F1 Fanatic round-up
In the round-up: Martin Whitamrsh says Lewis Hamilton has made a “mistake” by leaving the team for Mercedes.
Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:
“Mercedes-Benz is a great partner of ours and they are a great team. But anyone leaving McLaren, who wants to win, I think that’s a mistake because I have faith and belief in this team.”
“There is a competitive market for drivers and Lewis is as competitive as anyone else in that respect. But Lewis didn’t come here because we offered more money – because we didn’t.”
“His manager Sabine Kehm said: ‘Michael didn’t stay at Mercedes because he wasn’t sure he wanted to drive and that didn’t change over time.’ Asked whether he had now made that decision, Kehm said: ‘No.’”
Whitmarsh added: “Sergio is ready, otherwise we would not be signing him. In 2006, I was getting a lot of criticism about putting a young Lewis into Formula One. People said there was no way he could be ready.”
“It has been made clear to both the Briton and Rosberg that they will be treated equally – and both will have the same chance of gunning for glory.”
“Hamilton is not exactly stepping into unknown territory. Every one of his 20 grand prix victories has been achieved with a Mercedes engine in his car. He knows the company and is well aware of the quality of their engineering. He and his manager, Simon Fuller, will also have been influenced by the power of their marketing department to enhance his image around the world.”
“Hamilton, the first black driver to win a Grand Prix, features regularly in the gossip pages because of his relationship with U.S. singer Nicole Scherzinger. His looks and image, clean cut yet moody, make him a natural for brands wishing to connect with a youthful audience.”
“‘I listened to the noise of the engines in (Ferrari’s headquarters at) Maranello the other day, the new engine and the old engine, and even (Ferrari chairman) Luca di Montezemolo said it sounded terrible and didn’t like it,’ says Ecclestone. He feels FIA president, Jean Todt, ‘will get rid of it. I think Luca is also saying we should suspend it for two or three years’.”
“[Grand Prix of America promoter Leo Hindery Jnr] made no comment on the ‘to be confirmed’ status on the 2013 Formula One schedule or Bernie Ecclestone’s claim that no contract exists at present.”
“Long-time racing journalist Chris Economaki has died at the age of 91.”
Very cool that lewis will be my new teamate! Gonna be another great challenge!
— Nico Rosberg (@nico_rosberg) September 28, 2012
Welcome @SChecoPerez ;-)
— Jenson Button (@JensonButton) September 28, 2012
It appears Hamilton's departure is being used by some to try and get Martin Whitmarsh out & Ron Dennis back as team boss ! #f1
— Byron Young (@byronf1) September 28, 2012
In a harrowing new episode of Tooned, Jenson and Professor M teach Lewis that no one leaves… #F1
— F1 Fanatic (@f1fanatic_co_uk) September 28, 2012
American Racing Icon Chris Economaki helped my career as young racer immensely and for that I will be forever grateful.#RIP my friend
— Mario Andretti (@MarioAndretti) September 28, 2012
Comment of the day
No prizes for guessing what today’s Comment of the Day is about. Here’s @PJA:
Despite all the speculation part of me felt that Hamilton would stay at McLaren, or at the very least the decision would drag on for a few weeks, so reading the headline when I logged this morning was bit of a surprise.
Having said that I can see why Hamilton decided to sign for Mercedes. And I don’t think money was the main factor.
While it hasn’t gone as far as Alonso and McLaren it seemed that Hamilton was not on as good terms with McLaren as he used to be, and the Spa tweets wouldn’t have helped.
Also on the performance side of things I don’t think it as big a gamble as some make out. He probably would only have been offered a multi year contract. So he couldn’t have signed a one year deal at McLaren and waited to see if Vettel goes to Ferrari in 2014 as some have suggested.
Although McLaren challenge for victories almost every season in the last decade they have only won one drivers’ championship and no constructors’ championship, they have to start paying for engines from next year so that means less money on the rest of the car and then there is the big rule changes in 2014.
I would have thought this deal should silence those rumours suggesting Mercedes may quit F1, and considering some of the people at the team, mainly Ross Brawn, in the medium term Mercedes could be the better bet.
2012 has been the first season while Hamilton has been at McLaren that they have had the overall fastest car, for me 2007 and 2008 Ferrari and McLaren were about the same and if I had to pick I would have said Ferrari, yet through various operational mistakes and reliability problems it looks as though they won’t win the drivers’ championship and if they win the constructors’ championship a large part of it will be down to Red Bull’s reliability problems.
I think Hamilton has almost as good a chance of winning a title in the next three years at Mercedes as he does at McLaren, whether he does win one or not will be hard to say as I think it will be hard to predict which drivers and teams will be on top in the next three years.
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- Provisional 2013 WEC calendar loses American classics
Happy birthday to Donwatters!
On this day in F1
Ten years ago today the 2002 United Grand Prix ended in farce as Michael Schumacher’s attempt to engineer a Ferrari ‘dead heat’ resulted in him handing victory to team mate Rubens Barrichello.
At least they didn’t crash into each other as the Williams pair did – Ralf Schumacher spinning into Juan Pablo Montoya earlier in the race. Montoya recovered to finish fourth behind David Coulthard.
Image © McLaren/Hoch Zwei