Mclaren. I think he needs a new perspective. Obviously as many have said, the choices are limited. If Schumacher relinquishes his seat, perhaps it might be the best place for him. Although Mercedes arent consistent just yet, I would watch this space because Ross Brawn is somebody that’s accustomed to winning, Im sure he will crack the formula sooner or later.

    Apart from Mercedes, its pretty slim picking isnt it? Lotus are quick, but Im sure they’ll keep the current lineup unless Kimi fancies another form of racing next year. Its a weird thought, but what about Williams? They dont have a bad car at all, its just they havent got the right drivers in there at the moment.

    • bag0 (@bag0) said on 17th July 2012, 9:26

      If I were in Alonsos place I wouldnt try to criticise Ferrari neither. Remember when Prost was kicked out of his seat in no time, because he called the Ferrari a tractor?

    • leotef (@leotef) said on 17th July 2012, 10:32

      Good point on HAM’s attitude on the media and overall work in the development. I assume he’s at the early stage of transiting from a pure fast driver to a car developing driver, or being part of the speed finding process. This would be very natural trajectory of learning curve thru any driver’s career who has some notable talents. Another good thing for HAM shall be that for the past few years followed by hugh success as rookie, he might have learnt a lot sometimes as a spoiled kid. Different contents and appearance maybe but will serve same as ALO has got thru during his McLaren days followed by sort of frustration, putting aside his then attitude to the team and way of playing the games.
      At the end of the day, the man who can laugh will be one who learned the most from adversities.

      • Jay Menon (@jaymenon10) said on 17th July 2012, 10:44

        @leotef
        You make a good point about Hamilton transitioning, and I can agree to that. Alonso did throw his toys out of the pram at Mclaren, but perhaps thats not an apple to apple comparison. Alonso was 24 and was double World Champion, probably he was expecting a little more out of Mclaren? Nobody will ever know what went on in 07.

        Well Im sure HAM will figure it out soon, he needs to learn the game…he should stop apologizing for the things he says for a start..he is too damn PC!..haha.

        • leotef (@leotef) said on 18th July 2012, 2:15

          Sure not it’s apple to apple. But yeah the impact-wise, those circumstances might have been a big rock in his assumed highway. In case of HAM, I think it’s taken different shape of a rock. He sometimes caused soft patches in his career, those likes of lots of collisons during 2010 and 2011 season. Them I see as natural, providing HAM some solid ground to grind in order to sharpen skills and emerge stronger. BTW, this may apply to all the players and humans probably.
          So far this season, his posture to the game seems aligned in the right direction but I still think it’s early stage. Moving forward, he may have to become part of the speed. Hearing “I need winning car” kind of thing implies, he is still in a very early stage though, whether it’s just a verbal play as negotiation card or not.

    • melkurion (@melkurion) said on 17th July 2012, 14:46

      This is a good comment, I agree totally with what you say about Hamilton vs Senna. Hamilton is a bit like the Ronny O’Sullivan of F-1 racing, soooo much talent, but not always the right attitude to back it all up :-(

      They way I see it, one of three things will happen:

      1 (Most likely) Hamilton stays at Mclaren for 1 – 2 years ( 2014 is turbo engines, he might want to take one year to see where the mclaren pakkage stands before moving on)

      2 (A lot less likely) Schumacher replaces Massa or retires , Hamilton goes to Mercedes.

      3) Very unlikely (but as stated above) noot at all a bad idea, Hamilton goes to Williams on a one year deal.

    • sonia luff (@sonia54) said on 17th July 2012, 19:30

      I was lucky enough to visit the Mclaren factory 2 weeks ago and my husband and myself spoke to a lot of the guys there and most of them preferred Jenson for the input and time he spends at the factory. jenson also more friendly

      • Traverse Mark Senior (@) said on 17th July 2012, 20:16

        jenson also more friendly

        Being a friendly person doesn’t win you races, being a fast, consistent and talented race driver does (just ask Vettel and Schumi). Jenson may be a ‘Nice Guy’ but he hasn’t displayed any of the aforementioned attributes since the Australian GP. The fact that he’s easy to get along with doesn’t mean jack because unless I’m mistaken, Formula 1 isn’t a popularity contest.

        • leotef (@leotef) said on 18th July 2012, 2:25

          lol. And on top of that, I wonder why the car is still lagging behind with those inputs… don’t want to be cynical here though. Seriously either the inputs fed by BUT are still in the wood, or they are not working at all even to himself? Curious…

    • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 18th July 2012, 8:39

      @jaymenon10

      This is where I see stark difference between Lewis and the likes and Vettel and Alonso.

      And Schumacher.

      The problem i believe is that Hamilton does’t know any different. He came into one of the best teams as a rookie and he’s never been anywhere else.

  9. BasCB (@bascb) said on 17th July 2012, 6:46

    Its nice to see that the concorde agreement negotiations are ongoing and so far no-one has been banging the “breakaway series” drum too much. Surely a Concorde Agreement would need the FIA on board, I guess its just about Todt trying to get some money out of it and establishing that they will be the ones making the rules. And Bernie naturally not having any of it :-)

  10. BasCB (@bascb) said on 17th July 2012, 6:52

    I really dislike these kind of messages as the BBC are portraying they “saved 150 million”. Its not saving, its not buying something, as if one would “save” from selling one’s Ferrari and buying a Hyundai instead, yes you can drive it perfectly, but its not the same thing.
    And the happy viewing figure mongering in that article is just so inaccurate, throwing together complete viewing figures with peak ones to create the impression it works for the fans.

    • Ral (@ral) said on 17th July 2012, 8:33

      I agree. They didn’t save money. They just decided to not spend money that they said they would; that they agreed on paper, in a contract, that they would. Money they should have budgeted for. Yes, the economic climate changed, but ehm.. not really affecting the BBC. Or, not affecting the TV fees I’m paying, anyway so shouldn’t affect the BBC.

      Spinning their efforts in negotiating away what they had exclusive rights to, seems a tad disingenious at best.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 17th July 2012, 8:54

        The simlpe fact that they spend more money on buying the rights to a low level, high ratings reality-show clone in the weeks they decided about the F1 deal shows it was mostly about getting the priorities wrong (my view).
        I really do not think the BBC should be competing with the commercial guys that way, instead they should have quality content, much of it home made, as the F1 coverage had been since taking over from ITV

    • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 17th July 2012, 9:38

      I have very strong opinions about this, and I think it points towards some very serious corruption at the top level of the BBC and in Government. Effectively what happened there was that Sky lobbyists pressured the government (who probably didn’t need that much pressuring, since they are historically not in favour of the beeb anyway) into proposing a long term freeze on the license fee. Basically for the sole purpose of neutering the BBC’s ability to buy the rights to top level sports, so that Sky can buy up the rights instead and put it behind a paywall. Don’t expect Wimbledon to last much longer either, but that’s another story.

      What then happened is that the govt put these proposals to the BBC, and rather than fight their corner, they just rolled over and accepted it without any kind of fight. Not only agreeing to the fee freeze, but also to the funding of BBC Worldwide, which was previously privately funded, effectively adding a cost of around a hundred million a year to the balance of the BBC.

      Don’t forget that the BBC is not tax funded. It may not seem like there’s much of a distinction, but there is an important one here. We are told that spending cuts and tax hikes are to combat the defecit and get the economy back on an even keel. That’s fine, but because the BBC is not funded by taxes, it forms no part of the defecit, and cutting the cost of it makes absolutely no difference whatsoever to the government coffers.

      The nail in the coffin? After agreeing without a fight to measures whcih would make the BBC unable to compete with BSkyB, the BBC themselves then approach Sky and offer them an exclusive buy-in on the TV rights to F1, to which they were currently leaseholders, taking away the possibility of another FTA broadcaster stepping in.

      The whole thing absolutely stinks, and suggests that both the government and the BBC execs are operating not in the public interest, but in the interests of BSkyB. The worst part of it is that the public are largely unaware of this, because there’s a more or less complete media blackout, with only the odd article alluding to it. Clearly the BBC aren’t reporting on it, for obvious reasons, and since half the media are owned by BSkyB, they’re not that keen on it either. And of course the Govt are keeping mum about it too. It’s a shocking bit of scandal, and I hope those responsible are eventually held to account over it.

    • NickTheGeek (@nickthegeek) said on 17th July 2012, 12:28

      There was something in F1 mag by DC complaining that there is too much F1 on the Sky channel. While to some extent I actually agree as I find I am burnt out a bit by it all some weekends it seems the Beeb are throwing low punches. I lost allot of respect for DC with those comments. The beeb sold us out … lets not pretend otherwise DC.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 17th July 2012, 12:30

        The daft thing is, most of the time there’s too little of anything on the Sky F1 channel, just filler and programmes that have already been repeated dozens of times. I’m at a loss to understand why the don’t show more of their other motor racing coverage on there – such as their excellent IndyCar programmes. It’s not as if that would take serious value away from their other sports channels.

        • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 17th July 2012, 12:39

          Totally agree with this. Some of the Sky F1 content is excellent. I love the F1 show, and I love how it is giving more access than you ever got with the BBC. But lots of the shows on there are, frankly, pretty crap. The classic F1 races are nice to watch, but it’s really just showing old stock footage. It’d be nice to have a proper Sky MotorSports channel, rather than purely F1, bringing together F1, NASCAR, IndyCar, and all the other motorsports Sky has access to. It’s a shame to have to wait for the odd highlights show when races are being shown in full on the other sports channels. I get why they do it; to make you pay for the full sports package. But it’s a shame that they’re doing it this way.

          But it’s still giving the best coverage for F1 which I’ve ever seen, and the other stuff they do is great, with GP2/3, and specials like the Goodwood coverage. It’s hard to complain about something which is really pretty good.

    • StephenH said on 17th July 2012, 19:25

      I blame the Jubilee and (especially) the Olympics. Has the Beeb not had to shift such a massive amount of resources to these massively expensive ONE-OFF events, then they coudl have put up more of a fight.

  11. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 17th July 2012, 7:42

    After replaceing Greg Murphy for the Townsville round of the V8 Supercars, Jacques Villeneueve will continue with Kelly Racing for the upcoming Ipswich and Eastern Creek rounds.

  12. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 17th July 2012, 8:19

    I’m kind of disappointed by the Sochi circuit. They’ve made a few changes from the original draft, simplifying it a bit, but they also took out what looked like it would be a devastating corner. It was a long, sweeping left-hander that fed into a quick right-handed flick. But while the sweeper is intact, the flick has been turned into a much slower ninety-degree bend.

  13. BasCB (@bascb) said on 17th July 2012, 9:35

    Hm, seems that the “Moscow raceway” is just what we came to expect of Tilke by now, nothing special (I know, FIA rulebook and having to work with flatland, etc. But still, he could have done better), here’s Petrov’s verdict:

    “The raceway could have been done a little bit more interesting. It doesn’t have enough zing,” the Caterham driver said. “It lacks high-speed corners, some sections of the track are a bit slow, and it doesn’t bring a lot of pleasure to go through (corners) in second or third gear.”

    Alain Prost agrees with him its not much good. Both did a few laps of the track for the occasion of its opening and the WSR race there

  14. Jason (@jason12) said on 17th July 2012, 9:46

    Lewis should move to Redbull ASAP.
    There’s a lot more speed to be extracted from that car.
    Also the culture at Redbull suits Lewis perfectly. To compete against Ferrari (as Ferrari gets stronger) Redbull will need Lewis.
    McLaren will have to get someone more genius than Whitmarsh to turn that team around.

  15. Estesark (@estesark) said on 17th July 2012, 10:05

    Something for tomorrow’s round-up, perhaps. An article from Turun Sanomat, probably Finland’s best place to go for F1 news, the meat of which I’ve translated into English.

    Kovalainen high on Sauber’s driver shortlist (Turun Sanomat)

    In two and a half years in Tony Fernandes’ Formula 1 camp, Heikki Kovalainen has now driven 46 Grands Prix and brought the car home in 35 of them.

    A world championship point continues to elude him, but the 30-year-old’s assured consistency has been noted by other teams – particularly those whose own drivers’ performances have fluctuated somewhat.

    Reliable German sources say that Kovalainen is very high up in Peter Sauber’s mind.

    This newspaper understands that the Swiss team leader is disappointed with the performances of both Sergio Pérez and Kamui Kobayashi this season, as the C31 car has shown itself to be just about fast enough to challenge at the front of the field. For that reason the team is looking for a driver who will see the chequered flag at every race.

    Then there are some things Kovalainen said before Silverstone about his ambitions for the future, and so on, but they’ve appeared elsewhere and in English. I think the link with Sauber is new, which is why I’m sharing it.

    I think Kovalainen and Sauber would be a perfect fit for one another, as I’ve said before on this site.

    • Estesark (@estesark) said on 17th July 2012, 10:06

      The last paragraph of that blockquote should have been outside it. I wish there was a comment preview function!

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 17th July 2012, 10:18

      I can’t see why Sauber would be disappointed with Sergio Perez. Sure, he hasn’t always followed through on the car’s potential, but he’s still got two podiums to his name.

      • Slr (@slr) said on 17th July 2012, 11:07

        Probably because Perez has just four point finishes. He needs more consistency, and the same could be said for Kobayashi.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 17th July 2012, 11:41

          But they know he’s got potential. If I were Peter Sauber and I had to replace one of my two drivers for 2013, I’d get rid of Kobayashi before losing Perez (unless someone picked Perez up first).

        • craig-o (@craig-o) said on 17th July 2012, 12:03

          Perez has also had a really lacklustre qualifying, don’t get me wrong his two podium places outlines his potential, but his consistency is worse than Kobayashi’s… The Japanese driver has generally had the edge over his teammate, who was able to put Trulli, Heidfeld and De La Rosa firmly into place. I think both are great drivers for the future, but they do need a consistent driver at Sauber and Heikki is perhaps the best around at the moment. Caterham have another solid driver in Petrov at least who can replace him.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 17th July 2012, 10:30

      So now the Australian press can’t talk up Webber to Ferrari, the Finnish press are pushing Kovalainen to Ferrari…

      • Estesark (@estesark) said on 17th July 2012, 10:38

        They’re not really pushing him to Ferrari. At least, I haven’t seen them doing it. I follow the the Finnish F1 media in two places – one is Turun Sanomat, the other is MTV3, who broadcast it on TV over here – and despite both having a top story about Ferrari’s driver line-up, neither mentions Kovalainen going there.

        I don’t think I’d want to see him go there, especially just for one year.

      • HUHHII (@huhhii) said on 17th July 2012, 10:49

        @keithcollantine Nothing new there. It’s been going on at least 2 years. Personally

        I hope Heikki would end up driving for Sauber next year. Better to drive in fair-play midfield team rather than being someone else’s slave in top team. I’m sure Heikki learned that lesson in his McLaren years.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 17th July 2012, 11:02

        So now the Australian press can’t talk up Webber to Ferrari, the Finnish press are pushing Kovalainen to Ferrari

        I’m fairly certain we’ll talk up Ricciardo to Ferrari next. See, the Australian media has been under the impression that Daniel Ricciardo has been Red Bull’s preferred candidate to replace Webber for some time now, and have been under the impression that Ricciardo would join Red Bull in 2013. But with Webber re-signing, they’ll likely spin it as Red Bull double-crossing Ricciardo, who will become a free agent now that Red Bull is not an option in 2013. Since Toro Rosso is powered by Ferrari and because Webber is not going to Maranello next year, they’ll make the connection between Ricciardo and Ferrari snd start talking it up as if it was the plan all along.

    • Girts (@girts) said on 17th July 2012, 14:47

      Thanks for sharing the information, @Estesark . I have heard this rumour before and it makes sense. I would be a bit surprised to see Sauber drop Perez but Kovalainen seems to be the perfect replacement for Kobayashi.

      If I I had to choose between a deal with Sauber and a one-year deal with Ferrari, which meant driving alongside Alonso and warming the seat for Vettel, I would prefer the former option. That said, I am sure that Kovalainen deserves more but, if there are no better options at the moment, they might appear in a year or two. Giancarlo Fisichella also drove one year for Sauber before joining Renault.

      • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 17th July 2012, 15:09

        I doubt either would be disasterous for Heikki. If he went to Ferrari and did a solid job, regularly getting close to his teammate while avoiding big mistakes, maybe even helping Ferrari take a championship, that would do brilliant things for his career. He’d go there without the weight of expectation that he’d be the leading driver, and what better benchmark to be measured against than F1’s mr-consistency?

        Sauber would be a good choice too, though he’d be expected to effectively step in as lead driver, and to help with the development direction of the team. He’d potentially have a little bit more pressure on him to deliver, since Sauber are in that boiling pot of the midfield where rewards are hard to come by and mistakes are very costly.

        Ferrari may be a one year deal, but I think it’d be a great platform for him to showcase how much he has improved over the years. And if he managed to get close enough to Alonso to occasionally worry him, maybe even sneak the odd win, who knows what it might do for his confidence?

        • Girts (@girts) said on 17th July 2012, 15:35

          I think Heikki already has enough confidence now and he rather risks losing part of it by going to the Alonso’s kingdom. The problem is that a driver’s career usually goes downwards after he has served as a number two in some top team. Barrichello at Ferrari. Fisichella at Renault. Coulthard at McLaren. Frentzen at Williams. None of them really managed to raise to the very top after being beaten by their team mates, the world champions. Heikki himself has now regained the confidence he had partly lost during the McLaren years but he still hasn’t got a competitive car. In my opinion, Alonso is the best of the current F1 drivers and he is the team’s hero, even if Ferrari don’t hold their number two driver back artificially as they used to do in the past. It could theoretically work for Heikki but, as his fan, I would be very concerned if he went to Ferrari in 2013.

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