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.
Full story after the jump.
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.
Press release after the jump.
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.
After a busy year, in which they were accused of stealing Ferrari’s secrets, after being disqualified from the Formula One’s Constructor Championship, that they could easily have won, after their driver Lewis Hamilton lost the Driver Championship by 2 points, finally McLaren can be happy. They have a better car than Ferrari. A car that won eight of Formula One’s 17 races, a car – MP4-22 – that won the Racing Car of the Year award at the Autosport Awards ceremony held in London.
Paddy Lowe, the (...)
Lewis Hamilton received last night the prizes for Best British Competition Driver, Best International Racing Driver and Rookie of the Year at the Autosport Awards held at the Grosvenor House Hotel on London’s Park Lane.
Viviane Senna, who presented Lewis with an award, compared the British driver with her brother Ayrton Senna: “He reminds me of Ayrton, as a pilot.”
After receiving his awards, Lewis said that he was more nervous when he received these awards than he was in 1995 at the age (...)
Ralf Schumacher is still looking for a team that would let him drive in the next Formula One season. The former Toyota driver would really appreciate a contract offer from McLaren, that after Fernando Alonso’s departure hasn’t yet decided who will be Hamilton team mate for the 2008 season.
Ralf declared about the free driver position at McLaren: “Every driver out there in the market would love to sit in their super car.”
Ralf Schumacher could be a solution for McLaren, especially now when (...)
McLaren is considering its options for the second driver. Everyone is curious about who will be the 2008 second driver at McLaren, including Hamilton that declared at Mercedes-Benz’s ’Stars and Cars’ event in Stuttgart: “I am interested to see who it is going to be, I am as excited as you guys are.
I have no idea, I can only guess.”
Hamilton hopes that his future team mate will be a “team player”, and he’s thinking about Nick Heidfeld, Nico Rosberg, Adrian Sutil and Heikki Kovalainen. He also (...)
McLaren boss Ron Dennis divulged on Saturday afternoon at engine and equity partner Mercedes-Benz’s ’Cars and Stars’ end of season event in Stuttgart that the 2008 car will be released by the Woking based outfit in "the second week of January".
The new car will be release after FIA “outside experts” present their report about the legality of the car. A McLaren spokesperson reacted about FIA inspection: "We have no comment other than that we will cooperate fully with the (...)
While Kimi Raikkonen is resting the runner up, Lewis Hamilton is busier than ever. After a visit at MTV, Hamilton appeared on Sunday at Mercedes’ annual Stars & Cars event in Stuttgart, where more than 60,000 people attended.
Hamilton joined Mercedes colleagues from both Formula One racing and the German DTM series to celebrate the end of the company’s 2007 motor racing season. In traditional style, the day featured a packed programme of demonstration laps, pit-stop competitions, (...)
McLaren have announced that former world champion Fernando Alonso is to leave the team, after both parties agreed to a “mutual parting of ways”. Alonso, who joined the British squad from Renault at the start of 2007, did have two years left to run on his contract.
The statement released today revealed that, after discussions, it had been decided “it would be in the best interests of both parties to bring the relationship to an end”.
Although Alonso won four races during the 2007 season, and (...)
After the big espionage Formula One scandal from this season that implicated McLaren and Ferrari – McLaren was accused and found guilty of spying on Ferrari and had to pay a 100 million USD fine, and was disqualified from the constructor’s championship making it easy for Ferrari to win it – it was logical that FIA will pay attention at the development of the McLaren’s 2008 car, but the declarations of Max Mosley, president of the sport’s rule makers the FIA, are ridiculous.
If FIA founds any (...)
One race: the “Formula 1™ Grande Prêmio do Brasil 2007”, maybe the most important race of the year for Hamilton, Alonso and Raikkonen. On 21 October they will do their best to finish 71 laps, those infernal 305.909 km (190,083.04 miles) that keeps them away from the Title. Maybe one of them will even break the lap record established in 2004 by Montoya: 1:11.473. Definitely Alonso and Raikkonen will try to a better position than last year – Alonso finished second last year and Kimi was the (...)
Fernando Alonso kept his advantage obtained yersterday in the practice session and took the pole position at the Italian Grand Prix. He was followed by his team mate Lewis Hamilton who took the second place.
Behind McLaren’s drivers place Ferrari’s Felipe Massa with 1m 22.549s. Bmw had a great day due to the fact that its Nick Heidfeld obtained he 5th position. Felipe’s team mate Kimi Raikkonen obtained the 6th position with 1m 23.183s . Behind Raikkonen was the other Bmw driver Heikki (...)