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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hamilton to Mercedes Rumour fuels Transfer Fever

The current McLaren situation is untenable.  Lewis was doing everything by the book this year and then contract negotiations got under way.

Both sides were making all the right, positive statements but Lewis's behaviour was off at Belgium.

In March 2011 I posted that Lewis was sending all the wrong messages to the team and that his only option come the end of that season might have been Schumi's seat in Mercedes.

On May 16th of that year I did a Who's going Where post based on Massa moving to Mercedes where I pointed out that Lewis had burned his bridges with Red Bull and Ferrari and that explained why he was making soothing statements with regard to his commitment to the McLaren team.

and on June 14th 2011 I was commenting on Hamilton becoming a Team liability due to his management and how they appeared to be approaching the end-of-contract negotiations which are currently underway.

In May 2011 I said

Who fills the other vacant seat at Mercedes? Webbo would feel that he could compete with Massa in equal machinery - Hamilton (while unlikely to leave McLaren given his current statements) has expressed (an unexpressed) desire to go elsewhere by way of his early criticism of the team but Mercedes might not be big enough for him, Red Bull would not take him (or would they?) after he called them fly-by-nights, and Ferrari couldn't have him (with Nadgers in the team) - basically he's ****ed from a height with regard to competitive teams - I'd day his management team have finaly realised this and hence the resulting soothing noises currently audible in the Hamilton camp.

We all remember Canada last season when Hamilton was spotted coming out of a "chat" with Christian Horner; well Eddie Jordan has stated that Hamilton's management approaches have been rebuffed at both Ferrari and Red Bull.  He also said that Mercedes have agreed personal terms with Lewis to take over the Schumacher seat.

Is this another negotiation tactic by Lewis and X1X Management? If so it's a dangerous game and, given Ferrari and Red Bull are out of the equation, it might just hand control of negotiations back to McLaren.

Mercedes can pay more but will they win him championships? Would he be capable of doing a "Schuey/Ferrari" for Mercedes? Will McLaren fight hard to keep him?

It's a difficult question for me and it all hangs on whether Michael intends to retire at the end of the season.  I think he will but there's a lot of interest in the seat and there'd be more in the McLaren one.

Negotiations are at a critical phase just now and perhaps to illustrate his desirability, as in May last year, Hamilton should keep his head down and his twitter finger in neutral, in order to show McLaren just why he's worth millions to the team.