You can be rest assured that Lewis Hamilton will be driving for the Silver Arrows in 2013 after McLaren made a shock announcement this morning:
“Vodafone McLaren Mercedes confirms multi-year deal with Sergio Perez” read the subject line of the McLaren media email, which is sent out to all journalists and bloggers. Who'd have guessed that?
McLaren moved first before either Hamilton or Mercedes could make the announcement on their new driver / team partnership that has been on the cards for quote a few weeks now.
In a radio interview just last night, BBC 5Live’s James Allen said the general feeling was Lewis would stay at McLaren after a better financial deal was offered by the team. But it doesn’t seem to have been enough reason for Lewis to stay, and a Mercedes press release is expected any second to confirm the bold signing.
It finally ends months of speculation about his future. A new McLaren contract was meant to be hammered out over the summer break back in August, yet nothing was signed. Since then the F1 circus has been to Belgian, Italian and Singapore Grand Prix with numerous stories breaking over the “saga”, yet with no real substance or actual truth behind them.
McLaren’s press release of scooping up Perez from under Ferrari’s nose gets the jigsaw pieces finally moving. It’s a fantastic coup for McLaren who will have saved millions of pounds by not resigning Hamilton, but now has probably the best young driver prospect on the grid in Sergio. It smells a little bit like 2007 all over again, just with a Mexican name making the headlines for the Woking team.
As a Lewis Hamilton fan, I was swaying more towards him staying at McLaren as I genuinely thought that was his best chance of winning his next World Drivers’ Championship. After all, Mercedes AMG's form since their first victory in China has been pretty woeful. But there is still reason for optimism for his fans. Martin Porter’s article yesterday titled “The case for Lewis Hamilton joining Mercedes” is excellent and details why this could be a shrewd move for him. It’s certainly a shrewd move from a business point of view; I honestly hope the car will be competitive too.
The silly season continues as there is now a spare seat at Sauber, Massa is still out of contract at Ferrari, and Heikki Kovalainen and Jaime Alguersuari are chomping at the bit for competitive drives next season. What will happen next?!
This page was published by James Wilson