McLaren deny Hamilton-to-Mercedes report

F1 Fanatic round-up

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Spa-Francorchamps, 2012In the round-up: McLaren deny a report claiming Lewis Hamilton will move to Mercedes in 2013.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Lewis Hamilton ‘set for move to Mercedes from McLaren’ (BBC)

“A McLaren spokesman said: ‘We have been told by Lewis Hamilton’s management team that the story is untrue.'”

Alex Zanardi takes an emotional gold at Brands Hatch (The Telegraph)

“Just when you thought these Paralympic Games could not offer any more unfathomable comeback tales, here was one to top the lot, that of the star racing driver who lost his legs and almost his life after a horror crash in Germany before re-emerging 11 years later as a champion cyclist.”

Oro a Zanardi nella cronometro handbike (YouTube)

Force India thrilled with drivers (Autosport)

Force India deputy team principal Robert Fernley: “I think Nico [Hulkenberg] has done a super job, we never had any doubts about him, and with Paul [di Resta] they are just so equal. There is nothing between them and it is a thrill to have two wonderful drivers pushing the limits all the time.”

Jochen Rindt (F1 Speedwriter)

“When I got to the Parabolica, I went around slowly, searching for the marks where Jochen went off. I ran four laps and my last lap was the fastest I had ever done Monza, and the fastest I was to do that weekend. It will be said I was trying to hurt myself, that it was suicidal, but it wasn’t. It felt the same as any other lap.”

Monza: The magic of a name (ESPN)

“The circuit is within the Royal Park, not far from the centre of the town and now buried within the sprawling environment of Milan. Attempt to build it today in the same place and you would be laughed out of court. Saying that, and this being the home venue of Ferrari, there is a sneaking suspicion that the local government would be voted out of office if they refused.”


Comment of the day

@Enigma has a good question about Ma Qing Hua’s F1 practice debut tomorrow:

What will his FIA abbreviation be, since he?s only got two letters in his surname?

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Baldry 888 and Charlie!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Ayrton Senna lost victory in the Italian Grand Prix 25 years ago today. His active suspension Lotus-Honda 99T slithered wide at the Parabolica, handing victory to Nelson Piquet with seven laps to go.

Nigel Mansell finished a distant third, his Honda engine lacking its usual punch.

Here are highlights from the race:

Image ?? McLaren/Hoch Zwei

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134 comments on McLaren deny Hamilton-to-Mercedes report

  1. leotef (@leotef) said on 6th September 2012, 9:53

    Well, I don’t know the financial status of McLaren but deal is deal and this would be no exception. Regardless of HAM in top form or not and McLaren’s code in line with him or not, let alone the recent fiasco, if McLaren is not able to pay the money HAM insists and Mercedes can do that, the final deal shall be made in the wake of that money logic.
    Arguing money is not a big factor to HAM, maybe true, but it will certainly be to McLaren. Skeleton is that, HAM is selling his talent, McLaren is buying it. But they can’t buy beyond their budget or earning power. Ron’s earlier remark on the economic changes taken place shall be relevant here though blunt.
    So my take is some recent conflicts brewing there including telemetry case and whether HAM is how good or bad or concentrating or not, they may not matter to the end result. But it will be interesting ’cause some of them are still thinking and seeing what they only can see.

  2. Prince Bishop of Durham said on 6th September 2012, 9:58

    EJ does say things which are hard to believe sometimes. However don’t discount what he says as his previous predictions in the past – Schumacher returning to F1 were all correct.!.
    Hopefully he will be wrong about LH going to Mercedes. LH would be a fool to go. He needs good council. Winning races is the key to more money. He has been much more mature this year. His telemetry tweet being a rare return to nonsense!

  3. antonyob (@) said on 6th September 2012, 10:15

    Anything Lewis does is scrutinised like no other driver, hence the media distortion that leaves commenters on here saying things like”bizaare behaviour” or “he’s in trouble if he doesnt sign soon” eh? seriosuly. What he’ll end up doing a Damon Hill. i dont think so

    Hes the biggest draw in f1, whether hes the best driver you can analyse all day long but hes headline news every day so sponsors want him therefore he’ll be at a top team.

    Hes the marmite man, some people decide they dont like someones personality based on facial expression on telly, or the way he talks or just plain old fashioned jealousy. Hes a great driver to watch, hes one of the few who has a style you can see and who can drive a car beyond its limit. Thats all i care about. The rest is just Heat magazine irrelevance.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 6th September 2012, 10:24


      Anything Lewis does is scrutinised like no other driver, hence the media distortion that leaves commenters on here saying things like”bizaare behaviour” or “he’s in trouble if he doesnt sign soon” eh? seriosuly.

      When was the last time a driver did something half as stupid as posting the telemetry from his team in a way that every other team could feely see it?

      Hes the biggest draw in f1, whether hes the best driver you can analyse all day long but hes headline news every day so sponsors want him therefore he’ll be at a top team.

      If a driver doesn’t fit the profile a team wants, it doesn’t matter what sponsors want. Especially since Hamillton doesn’t bring millions to a team the way Maldonado or Perez or Petrov do.

      Hes a great driver to watch, hes one of the few who has a style you can see and who can drive a car beyond its limit. Thats all i care about.

      Are you running McLaren? Because I’m pretty sure they will want something more than raw speed. They can get that from anyone. It’s professionalism that they need from Hamilton, and he’s not showing it.

      • JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III said on 6th September 2012, 12:44

        “When was the last time a driver did something half as stupid as posting the telemetry from his team in a way that every other team could feely see it?”

        I’d say grosjeans move at the start and pretty much anything maldonado has done all year and especially spa last year. Also it wasn’t even that bad people have made a big deal of it but the only useful info anyone gained is mclarens ride height. It’s important but on it’s own means nothing that’s why it’s been described as gold dust you know how much gold dust is worth? almost nothing.

        “If a driver doesn’t fit the profile a team wants, it doesn’t matter what sponsors want. Especially since Hamillton doesn’t bring millions to a team the way Maldonado or Perez or Petrov do.”

        santander is a mclaren sponsor entirely because of lewis.

        “raw speed. They can get that from anyone.”

        Really? Tell that to alonso and heikki who hamilton destroyed and button who is on and off more than a light switch. Or to countless other mclaren drivers of the past who simply didn’t have the speed and thus lost their seat.

        • Marcos said on 6th September 2012, 13:24

          Hamilton destroyed Alonso? When did that happened? Oh!! You mean that year! When they ended the championship with the same amount of points in a rather suspicious environment favoring Hamilton. Is that your definition of “destroy”?

          • JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III said on 6th September 2012, 14:20

            considering it was lewis’ first year and alonso as reigning double world champion tried every dirty trick in the book and still ended up behind him in the championship? yes that is my definition of destroyed don’t believe me? become alonsos wife and ask him truly if he wants lewis as a team m8 again.

          • I dont want to jump in saying who destroyed who and who doesnt, but both of you should read F1elvis’s latest articles on that matter.

          • JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III said on 6th September 2012, 14:41

            I did read it, it was a great read. Lewis wasn’t blameless nor was alonso but what ever happened behind the scenes a rookie beat a double champ who had just beaten the 7x world champ it’s impressive.

          • Marcos said on 6th September 2012, 14:59

            It IS impressive! Don’t get me wrong. I think Hamiltong is certainly one of the great drivers of the grid. He may be the fastest in terms of row speed. The fact that Alonso vetoed him as a team mate (if we assume it’s true. I haven’t seen any of the involved parts saying it) just proves it. But I just don’t see how he “destroyed” Alonso that year. Yes, he did great. But the circumstances were just too special.

      • Franton said on 6th September 2012, 22:20

        Erm, Nelson Piquet Jr DELIBERATELY crashing his car and risking injury and death? I guess showing some telemetry data really compared with that. :(

    • “Anything Lewis does is scrutinised like no other driver, hence the media distortion that leaves commenters on here saying things like”bizaare behaviour””


      Can you imagine what people would be saying if he pushed a camera man over like Raikonnen? Or swore blind on camera to someone who accidently bumps into him like Montoya?

      Some people just need a reason, thats all it ever boils down to.

      • brny666 said on 6th September 2012, 13:18

        Thing is people know that they can get under his skin by giving negative opinions about him because Hamilton is obsessed with his own image and how he’s perceived by the media and fans. So if you report in him he will get emotional do more stupid and controversial things and you can report even more. On the other hand you can report all you wan about Montoya or Kimi since none of them give a a flying **** about the media

        • JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III said on 6th September 2012, 14:22

          So true it’s his biggest weakness- how he thinks others view him. Odd really you would think with his cv he’d have all the confidence in the world.

  4. melkurion (@melkurion) said on 6th September 2012, 10:24

    I can see it happening, Hamilton to Mercedes, change of environment would be good for him I think.

    My predictions for next years griid would look something like this:

    Mercedes: Rosberg & Hamilton
    Mclaren Button & Di Resta
    Red Bull: Vettel & Webber
    Ferrari: Alonso & Hulkenberg (meaning Force India will lose both it’s drivers)
    Lotus: Raikonnen & Grosjean
    Sauber: Perez & Kovaleinen (long since rumored)
    Williams: Maldonado & Bottas
    Force india: Kobayashi @ algesuari (most difficult to predict, they’ll want a driver with experience, so probably pick up Koba, Jamie is a bonus due to pirelli test work)
    Caterham: Massa & Van de Garde (Petrov sponsors aren’t comming through as I understand, from their current crop of test drivers van de Garde has teh most money. They’ll also need an experienced driver to replace kovaleinen)
    Marussia: Glock & Pic
    HRT: De la Rosa & MR money man of the moment
    Torro Rosso: Ricciardo & Robin Frijns ( think they will drop vergne, Frijns is leading formula renault 3.5 and has already had a red bull demo, would make sense in the torro rosso talent testbed for RBR)

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 6th September 2012, 10:39

      Why would McLaren take di Resta? I can think of at least four drivers that would fit the team better than him.

    • JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III said on 6th September 2012, 12:47

      Even i have to agree with pm on this di resta would be a terrible choice for mclaren the only reason would be because he is from the uk and that’s no where near enough.

    • Mclaren Button & Di Resta

      I don’t see this happening either. Di Resta, if anything, will join Mercedes at some point. Plus I always thought, for McLaren, giving Paffet a racing seat wouldn’t be such a bad idea, in case of something like Hamilton suddenly leaving the team.

      Ferrari: Alonso & Hulkenberg

      I don’t get it. Why bring Hulkenberg at Ferrari when you have Perez waiting…

      Force India: Kobayashi & Alguersuari

      I don’t think they will pick Kobayashi, to be honest. If Sauber were to drop him (which is not likey but not impossible either) I don’t think Koba will find a seat at other than a backmarker team, unfortunately. Plus, Force India might get tempted by Alguersuari’s experience in F1 and with the tyres as well as his financial support. Alongside him, a much more rational move would be giving Bianchi a racing seat.

      think they will drop Vergne

      I don’t. Given the fact that Marko sees a lot of potential in Vergne and has stated it for the press several times. I think of the two, Ricciardo and Vergne, the latter is more likely to stay with the team. However I don’t see Torro Rosso giving up Ricciardo either. They both come with a lot of Red Bull capital + I don’t know if changing the line-up again before the big 2014 would be such a good move from Torro Rosso. Their current drivers are not that horrible, to be honest. Not the next Vettel but not Karthikeyan either. Maybe letting them settle into the team and focus on getting the car back on par with at least Force India would be a much wiser move.

      Mercedes: Rosberg & Hamilton

      Last but not least, I really really really don’t think Schumacher will retire next year. Maybe in 2014, yes. But they are definitely cooking up something at Mercedes, from a technical package point of view. No one who doesn’t have an ace up their sleeve can be that calm in the midst of not having results and bearing huge pressure from Mercedes.

      I’m seriously thinking, Ross Brawn is not getting that whole team together for nothing now. It might be optimistic but I think the past seasons (including this one) are just a period of experimentation which is eventually bound to deliver that particular car in which Michael Schumacher (preferrably) can challenge for the title. Just a thought.

  5. paulipedia (@paulipedia) said on 6th September 2012, 11:08

    Isn’t McLaren’s budget about three times the size of Mercedes’.

    I would put it all on Lewis not going there.

  6. Daniel Thomas (@iamdanthomas) said on 6th September 2012, 11:27

    The whole Hamilton-Mercedes story leaves a sour taste in my mouth. I got into F1 with Interlagos 2008, he’s always been my driver, but it’s becoming more difficult to ignore the fact that his priorities are skewed.

    He’s often put alongside Alonso and Vettel in terms of ability, yet he stands apart from them in his attitude. His manager has a history of creating global superstars, not triple-world champions, and if Lewis cares more about winning races than Twitter followers, he’s hiding it well.

    Any move from McLaren should be made based only on who’ll have the best car, and as we’ve seen nothing to suggest Mercedes will outperform McLaren, money and status seem the only motivators. I’ve not started my career yet, but I can tell job satisfaction and respect among peers are far more important than a few transient perks – I wish someone would tell him.

    • @iamdanthomas

      He’s often put alongside Alonso and Vettel in terms of ability, yet he stands apart from them in his attitude.

      Not really, he just lets his emotions surface more frequently than Vettel and Alonso

      • Daniel Thomas (@iamdanthomas) said on 6th September 2012, 16:48

        True, but can you think of those two ever putting showbusiness and fame before F1? In hiring Fuller and XIX Hamilton’s done just that.

        Having said that, he’s been brilliant this year and Belgium was hopefully just a lapse of concentration.

  7. paolo (@paolo) said on 6th September 2012, 14:44

    Its a classic contract negotiating technique. We see it time and time again in football. In my opinion Hamilton has no desired whatsoever to leave McLaren and his management will have advised him to not quell speculation on the Mercedes story, which they probably leaked, in order to secure a better bargaining position with McLaren and ultimately a better contract. Seen it a million times

  8. The Limit said on 6th September 2012, 15:01

    On one side of the coin, this would explain why Hamilton tweeted all that information last weekend. If he really was that keen to stay at McLaren, upsetting them in such a way would be the last thing you would do, unless you had desires elsewhere. The problem with Hamilton is that McLaren is not the same team he joined, and his relationship with the teams heirachy is nowhere near as strong. When Alonso threatened to go to the FIA in 2007 and expose McLaren’s dubious goings on, his career at the team was effectively ended. I can’t see how Lewis can stay at McLaren after last weekend for the same reasons.
    Once you have crossed the line, there is no way back. I don’t believe nor do I trust Martin Whitmarsh, a man who has constantly stated that there is ‘harmony’ between Button and Hamilton, that everyone is buddy buddy and the birds are always singing. Pure propaganda.
    On a more interesting note, if this is true it will be fascinating to see who replaces Hamilton. I know alot of people have suggested Kimi Raikkonen and I would not have a problem with that, nor would Nico Rosberg be a bad choice either. Rosberg would certainly be seen as ‘giving’ the number one driver status to Jenson Button, something he would relish, and I think this is the most realistic scenario. I would love to see Hamilton and Michael Schumacher in the same team, just to see what would happen between them! All good stuff.

    • vho (@) said on 6th September 2012, 17:06

      Hard to think that Mercedes would let Rosberg go, given they see him as the future of the team and that Schumy is there to get the team on to winning ways. I think we might see Rosberg at Mercedes for another 2-3 years and longer if they start having success. Would be good to see Kimi back at McLaren though.

  9. vho (@) said on 6th September 2012, 16:59

    I wonder whether the negotiations between McLaren and Lewis haven’t been resolved is that Lewis may have asked for number 1 status (or there abouts) – not too dissimilar with what Ferrari typically does. I don’t think money is the number 1 factor, but winning more championships would be. By that logic Lewis should plant himself in a top team, but I think he wants preferential treatment in order to have the greatest success in winning another WDC. Although it may not be an entirely fair comparison, look at the success that Alonso is having at Ferrari – “Felipe, Fernando is faster… do you under stand?”

    • vho (@) said on 6th September 2012, 17:13

      I’ll also like to add, Lewis was in a better state when Heiki was his team mate – and he did manage to win his first WDC in Heiki’s first year. Perhaps Lewis is more concerned by being beaten by his team mate than he’s led some of us to be and that when the situation comes close his behaviour takes a change. All seemed to be back on track in the beginning of the year when Jenson was having issues, but as soon as Jenson found the pace these issues happen. Let’s see what other behaviours he produces in the latter half of the season – when Jenson last year picked up the pace further.

    • coefficient (@coefficient) said on 7th September 2012, 13:42

      Mclaren can’t give No.1 status to Lewis in his contract because in doing so they would breach their contract with Jenson.

      • vho (@) said on 7th September 2012, 16:28

        @coefficient Hence Lewis’ demands haven’t been met and McLaren is working out ways for a compromise. Perhaps Lewis is also waiting to hear back from Mercedes to see if his conditions can be met.

      • vho (@) said on 11th September 2012, 2:53

        @coefficient I believe one of the sticky points is the insistence of McLaren wanting to keep the driver’s trophies. I think Lewis wants to keep the original. His body language wasn’t terribly great after he won Monza – and I think he’s realising that his bargaining chip had diminished because McLaren had the best car all weekend. A bit of a catch 22 really… you want to win trophies, well you need a car/team fast enough, and the team that’s fast enough wants to keep the original trophy.

  10. William Brierty said on 6th September 2012, 18:28

    I’m sorry to burst the excitement, but its very unlikely that either McLaren or Mercedes will have a different driver line-up next year. This whole story is just speculation dressed up by Eddie Jordan and fired out into the open by the BBC to boost their veiwer ratings after their ratings for Spa, a race they showed live, nosedived. This is EJ’s role for the BBC, he is their only USP over Sky, their gimic, their marketing man. For those that enjoy a good EJism as I shall dub them, you will remeber that according to him Schumacher was making a comeback after Massa’s poor showing at the start of ’08, after Raikkonen’s uninterested performances at the start of ’09 and of course after Massa’s accident – pretty much every single opportunity that Schumacher could have come back before he did come back. Also according to EJ, and despite the fact that it would’ve been a breach of contract, Hamilton was meant to be moving to Brawn alongside Button for ’10. EJ likes making incredible if unlikely statements, which is why, if you ask him, the race will always be won Hamilton or Button, grid position seemingly irrelevant, anything to keep the British fans happy, eh. Actually I’m a rare entity, a British Alonso fan, but that is irrelevant, what is important is that a) I see no reason why Schumacher should want to retire and b) I see no reason for Mercedes to get rid of him because he’s great for publicity and he’s actually been outperforming Rosberg of late. And if Schumacher stays, Hamilton has no choice but to stay at McLaren, unless he fancies replacing Grosjean at Lotus, and let’s face it that not going to happen. Give it two weeks and it’ll be confirmed – Hamilton to stay at McLaren for 2013, although he probably is eyeing up the Mercedes seat for 2014, as will many people.

  11. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 6th September 2012, 18:40

    Why did the BBC even given EJ’s thoughts the time of day? It’s just a waste of time for all involved and it’s pointless speculation based on nothing but opinion. They may as well have published my thoughts on Hamilton being the first man on Mars. It’s not even the summer break anymore, it could be forgiven then! Madness. I am not that familiar with Zanardi’s driving credentials but to change from one sporting discipline to another with a disability as severe as his is outstanding enough, let alone winning a gold medal.

  12. I felt that the well documented behaviour at the Belgian Grand prix were the actions of a driver who was leaving his current team…..and can only see Mercedes as the only team available….not sure as well how Ross Brawn is still in a job….

    • JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III said on 6th September 2012, 21:00

      “not sure as well how Ross Brawn is still in a job….”


    • coefficient (@coefficient) said on 7th September 2012, 13:49

      Ha ha ha ha ha ha!! Nearly fell off my swivelly office chair.

      Yeah sack the damn rookie, he’s only won what 7 WCCs and various sports car championships was it? Please!!!

  13. I think part of the reason why people like to run with the Mercedes deal, is Nico Rosberg. Don’t forget, Lewis and Nico go way back, and a friend might help out clear your head. Maybe moving to Mercedes/AMG/whatever it’ll be called next year, might take off some of the pressure as well.

    I find it unlikely, but I think it was someone on this site who mentioned the Button-BrawnGP public negotiations at that time and I would not be surprised to see something like that happening again.

  14. coefficient (@coefficient) said on 7th September 2012, 12:38

    The Hamilton/Mclaren/Mercedes-Benz saga is very simple really if you boil it down.

    Hamilton can hold out for more money citing his offer from Mercedes as a bargaining chip but it comes down to simple economics for Mclaren.

    Next year the Woking boys for the first time have to pay for their supply of M-HPE’s which is a serious dent in their development budget. The team still needs to ensure it has the budget in place to mount a competitve development program next year so if Hamilton’s salary demands detract from that he will be given a flat refusal by Ron and Martin. It will not be the first time they’ve said “take it or leave it” to a superstar.

    Hamilton will then have to make the decision which he is trying to get Mclaren to make for him and because he is a bit impetuous and imature he could well flit his way to the wrong decision in the heat of the moment if his irritation at not getting the deal he wanted from Mclaren gets the better of him.

    Something I would consider if I was Lewis (and I’m sure he is) is the fact that down the road in Brackley we have Brawn, Willis, Bell and Costa. 4 of the finest minds F1 has ever seen and they are all working on the 2014 car as we speak.

    Mercedes Benz will be supplying the dimensions and installation requirements for the new for 2014 engines to their customer team in April 2013. The works team already has that information and are understandably making use of this time advantage.

    The Silver Arrows could be a very decent prospect in a couple of years.

    The safe bet is to stay with Mclaren and accept a poultry £10m a year to safeguard performance but there’s something about Hamilton that gives me the impression that playing it safe just ain’t him.

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