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Discussion Starter #1
(GMM) Rumors about Lewis Hamilton's future have exploded. F1 team owner turned television pundit Eddie Jordan told the BBC he understands the 2008 world champion is on the verge of quitting McLaren to join Mercedes in 2013.
"I believe Hamilton and Mercedes have already agreed personal terms and a deal could be imminent," he said.

Jordan said he knows Hamilton's management - Simon Fuller's XIX Entertainment - have had meetings with Mercedes chiefs.

He said Hamilton, 27, will surely replace Michael Schumacher.

"Bernie Ecclestone made it clear to me live on television on Sunday that Schumacher was leaving, although Schumacher later played it down," said Jordan.

If true, Jordan's story will have wider implications. The BBC said Kimi Raikkonen and Paul di Resta would be front-runners to join Jenson Button at McLaren.

The Daily Mail, however, said Hamilton might actually replace Nico Rosberg, meaning that German Rosberg could also be a candidate to switch to McLaren.

But a McLaren spokesman said the British team has been told by Hamilton's management "that the (Jordan) story is untrue".

Mercedes said they would not comment on speculation.

A spokesperson for XIX Entertainment said "we are in advanced discussions with McLaren about a new deal".

And Schumacher's manager Sabine Kehm told Bild newspaper: "There is still no news, as nothing is decided."

Writing in the Times, correspondent Kevin Eason claimed that despite the Jordan story, Lewis Hamilton is in fact still "close to committing his future to McLaren".

Hamilton, who got into hot water at Spa last weekend in the saga nicknamed 'Twittergate', told the Express newspaper that he is "taking control" of his life.

"The life I have had has been very controlled and I am taking control of it," he said.

"I am allowing myself to get who I am out, rather than the corporate McLaren driver some people want you to be."
 

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This is really a guess on Eddie Jordan's part. Time will tell.

If it turns out that he is right, I'd hate to see MS go. He is not the problem on that team but is getting older and at some point will be a problem.

On the other hand, Oh boy, a level playing field. Let's see what Rosberg can do against LH if they are in the same car!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I started to post all the denials on this story from Hammi, McLaren etc but decided "thou does protest too much.". There's something going on, maybe just posturing.

We'll have to see how this plays out. Bernie implied Schumi is leaving but he usually says outrageous things for a very calculated reason.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Joe Saward's take:

Eddie Jordan is close to Bernie Ecclestone and it is not unusual for EJ to be used to put out stories. So if EJ is saying that Lewis Hamilton is close to signing for Mercedes, one needs to listen. But is it true? McLaren says that Lewis’s management is saying it is not true. I am a little suspicious because Bernie slipped in a little comment on the BBC at Spa suggesting Michael Schumacher might retire, but is that right, or is it part of a bigger political game with Mercedes? If Michael did retire, Lewis would be a good choice for the Germans, but I fail to see why it would be a good choice for Lewis. The one thing he does not need right now is more instability. And it would mess up the Mercedes succession plan, with Paul di Resta perhaps going to McLaren.

One might also read the situation as Bernie trying to place his pawns in such a way as to create a better show in 2013. With Jenson Button and AN Other at McLaren; and Hamilton at Mercedes there might be more interest.

For the time being I have doubts. If it has happened, it will be a reflection of Lewis’s state of mind, as this is not a logical thing to do.
 

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Joe Saward's take:

Eddie Jordan is close to Bernie Ecclestone and it is not unusual for EJ to be used to put out stories. So if EJ is saying that Lewis Hamilton is close to signing for Mercedes, one needs to listen. But is it true? McLaren says that Lewis’s management is saying it is not true. I am a little suspicious because Bernie slipped in a little comment on the BBC at Spa suggesting Michael Schumacher might retire, but is that right, or is it part of a bigger political game with Mercedes? If Michael did retire, Lewis would be a good choice for the Germans, but I fail to see why it would be a good choice for Lewis. The one thing he does not need right now is more instability. And it would mess up the Mercedes succession plan, with Paul di Resta perhaps going to McLaren.

One might also read the situation as Bernie trying to place his pawns in such a way as to create a better show in 2013. With Jenson Button and AN Other at McLaren; and Hamilton at Mercedes there might be more interest.

For the time being I have doubts. If it has happened, it will be a reflection of Lewis’s state of mind, as this is not a logical thing to do.
+1 it would not be a good choice for LH, but to me, it wouldn't be a good choice for Mercedes either.
 

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Mercedes seemed to want a German face to the team. It will take a significant shift in thinking at Mercedes to bring in Hamilton. And has been said, Hamilton has nothing to gain by going to Mercedes. Performance-wise, they are unfortunately looking more and more like BMW did before they dropped off the scene.
 

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Should Schumacher leave, I would bet on a non German addition at Mercedes.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Schumacher to replace Massa at Ferrari?

The sight of Schumacher back in a Ferrari would get the tifosi excited
Ferrari may be tempted to re-sign Michael Schumacher as "a short-term fix" if they dispense with Felipe Massa's services at the end of the season, according to Sky Sports F1's David Croft.
Schumacher won most of his 90+ F1 races driving for Ferrari.

Schumacher, now in the third year of his second coming as a F1 driver, revealed in Spa that a decision on his future would be announced in October. Since then, however, events have seemingly overtaken the seven-times World Champion with reports suggesting that Mercedes are waiting to learn if their overtures towards Lewis Hamilton will be successful before considering whether to retain Schumacher as Nico Rosberg's teammate.

A transfer for Hamilton would thus seemingly signal the final end of Schumacher's twenty-one-year F1 career. However, during the build-up to this weekend's Italian GP and a Practice One session in which Schumacher set the fastest time, Crofty raised the fascinating possibility of the 43-year-old extending his time in the sport with a return to Ferrari, who he drove for across a decade until retiring first time round in 2006.

"The likelihood is that Michael would step down but there might be an opening at Ferrari for him because there is still a big question mark against Felipe Massa's career there," he added.

"Michael would be a good short-term solution - he might not necessarily challenge Fernando Alonso but he would push him.

"Michael's not had the greatest season but it's not all been his fault and I think there might be enough of the old magic left to tempt Ferrari." Sky Sports
 

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'Mercedes offer Hamilton £60m' ?

'Mercedes offer Hamilton £60m' | Sky Sports | Formula 1 News

McLaren driver continues to be linked with a shock move as a replacement for either Michael Schumacher or Nico Rosberg

Thursday 6th September 2012

Despite denials from Lewis Hamilton's management team that the McLaren driver is close to joining Mercedes, fresh reports claim the former World Champion will be offered a £60m package to replace either Michael Schumacher or Nico Rosberg.

With just three months of the season remaining, Hamilton is still yet to extend his deal with McLaren which expires at the end of the year. Speculation surrounding his future went into overdrive on Wednesday after it was claimed that an agreement between Hamilton and Mercedes was 'imminent'.

Hamilton's management group, XIX Entertainment, have rejected those rumours, but sections of the British media remain adamant that Hamilton could stun F1 by leaving McLaren, the team he has driven for throughout his motor-racing career, for Mercedes.



'Lewis Hamilton could leave McLaren and join Mercedes in a deal that would see him earn £60million over three years,' reports The Daily Mail.

'The German team are so keen to sign the 27-year-old for the next campaign they are prepared to hand him a deal which would eclipse Michael Schumacher's £16.5m-a-season package.

'Sportsmail understands the move is not dependent on Schumacher retiring for the second time at the end of this world championship, meaning the Briton could even replace his former karting team-mate Nico Rosberg.'

The Daily Telegraph is also certain that, despite its superficial unlikelihood, the possibility of Hamilton switching to Mercedes is genuine.



According to the newspaper, 'Hamilton gets on well with Mercedes-Benz's head of motorsport Norbert Haug and discussions have taken place'.

And The Guardian has poured more fuel on to the fire by reporting:

'There are problems between Hamilton and McLaren. The driver admitted last week that he was not close to signing a new contract and the friction between the two parties came to a head just before the Belgian Grand Prix when he tweeted confidential data revealing the car's setup details.'

Speaking about the situation to Sky Sports News, Sky Sports F1's Ted Kravitz said that while Hamilton and his management team were likely using the spectre of a Mercedes switch to improve their bargaining hand in discussions with McLaren, the Woking team still had to be wary about losing the 2008 World Champion to a rival given the dearth of suitable replacements of similar proven calibre available for next season.

Nonetheless Ted added that he expected both parties to eventually agree on a renewal.

"McLaren have to tread quite a fine line because on the face of it there isn't really anyone else apart from Lewis Hamilton who can win multiple grands prix and World Championships out there who McLaren can just pop into their driver line-up alongside Jenson Button," Ted said.

"Jenson Button has of course proved that he can win races, as he did three days ago in Belgium, but he's not really had the staying power this season to win multiple races and challenge for the championship.

"So that's a problem for McLaren. They have to keep Lewis Hamilton because he's shown them that he's the best chance of winning a championship. So it's very finely balanced on both sides.

"I think we'll probably see this month, October maybe, as to whether Lewis Hamilton stays at McLaren which is I think is probably the most likely outcome."

Nonetheless, it would be seen as something of a bombshell if Hamilton were to depart McLaren for a team which has won just once since its return to the sport as a fully-fledged member three years ago.

A spokesman for Mercedes said on Wednesday night: "Until we are in a position to confirm our full driver lineup for next season, it is inevitable that there will be speculation around this topic. We would ask for your understanding, however, that we do not comment on speculation."
 

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It is amazing how much noise there is coming out of the F1 rumor mill. I can't picture even "the janitor" at the Mercedes factory coming up with the conclusion that 7 time world champion MS or top GP2 driver Nico Rosberg are the reasons why the team can't get the car to be reliable or to run as long as others on a set of tires. And the solution is to spend more on someone as volatile as Hamilton when they have so many internal voices asking to pull the team out of the sport? Where does this stuff come from?
 

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F1: Report - Mercedes Offering Schumacher 2013 Contract

F1: Report - Mercedes Offering Schumacher 2013 Contract


Written by: SPEED Staff / GMM
Date: 09/14/2012 - 09:58 AM
Location: GMM Newswire
Amid all the hype about Lewis Hamilton’s supposed move to Mercedes, the German squad appears to be preparing to extend Michael Schumacher’s career.

The major German daily Bild said 43-year-old Schumacher’s negotiations about 2013 and beyond are now “in full swing.”

The report claims Mercedes is offering the seven-time World Champion a new contract for 2013, while Schumacher is apparently pushing for a unilateral option that would allow him to decide to keep racing in 2014, as well.

The carmaker’s motor racing president Norbert Haug said: “There is still no decision. We are continuing to negotiate.”

With Nico Rosberg already under contract for 2013, a new deal for Schumacher would appear to lock out McLaren’s Hamilton, who according to Bild is demanding EUR 25 million per year from his next employer.

But Rosberg’s name has also been connected with McLaren in recent days, raising the prospect of a Schumacher-Hamilton driver lineup at Mercedes in 2013.

Mercedes engines might also be playing a big role in the whole affair.

With former works partner McLaren now needing to pay the Stuttgart manufacturer for its power units, a cartoon at motorsport-magazin.com depicted Haug telling Martin Whitmarsh: “Kein Lewis, Keine motoren” (No Lewis, no engines).
 

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Discussion Starter #12
And then this:

A decision over Lewis Hamilton's future is set to be taken in the run-up to the Singapore Grand Prix, with reports suggesting that it is now 'no better than a 50-50 chance' that he will stay with McLaren.

Less than two weeks after rumors of a switch to Mercedes appeared, the Daily Mail, reports that an offer on the table from the Brackley-based team to become its 'undisputed number one' has led to Hamilton giving serious consideration to leaving the team that has guided his career since he was still involved in karting.

McLaren are rumored to have offered Hamilton a new deal on reduced terms while Mercedes are said to be prepared to not only match his current wage, but offer a range of bonuses which could increase the figure.

“The 2008 world champion is understood to have been shocked by McLaren's unwillingness to at least match his current salary,” the Sportsmail article read, “the major sticking point being the perceived undervaluing of his image rights which he must sign away to their army of sponsors.”

The report also suggests that the fact that Mercedes has just a single victory since purchasing the Brawn team ahead of the 2010 season isn't a cause of concern.

“Finances aside, Hamilton is understood to be excited by the prospect of working at Mercedes under Brawn, the man who helped guide Michael Schumacher to seven world titles at Benetton and Ferrari,” the report reads. “…Hamilton is understood to be satisfied that, with Brawn at the helm and the backing of one of the planet's biggest car manufacturers, Mercedes can provide him with a car capable of realizing his dream of emulating Ayrton Senna's record of three world titles.”
Their offer is also believed to come regardless of whether their veteran driver Michael Schumacher announces his retirement at the end of the season, as some suspect he will.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Dammit, I read somewhere where Alonso was quoted as saying basically "I don't blame Hamilton. Leaving McLaren was the best decision of my life." Can't find the article. Maybe I dreamt it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
OK SpeedTV. Here it is:

Fernando Alonso has backed Lewis Hamilton as the 2008 World Champion considers leaving McLaren at the end of the season.

After just a single season alongside then-rookie Hamilton in 2007, Spaniard Alonso left the British team.

This week during a media event in Spain, the now Ferrari driver said leaving McLaren "was the best decision of my life.

"So if Hamilton is also evaluating that option, I don't see why anyone should say it (Hamilton leaving) is not possible.

"McLaren is a great team, but they won the World Championship in 2008 only at the last corner of the last race. If we remove that title, you have to go back a long way to find another one," added Alonso.

Alonso and Hamilton clashed infamously as teammates in 2007, but it is clear the pair now have a great respect for one another.

Alonso confirmed: "I have said he is the only one capable of winning without having the best car. The others win if the car is good, and when it is not (good), they do not (win)."
 

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OK SpeedTV. Here it is:

Fernando Alonso has backed Lewis Hamilton as the 2008 World Champion considers leaving McLaren at the end of the season.

After just a single season alongside then-rookie Hamilton in 2007, Spaniard Alonso left the British team.

This week during a media event in Spain, the now Ferrari driver said leaving McLaren "was the best decision of my life.

"So if Hamilton is also evaluating that option, I don't see why anyone should say it (Hamilton leaving) is not possible.

"McLaren is a great team, but they won the World Championship in 2008 only at the last corner of the last race. If we remove that title, you have to go back a long way to find another one," added Alonso.

Alonso and Hamilton clashed infamously as teammates in 2007, but it is clear the pair now have a great respect for one another.

Alonso confirmed: "I have said he is the only one capable of winning without having the best car. The others win if the car is good, and when it is not (good), they do not (win)."
Speed tv news on my email. Read it.
Cheers
 

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Why Mercedes could be a great move for Lewis

Why Mercedes could be a great move for Lewis


Thursday 13th September 2012, 20:12 by Daniel Chalmers
Team-mates in 2013?
(© Mercedes AMG F1 Team)

Many say Lewis Hamilton moving to Mercedes wouldn’t make any sense, but on further investigation it actually makes plenty of sense.

Clearly on current form a move to Mercedes is a huge no no. McLaren have been consistently quicker all season long. However that doesn’t mean that will be the case in 2013, 2014 and beyond.

The Brackley team are working their way towards being very formidable. Everything is now in place to take that next leap to start winning races regularly and challenging for championships. Lewis could be the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle.

They have been rebuilding ever since Mercedes took over what was Brawn GP in 2010, which came out of the ashes of Honda after they withdrew from the sport.

Brawn GP winning the title in 2009 was an incredible fairytale story. However it needs to be put into perspective. That car was built with millions of Honda dollars. The development of the car started way back in 2007, as the team decided to focus on the substantial regulation changes coming in 2009.

They then had to complete the 2009 season with limited funds, and many employees had to be made redundant.

These limited funds and redundancies had an impact on the design of the W01. Brawn GP had been taken over by a manufacturer giant but they had scaled down and effectively become a smaller team.

Ross Brawn has been building the team back up ever since, and has made some very strong appointments over the last 18 months. You could say he is building a dream team just as Jean Todt did at Ferrari back in the mid 90s.

At the beginning of 2011 Bob Bell joined the team as a technical director. He was the man behind Fernando Alonso’s triumphs at Renault in 2005 and 2006.



Later in the year Geoff Willis joined as technology director. Willis worked alongside Adrian Newey at Williams in the 90s, a period where they were very successful. He has also had stints with Red Bull and BAR/Honda. He is one of the top aerodynamicists in the sport.

Aldo Costa also joined from Ferrari as Engineering Director. Brawn worked with Costa during the glory days at Ferrari. Costa also played a key role in keeping Ferrari competitive in the immediate aftermath when the likes of Brawn, Schumacher and Rory Byrne left their roles

Then of course let’s not forget Brawn himself as team boss. He is one of the most decorated men in Formula 1. He won championships with Benetton in the mid 90s. He was then an integral part of Ferrari’s utter domination of F1 from the early to mid 2000s, as technical director.

He is not ready to retire from the sport yet, and would love to win again with Mercedes. If there is anyone who can turn Mercedes into champions then it is Ross Brawn.

The team have a very talented group of people in place now. Of course the question that will be asked is: if this technical team is so good then why are the team still off the pace?

When new people are brought in and new structures are created success is never instant. When Ferrari started putting their dream team together back in 1996 it took till 1999 to win their first championship together. After that the floodgates opened and the rest is history.

The same could apply to Mercedes. It should also be remembered that Willis started work at Mercedes last October, and Costa last December. That’s well after the time work would have started on the W03.


Making room for Hamilton - will Schumacher retire at the end of the season?

Therefore the 2013 car will effectively be the first challenger all the pre-2012 signings will have been involved with right from the very beginning of the process. That could be very important.

Mercedes have already shown flashes of speed in 2012 (even though the current championship position is disappointing) including that victory in China. Significant upgrades being introduced at the flyaway races could yet bring a few more strong results this year. The key technical appointments are already having an impact.

Another important factor which makes Mercedes a very attractive proposition is the huge set of rule changes in 2014 including changes to the engine, KERs (which will then be ERS) and the gearbox regulations. This will be the biggest set of regulation changes since 2009

The new engine rules are the most significant aspect of the changes. 2.4 litre V8s will be replaced with 1.6 litre turbocharged V6s.

This is a massive regulation change which will make engines much more of a variable in car performance in 2014.

With the current freeze on engine development there isn’t that much difference between the performance of the engines. It’s not the decisive factor in championship battles at the moment.


Will being in a works team provide an advantage in 2014?

In 2014 there will be a battle to develop the best engine in a way we haven’t seen since the engine freeze was introduced. It’s very possible that one engine manufacturer could do a much better job than the other.

Think back to McLaren and Honda in 1988 as a example. It was the most powerful engine in the field that year. It was one of the main reasons McLaren dominated that season.

Mercedes have been top dog in the engines department in recent times. They will be feeling very bullish that they can get the advantage with the new engine regs. They are certainly ones you would put money on to do the best job

In 2014 being with a works team could be a massive advantage. McLaren will have to pay for a Mercedes engine (persuming they stick with Mercedes engines) in 2014, and they will merely be a customer.

Mercedes will very likely be optimising their engine for their own car. They will know everything about their engine long before their customers do, so will be able to design and build their 2014 challenger around it. They will be working closely with the other departments at the team throughout the manufacturing process to optimise the whole package.

Adrian Newey says engines could decide 2014 form. He told Autosport: "In 2014, you will have the variation in engine performance."

He added: "That means the engine power unit itself, which is not only the internal combustion engine but also the various recovery systems bolted to it.

"It is possible that one manufacturer will do significantly better than the others, at which point you might end up with that manufacturer's cars at the front of the grid.

"You could end up with an engine manufacturers' championship."

Brawn admits driving for a works team could be an advantage: “I don't think teams are going to have a worse engine because they are not a works team."

He added: "But inevitably there is a closer involvement with how the engine is created and developed, so that is a fact."

When it comes to major rule changes recent history shows you want to be on a team with either Adrian Newey or Brawn. Looking back to 2009 they were the two men who made the most out of the new regulations.

It’s also worth pointing out that McLaren on the other hand didn’t do a great job at adapting to the new regulations.

For Hamilton joining Mercedes would represent a new challenge. A fresh start at a new team can really re-energise a driver. Things can go stale if you stay at one team for too long.

Lewis has also been accused in the past of being mollycoddled and spoilt at McLaren. Driving for a new team is his chance to show that he can win with a different team. He would be out of McLaren’s shadow after all these years. He would be able to become his own man.

Another key factor that he is not the number one driver at McLaren, thanks to their equal drivers policy. Button appears to be the preferred driver at the team these days.

If he were to replace Schumacher at Mercedes, you would have to fancy Lewis’s chances of being able to impose himself in the team alongside Nico Rosberg. He would have a great chance of establishing himself as the clear number one driver.

If he replaces Rosberg and joins Schumacher it could be a different story however. However Lewis, entering the peak period of career, would surely fancy being able to beat a 44 year old Schumacher.

Brawn could also be the right man to extract the best out of Hamilton. He is used to working with world champions. He was responsible for all seven of Schumacher’s world titles, and Button’s title in 2009.

There is also a sense that Mercedes want him more. McLaren don’t appear willing to meet Hamilton’s wage demands or be less restrictive on his sponsor activity. Those aren’t signs that the team really want him to stay

Mercedes would be willing to pay Lewis more money, and there would be fewer restrictions on his sponsor activity. They really need one of the top three drivers in the sport to increase their chances of winning the championship.

Overall McLaren are likely to still be a very strong option for Lewis in the short term. However in the long term Mercedes could well be the team that’s more likely to be the place for the 2008 world champion to win three or four more titles.

It’s the long term which Lewis has to focus on as he makes this very finely balanced decision.

Mercedes now have the right people, great facilities, they have the budget and the 2014 rule changes could tip the balance more in their favour. It might just be the perfect time to be a part of it all.

Lewis wants to cash in and he wants to win. Only he knows what’s more important to him, but at Mercedes it’s very feasible he could get both. He certainly won’t get both at McLaren.
 
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