Hamilton to Mercedes confirmation due on Friday

Lewis Hamilton will be confirmed on Friday as a Mercedes driver from 2013, according to UK newspapers the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph.

In conjunction with that dramatic announcement will come the news that Michael Schumacher is leaving the team – but whether that is for retirement or a swansong elsewhere remains to be seen.

The move will reunite Hamilton with his former karting team mate and F3 rival Nico Rosberg.

The Daily Mail says that he will have a deal worth £15m a year, with bonuses on top. And as has been widely discussed, he will have more freedom to earn from personal sponsorship deals.

While many have been sceptical in recent weeks, a move to Mercedes always seemed like a worthwhile choice for Hamilton – if a little risky.

Although the team’s results this year have been disappointing since the win in China, the potential of the outfit remains huge. Under Ross Brawn’s guidance the stellar technical team of Bob Bell, Aldo Costa and Geoff Willis came together too late to have a proper impact in this season, but it should pay dividends next year, and especially as F1 makes the transition to the turbo era in 2014. Hamilton is undoubtedly convinced that, working with Brawn, he can make the difference.

For Mercedes hiring Hamilton is a massive PR coup and also relieves the pressure on the team from the Stuttgart board, who now have one of the very best drivers on the grid, and some good motivation to sign the new Concorde and stay in the sport.

As noted it’s not entirely clear whether Schumacher’s second retirement will be confirmed. If it is, the question will be whether he jumped or was pushed. He recently attended the young driver test at Magny-Cours, which was not the action of someone coasting towards retirement.

However his Singapore crash, which received widespread criticism, could not have been more poorly timed.

Schumacher is believed to have a contract that pays him a huge sum to stay on in an ambassadorial role should he stop driving, but he didn’t enjoy a similar experience with Ferrari, and he could yet be hungry for more.

McLaren is now looking for a replacement, with Sergio Perez and Force India drivers Paul Di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg among the obvious candidates. A seven-times World Champion is also available…

11 Comments

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11 responses to “Hamilton to Mercedes confirmation due on Friday

  1. Guy from Austria

    Do you think Schumacher/Ferrari might be interested in a reunion to bridge 2013 until Vettel arrives in 2014?

  2. Yes baby! Now that’s wot I’m talking about! They did it!

    PS When will McLaren make their announcement then?

  3. Sakis.

    MSC should go to McLaren. It will be awesome. He should be racing for a top team.

  4. Stone the crows

    I think Lewis needs a change, he’s been with Mclaren since he was a boy, and if this deal is for real he will mature as a person as well as as a driver. I can’t imagine where Schumacher would go, several teams would be delighted to have him, but I don’t think there are any top teams who would have him.

  5. You’re joking! Well Schumi to McLaren with a performance clause might be interesting. Perez a bit of a gamble, too. Certainly a silly season worthy of the name!

  6. Loti

    If this is true then Ross Brawn was lying yesterday.If Mercedes have decided to kick Michael out I do hope he doesn’t go to work for them, they have let him down with an extremely unreliable car, and he has been the ultimate team player. Whatever he decides to do, I hope he does it for the love of racing rather than money, as Lewis is about to find out, you don’t get sponsors with an unreliable midfield car, ask Nigel, Damon and Jacques. Yes, the Mercedes may have an advantage for a short time in 2014 but historically the Brawn only had an advantage for half a season and there is no reason to suppose that the other teams won’t catch up quickly.
    Win or lose,Michael’s stay at Mercedes was pretty much bound to end in tears, I just hope it’s Mercedes that are the ones that will be crying.

  7. Tom Cary is usually right about those stuff, so I’ll keep sharp eyes on my Twitter timeline.
    Di Resta sounds like a natural fit for Mclaren to me?

  8. Maria

    I will believe it when I see it. Sounds more like the press are conspiring to get this saga over with sooner without any valid info. They wouldn’t mind being obviously wrong. Maybe this is indication that they haven’t been able to get reliable info from their moles so they resort to try force someone’s hand and get it over with. Sure looks that way.

  9. Grody

    “…. and also relieves the pressure on the team”. Really???

    I would have thought a corporate shudder would pass up the spine of the Mercedes team (and Nico personally), as it has absolutely no excuses now! A current race-winner in the car will certainly send the wrong message about Mercedes if LH doesn’t challenge for wins from the start.

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