After a successful run with McLaren, Lewis Hamilton became likely the hottest free agent in recent F1 history. There was a lot of debating and speculation that Hamilton had already signed with Mercedes, who only just recently signed the Concorde Agreement after rumors that it may leave F1, and that McLaren refused to match. It looks as if all of the Hamilton-to-Mercedes rumors were true, as Mercedes has officially announced the signing of Hamilton through the 2016 season.
This signing comes on the heels of McLaren, Hamilton’s former employer, announcing that it had signed the up-and-coming Sergio Perez. An unfortunate byproduct of Mercedes bringing in this young blood means the old blood, in the form of Michael Schumacher, is out of a job. There is some speculation that Schumacher will head back into retirement, but other rumors are placing him with Sauber, taking the spot vacated by Sergio Perez’s jettison to McLaren. Ah, and the evil circle of F1 continues…
It is up for debate as to whether Mercedes or McLaren got the better end of the deal, as you have a proven talent in Hamilton who had some struggles last year. But on the other hand you have the 22-year-old Perez with an impressive three podium trips last year and is heading into the prime of his career.
Either way, both Mercedes and McLaren got their guys and both Hamilton and Perez will likely continue strong in the coming years. Also announced today by Mercedes is that 3-time F1 champ, Nikki Lauda, will join Mercedes as a non-executive chairman.
The truth has finally come out from McLaren, as they have just admitted that they might reconsider their decision to support both Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button during the course of the Brazilian Grand Prix.
The team had stated that they would support Button, despite the fact that the driver is just about out of the contention for the championship. Hamilton is in much better shape at the moment and the team may need Button to help him out during the race.
"We’ll see what the situation is during the race," said boss Martin Whitmarsh to the BBC.
At the moment, Hamilton is only 21 points back of Fernando Alonso, while Button is 42 points back with only 50 points up for grabs, so it would make sense to give Hamilton everything he needs to help run down the Ferrari.
"We’ll see what happens over the course of the weekend," added Whitmarsh. "There’s a good relationship between the two drivers. I’m sure they are going to co-operate with each other.”
McLaren have just confirmed that they will back Jenson Button in his title defense at the Brazilian Grand Prix, despite the English driver being 42 points behind with only 50 points up for grabs.
His teammate, Lewis Hamilton, is only 21 points behind and could use the support of Button, but that’s just not going to happen.
"He has vowed to fight on and we will be supporting him fully next weekend," said McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh to the BBC.
"Jenson knows you can’t lift the title without being a resolute fighter."
Button knows that it’s a long shot, but he has said that he wouldn’t be able to forgive himself if he backed down and did not try and defend his title. He has stated that he will continue to fight until it’s mathematically impossible for him to win.
Currently, Fernando Alonso sits atop of the standings, with Mark Webber, Hamilton, and Sebastian Vettel close behind. Webber is currently the closest to Alonso, as he is only down 11 points.
Despite being so far down and behind four other drivers, Button remains upbeat.
"It’s totally possible I could win at Interlagos, take home maximum points and have none of the other title contenders finish, he said to the BBC.
McLaren’s Jenson Button feels like his title hopes are all but gone, after he finished 12th in the Korean Grand Prix.
Button is now 42 points behind the leader, Fernando Alonso, with only 50 points still on the table. Despite this, Button has vowed to keep fighting, despite his belief that everyone will need to have failures in order to get back into title contention.
His teammate, Lewis Hamilton, remains confident in his chances and feels that the new updates that are going for his car will help McLaren remain competitive with the Ferrari and Red Bull machines.
"We can still do this," said Hamilton to the BBC. "We have some stuff coming on the car which should enable us to fight with Red Bull in Brazil and Abu Dhabi."
Hamilton is currently 21 points behind Alonso, but drivers now get 25 points for winning a race. If Hamilton can take the last two races, he might have a great shot at taking his second career championship.
The McLaren F1 team unveiled their 2010 Formula One entry earlier today at their headquarters in Newbury, and almost as impressive as their new machine is the all English driver lineup with returning champion Lewis Hamilton and last year’s break out sensation Jensen Button leading the charge.
In accordance with the new sporting regulations for the 2010 season, the car has undergone some considerable changes, even if it appears to be quite the same to the untrained eye. Dubbed the MP4-25, the new race car features a radical aerodynamic overhaul and a significantly larger fuel tank to allow the team to run longer between pit stops and the championship winning McLaren design team has declared they are confident that they have explored every possible avenue in order to maximize the MP4-25’s on track performance. Powered by a Mercedes-Benz FO 108X V8 engine, the same power plant that brought McLaren and Lewis Hamilton the world title in 2008, tipping the scales at just under 210 pounds, the slightly heavier MP4-25 will make its first on track appearance in Valencia, Spain on February 1 along with many of the other F1 competitors for some pre season testing.
All those talks surrounding Kimi Raikkonen’s move to rally car racing have been extinguished after reports came out that the former World Champion has signed an outline agreement to return to McLaren next year.
Citing ‘paddock sources’, the Mirror was the first to report about Raikkonen’s apparent return to the silver and black after spending three years in Ferrari, including a World Championship in 2007.
Despite being under contract to Ferrari for one more year at around $50 million, whispers are being made that Raikkonen is prepared to vacate his seat in Ferrari if Scuderia will pay him his entire 2010 salary down to the last penny.
In the event that Ferrari does give-in to the Finn’s request, we can all consider it a formality that another former World Champion will replace Kimi at Ferrari for 2010. That ex-champ being Fernando Alonso.
In the event that all of this plays out as anticipated, would we expect nothing less than a return to form from Ferrari and McLaren next year?
At the very least, an Alonso-Massa pairing and a Raikkonen-Hamilton team is pretty much worth watching.
Everything went right for Hamilton and bad forThe other driver ,Fernando Alonso, at the start, as the two McLaren drivers scrapped with one another while also making sure fast-starting Nick Heidfeld didn’t get the drop on them.