#F1 Daily News and Comment: Tuesday 13th January 2015

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Previously on TheJudge13:

The #TJ13 #F1 Courtroom Podcast: “The Counselling HAS Helped”


OTD Lite 1957 – Argentinia celebrates as Fangio wins at home

Hamilton offered a paycut for his services

Mallya under severe restrictions of travel

Mclaren deny running before launch

Marchionne affirms Ferrari’s future


OTD Lite 1957 – Argentina celebrates as Fangio wins at home

On this day, almost sixty years ago, one of the greatest artisans of Formula One opened his season with victory in his home race. The four time champion, Juan Manuel Fangio had left the Ferrari squad – that he had won the previous years campaign with – and joined the Maserati team.

The iconic 250F, recognised as one the most beautiful machines ever to be entered in competition would carry the Argentinian to his fifth and final world title. This would remain a record until Michael Schumacher surpassed it in 2003.

Fangio_57_monaco_01_bc

Fangio would go on to claim a further three victories that season including what is rated as one the greatest ever races – the 1957 German Grand Prix. He retired following the 1958 French GP when he placed fourth but with his legend secured.

The Grumpy Jackal

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Hamilton offered a paycut for his services

Sources from Italy are reporting that Stuttgart is playing hardball in their contract renewal negotiations with 2014 World Champion Lewis Hamilton.

With his current contract due to expire at the end of this year, and with Mercedes in the comfortable position of having a dominant car they are apparently refusing to accede to Hammy’s cash demands and have offered a three year contract with remuneration of ‘just’ 20 million Euro a year.

Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda are handling the negotiations with the British World Champion which sheds some light on Wolff’s recent comments about Fernando Alonso being a possible candidate for the second Mercedes seat in 2016.

Of course with the Spaniard and Sebastien Vettel both earning in the region of 30 million annually – the offer to Lewis appears on the low side, but the Brackley team have added a performance related clause to the negotiations whereby every race victory will earn Lewis an extra million and he would receive an additional 5 million for winning a third title.

In a Silver Arrows as dominant as the 2014 machine, this should be a simple decision. But with the FIA backtracking on engine freeze rules and a number of technicians leaving the German team – the chances of a similar level of domination will evaporate as surely as any dominant period has inevitably done so in F1 history.

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Mallya under severe restrictions of travel

Further to TJ13 reporting on Sunday that the Indian authorities had placed travel restrictions on the ex-billionaire Vijay Mallya – a metropolitan magistrate court in Mumbai has decided that the Force India owner can leave India providing he gives the authorities a detailed itinerary of his travel at least 48 hours in advance. In addition to this stipulation is Mallya will have to produce two people as references whenever he has to go out of the country.

Whilst this is not welcome news to the magnate whose empire is crumbling – of possibly more concern to the employees of the team and F1 in general is that for the first time, the salaries of the employees were not paid on time – they were received early this month as opposed to December. The significance of this being that Mallya was always insistent that payment of the salaries was punctual.

The whole of the Force India team is hoping this is merely a temporary problem. Yet with Mallya’s Kingfisher Airline having lost its operator permit in December 2014 and with the AAI – the Airport Authorities of India – filing a civil suit in the Bombay High Court – the omens do not appear favourable for the Silverstone based team.

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Mclaren deny running before launch

Mclaren has confirmed that the new MP4/30 will not be run on any ‘filming’ days before it’s actual launch on 30th January and that the first time it turns a wheel in anger will be when it comes out of the garages in Jerez on 4th February.

This denial follows a report that appeared in the Spanish daily – El Mundo Deportivo – which claimed the Woking team “a couple of days before the launch the machine will run at Silverstone for a shakedown and filming day. It is hoped that the software problems highlighted in the post season test in Abu Dhabi have been resolved.”

The newspaper continued “that the British team is unlikely to have the support of a title sponsor for a second consecutive year after talks with Spanish telecoms giant, Movistar, broke down.

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Marchionne affirms Ferrari’s future

Sergio Marchionne held a press conference for the forthcoming Detroit Motor Show recently where he spoke briefly abut the Ferrari challenge he presides over. He said he will go to a few of the races and give his backing to the new team principal, Maurizio Arrivabene.

His message for the immediate future for the Red army was anything but hopeful: “It will be a difficult year as we were heading backwards” before adding that he had no intention of rekindling the war of words which the clearly angry Luca di Monetezemolo used in a recent press conference last month.

“Ultimately the team is prepared to work hard to get back on top with Vettel and Raikkonen ready to challenge the competition. The important thing now is to engage, keep their heads down and work. You cannot go into war with a slingshot. The thing I can guarantee is that in Ferrari we have a thousand people ready to win – everyone in Ferrari wants to win.”

As a businessman Sergio has few equals – having transformed the monolithic Fiat and Chyrsler corporations in record time and he provided an answer to the doubters who felt he was about to compromise Ferrari’s exclusivity in exchange for the lure of the dollar.

“The goal is to keep production under constant demand because the wort thing that can happen to Ferrari is to over-produce. It’s a brand that’s different to all the others and is something we imposed strategically back in 2007 and this policy will never be changed. We have the technical capacity to produce 10,000 cars a year but I think that this has been exaggerated by the press.”

“As Enzo Ferrari once said, we sell one less car than the market wants.”

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72 responses to “#F1 Daily News and Comment: Tuesday 13th January 2015

  1. Its heartening to hear Ferrari would remain exclusive. Sometime ago even TJ13 published an imaginary photo of a Ferrari family sedan. Trust that will never come and ferrari will always be ferrari.

  2. So they’re offering €20m plus performance incentive bonus! The man just won 11 races and helped them secure both championships. And please let’s not carry on with the ‘oh they had a dominat car, so they’re in the driving seat’. That’s nonsense, especially when you later state that their advantage maybe wiped with the backtracking of the engine rules. It’s for that reason why he should be paid the same as Alonso and Vettel, because when that advantage is wiped out, are they really going to rely on Nico to carry the fight to the others? The very same cerebral, smart as a NASA engineer Rosberg, who in Austin complained about a switch on his steering wheel that should’ve been a ‘button thingy you’ that’s why he got overtaken. Yup, Nico is the man for the job.

    Furthermore why shouldn’t he demand as much as Alonso, the man who has not won anything for 8 yrs now.

    Toto might want to tread carefully, because this could come back and haunt him if it goes badly. So just like how he said Alonso is dangerous because he can take a car that’s only capable of finishing 6th and take it to 3rd, the same applies to Hamilton.

    But then again, this story could be yet more nonsense emanating from the Italian media. Alonso must be rubbing his hands with glee praying that Lewis decides not to renew his contract.

    • Yeah I know I’m replying yo my own comment….Putting my Hamfosi hat on again….

      Is that not the type of contract you offer someone before they win a WDC?

      Lets not get too cocky Toto, especially after saying that the signing of Hamilton was what the te needed, because he brought with him the edge that they were missing.

    • to be honest, this looks as if they want to get rid of hamilton. you can’t extend rosbergs contract prematurely and give him a pay raise and then play hardball with the driver who won 11 races and a wdc last season, offering him a pay cut. they do have the fastest car at the moment, yes, but they are also in the process of self-sabotaging their success.

      • If he wins as much as he did last year, he would end up in the region of 40 million with all the bonuses (20+11+5=36M). They merely shift the contract to a success-based scheme, while Rosberg got a higher salary so that he’ll continue to roll over and keep missing breaking points when told to do so. As long as the Merc stays as dominant as it is, HAM would end up being the highest paid driver in F1. Doesn’t sound like a paycut to me. Should the other teams catch up however, which inevitably would mean that Lewis’s sense of entitlement would kick in – and we’ve seen in the past to what hilarious actions that can lead (twittering telemetry anyone?) – the missing bonuses and therefore reduced pay would make sure he’s properly motivated to leave the team. Let’s face it, Lewis is not one you want to have in the team if the success dries up.

        • “Lewis is not one you want to have in the team if the success dries up.”

          But you would want to have Alonso?!
          Or even Vettel beating himself up?

          • A former champion is in most cases not one you want to have, although some actually seek the challenge (Vettel, Schumacher, Villeneuve). Button is the positive exception, he never made a splash about missing success and Vettel’s drought has been to short to really know how he will behave in the long-term. He certainly took his annus horibilis with a certain class instead of blasting the team at every opportunity.

          • @hippo…

            Whilst I applaud him for taking up the Ferrari challenge, I would’ve loved to see him stay at Redbull and show that getting beat by Ricciardo was a fluke.

            But then again, he could’ve stayed and still suffer the same faith.

        • You’re still spouting the Rosberg-was-told-to-botch-it garbage?! That’s sooooooo Sept 2014!! 🙂

          So which driver do you want in your team if the success dries up? Alonso?!? Pfft. Vettel?!? The guy who left RBR the first chance he could, even when they had the 2nd best car?

          • And you’re sprouting the ‘he ran away’ BS. He got an offer from Ferrari, a team he wanted to drive for even before he scored his first title with RB. He’d be stark raving mad to pass up an offer like that.

            As for the driver I would want if my team were rebeuilding? Button – no question.

          • Button?! Gosh, I nearly fell of my chair. No offence, just never expected that.

          • @FH, I didn’t imply that Seb was “running away” (from Ricciardo, presumably) … you inferred it, so that’s on you. I certainly have not been a flag-bearer for that viewpoint, whereas you’ve been leading the “Mercedes fixed it” charge since Day One.

            He got a big money offer from Ferrari, a team he’s wanted to drive for. But that seat would’ve been open for him in the future, and he was in the 2nd best car last year, and likely the 2nd best car this year. Ferrari is in turmoil. He also just got spanked by the new guy in the team. One would think those three factors would’ve kept him at the team, to try to beat Ricciardo, and to give himself the best chance at success. Apparently not.

            If Lewis had left McLaren after 2011, the same things would’ve been said, even though his 2011 wasn’t as bad as Seb’s 2014. Even when he left after 2012, there were suggestions from some quarters that Jenson had “won” by forcing Lewis out.

          • Now I’m awaiting moderation??? Hmm, how very North Korean of you. I look forward to the explanation.

          • I do not know. We don’t put the comments in moderation manually. It’s done by a software we do not control. It could be something as easy as you having replied to yourself more than once. In this case you had to as the depth of replies is limited, so please cut down on the dictatorship reproaches. We are much more lax in what gets moderated than most internet forum out there.

          • Ok, sorry for that. Assumed that since I was good to post before, that there had been a manual “intervention”. Never good to assume. Have a good one.

          • The software is very good at keeping out spam, but as a downside we have a fair number of false positives. Usually the comments get approved within the hour.

        • Are we still pedalling the Twitter telemetry hippo? That was so 2012, it’s now 2015 🙂 🙂

          • It is not something that goes out of style. It was Lewis’s reaction to missing success and even this year he was not always calm and collected when things didn’t go his way, so there is no sign that Lewis’s reaction to missing success has undergone a major change.

        • Ooooooh pleeeeze. A Brit beat a German, get over it!
          Stop peddling the lie that Rosberg gifted Hamilton the championship. Hamilton won it fair and square, despite some dubious activities by Rosberg and the team.
          If your beloved Vettel was offered the same terms I am sure you would be up in arms about it. And dont bang on about how many championships he has won….it seems it was the car that won, not the driver, as he was thrashed last year by Ricciardo.

          • Why should I go up in arms over Vettel’s salary. It is him, who has to be content with it, not me. And if he doesn’t like the terms he’s offered, he has the option of moving on, like everybody would do.

            And as for your nationalism insinuation. That Lewis is British has nothing to do with it, nor the fact that he beat a German – who cares? I wouldn’t have changed my opinion if Nico were Saudi-Arabian or from inner Mongolia or if Lewis was German. It’s the simple fact that Merc still felt the need to meddle with things despite having a car that left them with no opposition whatsoever. The aftermath of Spa was shambolic and my opinion about that won’t change any time soon.

          • @hippo….

            But is Lewis British? If we’re to go by the argument that you’ve got to pay your fair share of taxes to the crown, then you can’t call yourself ‘British’… 🙂 😉

          • Patriotic was used on here, but in the mainstream media, the word British was the norm.

    • You seem to forget how long it took vettel to get that kind of money. He was the cheapest world champion out there. And double champion. And triple champion. It wasn’t until his fourth that he got that enormous raise. And where does it say that mercedes have to pay hamilton that. It’s a negation. If they don’t want to offer that kind of money they don’t have to. Just as hamilton doesn’t have to accept…

      • Fully aware of how negotiations work….

        So how long should it take Hamilton to get that sort of money? Is it his 3rd or 4th title?

        The hippo maybe able to correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Seb’s big payday came with his move to Ferrari?

        Lewis has nothing to prove so as to warrant that type of salary. If it’s being stated that he and Alonso are the best on the grid, then shouldn’t that be recognised financially as well?

        • Not the hippo, but Vettel had his contract renegotiated going into the 2014 season which took him to 22 million. Vettel was reported to be on contracts of 10-14 million with big performance bonuses during his championship years. His new contract with Ferrari is reported to be 25-28 million with unstated performance bonuses.

          I do not understand why Toto feels the need to screw with Lewis and I am NOT a Hamilfosi. But Toto is because he thinks he has the last good seat available for 2016 and beyond. This is Hamilton’s reward for being a good soldier and pressing on to the championship and deferring negotiations during the season.

          I disagree with you on Alonso and Hamilton being the best on the grid (you should include Seb), but agree with you on your main points.

          • Give Toto credit for some sense, please.
            It would have been an absolute no brainer not to suppose that if Hamilton took the title he’d be looking for a stratospheric pay rise, so an immediate slap down was required. Simple reality.

            Probably discover the REAL sticking point is that Mercedes want to retain the trophies, as per McLaren.
            Bling is important to Lewis as we’ve seen so often. 🙂

        • First of all, 20 Million is sh*t-load of money, so it’s not like he’s offered a student’s pay. Traditionally large salaries have been negotiated by drivers and/or teams if you know that there won’t be much in the way of success bonuses coming. You give a top driver 30+ or 40+ million when you want to keep him despite not having the car to do the job.

          30M plus success bonuses is not something that Toto would get past the Mercedes board of directors. People tend to forget that Wolff and Lauda make only propositions, the final okay comes from Stuttgart and those guys couldn’t care less who pedals their cars as long as one of them wins.

          • Oh I think they do care who pedals their cars hippo.

            There was a piece on the BBC-F1 page after the season was over showing stats. One of particular interest was to do with merchandising, it stated that in 3hrs (give or take) the team made £19m+ from sales. So I’d say yea, they do care who’s behind the wheels.

          • Fully agree with the hippo. You are only taking the British side in your opinion. And we all know you British are a bit self centered. But there are other factors in the big world.

          • It was actually meant in jest 😉
            But the BBC is a bit Lewis-centric. The sales of shirts and caps mean absolutely nothing to Stuttgart. What interests them is the sales of cars and trucks. For that they need a Merc winning. The driver means nothing. The British won’t storm the Mercedes dealerships now, just because Lewis won and I would hazard a guess that the majority of Lewis’s fanbase is not their main customer base anyway.

          • Ha! All British media are British and Lewis centric FH…. If you watch Sky or BBC during the race you would think the British drivers are the only ones that can race

          • @bruznic…..

            Not sure which other side i can take, given that I don’t speak any other language but English.

            But who says I’m British?

          • If hazarding guesses is allowed, I’d agree that I doubt any driver make much difference in the European market, even a Merc winning probably isn’t much percentage wise, though clearly worht bothering with otherwise they wouldn’t do it.

            I would, however, put forward that Lewis might make a difference for Sales in America, or in Malaysia and other markets with room for expansion, whereas your Nico’s and Buttons and most other drivers would not.

          • Here is a question Adam. If Lewis fans all buy Mercs because of Lewis would they all sell their Mercs when Lewis leaves Merc? 😉

          • I’m working a contra strategy, I’m not buying a Merc and hoping he leaves them Don! There may be some financial reasons too. 😀

            In seriousness though, it might sound wonky, but that is why brands use these high profile stars to promote products.

    • Yes, you are right Fortis; put any of quite a few drivers in both the Mercedes cars and they will win both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ championships. Frankly Hamilton should be happy with an offer like that with incentives to win; Hamilton and Rosberg are both lucky guys right now. Mercedes is spending a LOT of money to build them winning cars and both could be easily replaced. Yes, Hamilton is a good driver and deserved to win this past season, but I just don’t understand the fanboi adoration stuff – it just seems a bit creepy to me.

      • So basically you’re saying, that because there are other drivers out there who you view as capable of winning the title with that car, he should just put up and shut up and be grateful with what they’re offering him?

        Let’s stick to the topic of wages and not delve into making things personal.

        • An employer will always offer you the deal that is best for *them*. If they think that a deal with less guaranteed salary but bigger bonusses is better for them, that’s what they will offer you, and yes, if they think they don’t need you they’ll act accordingly. RB is a classical example. As long as they needed Seb, because he was the best at making the most out of Newey’s EBD, they catered for his every whim and even let him get away with Multi21. As soon as the EBD was outlawed and RIC felt more comfortable, they dropped him like a hot potato and put all resources behind Dan. F1 teams are not charitable organisations. If Lewis doesn’t accept the deal, someone else will replace him.

        • No, what I am saying is that Mercedes provided him with the means to win the Championship; a car that is/was far superior to everyone else. They have offered him a large salary with incentive bonuses (if the reporting is correct) that will make him the top paid driver if he continues to win. Yes, he should be grateful they will continue to spend very large amounts of money on the car/engine and very large amounts of money as wages to him. If he doesn’t like the deal he can go elsewhere; there are lots of drivers who would happily replace him. This is a business Fortis, not an ego building exercise.

  3. ……. of possibly more concern to the employees of the team and F1 in general is that for the first time, the salaries of the employees were not paid on time – they were received early this month as opposed to December.

    Sadly true but sadly not the first time wages have been late…

    • For this team?
      Not an inspiring look.

      Vege Mallya was supposed to have ‘ring fenced’ his team to avoid financial stress – he said it often enough.

      • I guess you can imagine getting money to the team isn’t very easy so they have been late before but never not paid .. The closed season is always the most difficult time as it’s maximum expenditure against minimum exposure…

  4. It increasingly looks like that Toto thinks is the new Frank Williams and his Merc team can be the new Williams Renault of the 90s. With such a dominant car they obviously believe they’ll be able to win the title with any of the top 5-6 drivers for the next 3 years or so. Imagine if you end up having Hamilton, Alonso, Rosberg and Vettel, all winning a title with this Merc team.

    • This is one story, in the midst of a host of others that are claiming Mercedes is set to make Lewis the highest-paid driver on the grid. A compare-and-contrast piece probably would’ve been better, but just the “hardball” angle is highlighted.

      What was the source? It doesn’t say.

      • Exactly KRB, If we base this on last years performance then Lewis is both being offered a paycut and set to be the highest paid driver on the grid at the same time.

        Personally, If I was Lewis I’d hang on a bit, lets see how that McLaren and the New Ferraris and Williams are looking, as I a fan, I’d rather see him with a new challenge at Ferrari or Williams (I’d love to see him and Seb head to head at Ferrari!).

  5. The McLaren MP4-30 won’t head out onto track until Feb 4th, the last day of the first test? Am I missing something?

  6. Hey Judge, how come we have got nothing on Toto’s new master plan? Master plan you ask? Yeah, have we not all seen the pictures on social media of Rosbergs new dog, and his videos of him training it? Surely this is all part of Toto’s grand strategy: the Hamification of Nico.

    Toto: “Zooow Nicooow, If you want to win the championship, but for some reesum all this straynge behaviours of Lewis seems to sell mower kars, so we neet to make you more like Luuwis. Vat we need yuuu too dooo is be mower liyek Luuuwis, people like this heart on der sleeve think”

    Nico: “but how?”

    Toto: “what about a dowg, people love Luuwis and his crazy dogs”

    Nico: “and then what”

    Toto: “well just put picatures up offf it, and use haysh tags about buuddies and friends ans stuff!”

    Nico: “For sure”

    So, on this basis, watch for updates with Nico chilling out with his buddies, recording a new folk album, and going shopping with the mrs at some point this year.

  7. Haven’t seen Fat hippo so animated…oh I see…It a story about putting Lewis in his PLACE.A story about forcing Lewis into a humiliating paycut……yea where have we seen this before…

    Any way This is good news for us Hamfossi,its makes it easier to move to Ferrarri.The real prize for the legacy is winning 3 championship with 3 differrent teams…..so while detractors are giggling about the champ taking a paycut in their little petty hatred,we have our eye on the prize.

    • Yeah, earning 20M is *really* humiliating. How humiliating must it have been for Senna in ’93 to be fobbed off with 16M+Bonuses or Vettel with his meagre 10M+bonuses which only changed after 4 titles. Some people really lose perspective sometimes…

      • Dont be silly Hippo,I know when it comes to Lewis,to you the usual norms dont apply.
        Its not about the amount but the principle.I mean 5 million is alot of money too.Its about respect and brand value relative and next to Alonso and Vettel.

        you may think that for some one like Lewis 20 million is allllot,and how dare him demand more…Ron Dennis and Witmarsh tried that game before thinking the very same things.one they thought that they had all the power with the fastest car and (2) they thought that there were no other top seat available for Lewis to go to.

        Lewis has shown that he wont be bullied by any one and that has been evident from day one by him standing up to Alonso as a rooki,and Later telling Ron to F***off when he tried to tell Lewis when and who to socialize with.Lewis wont be afraid to walk away into his next challenge….cough Ferrari

        The law of diminishing return will aplly to Merc and the others teams will be even closer this yr and next.therefore the so called deal on the table is a slap in the face and an insult to Lewis intelligence.There is no guarantee of dominance this yr.

        • You are perhaps not familiar with the concept of supply and demand. They offer him a deal that potentially makes him the highest earner in F1, it’s just not guaranteed. It’s a deal they can get past the board of directors.
          It is a business decision, not a personal evaluation of Lewis. He isn’t forced to accept, he can always choose to decline. That’s the downside of having a dominant car – you become expendable, as others can do what you did.
          Not many people could do what Alonso did in the Ferrari the last years and – as Mark Webber demonstrated – not many people could use the full potential of Newey’s counter-intuitive cars. That’s why ALO and VET were kept, despite rising costs. If Lewis quits today, they’ll put Wehrlein in the car, who drives for a fraction of the salary and either him or Rosberg will win the title. They don’t *need* Lewis, so they don’t have to make overly lucrative offers.
          If you check into a hotel, do you pay what you have to pay or do you pay more because you can?

          As for the Merc domination being over. That won’t happen anytime soon. Ferrari and Renault have to improve performance, which by definition brings new risks in terms of reliability. Merc can spend most of their tokens on reliability upgrades and still be ahead. Their advatage was bigger than anything we’ve seen since 1988.

          • The Mercedes power unit will likely keep it’s power advantage, but if Mercedes were to get the design of the car wrong then it opens things up for the other teams to get closer. If Williams keeps up it’s recent success we could see something quite interesting unfold at some point.

            Anyway contract negotiations in F1 are always fraught. The teams will always want to pay the driver as little as they can get away with vs a driver wanting more.

            Tbh Nico is a safe pair of hands when it comes to PR. Lewis is much more dynamic and generates headlines no matter if he’s winning races or falling out with Nicole for the millionth time.
            All that matters to Mercedes are car sales in it’s key non European markets like the US. Lewis may have raised Mercedes Profile in the US, we just don’t have the data to know one way or the other at the moment. Nico might have had a bigger impact than people think.

            There are 4 things that excite me about F1 in 2015 and beyond, driver contracts are not on the list.

            1. Lewis going for a third title vs Nico going for his first.
            2. Alonso and Button as team mates at McLaren with an unproven Power unit from Honda.
            3. Vettel’s Herculean task ahead of him to drag Ferrari back to the top of F1.
            4. Williams beginning to rediscover it’s winning mentality and if they can continue it’s improvements. It’s not all down to the Mercedes power unit.

            The whole Lewis vs Nico thing on here is more like a pantomime than anything else. If anything I hope Alonso wins the title, just to make things interesting but fat chance of that happening.

          • @taperoo, that first sentence… you’re expecting the ‘Paddy’ effect to become apparent? I like it!

        • The simple fact is that if Lewis doesn’t want the $20 million for driving the Merc then there will be a queue made up of every other driver on the grid (except Nico) who would be delighted to take it. That’s what happens when there’s a dominant car.

      • What if Ferrari had offered Seb substantially less than what he was earning at Redbull, would you be of the same opinion or would you see it as an insult?

        • I don’t care about driver salaries. It has no bearing on their talent or achievement. The deals are pure business decisions.

          And why should *I* be insulted by how much *someone else* is earning?

  8. Oh bloody hell, one piece of news on Hamilton and it’s pandemonium again…

    Hamilton doesn’t have to accept the contract if he’s unhappy with it, but at the end of the day the choice is simple : does he want some extra years of glory in Mercedes or does he want more figures lining up in his bank account ? And frankly he’s made enough money to feed his next 10-15 generations so unless he’s completely blinded by money the choice is rather simple.

    Negotiations are exactly that : negotiations. If Hamilton is clever enough to get Mercedes to pay him what he wants, good for him. Mercedes, like any industrial employer out there, will try to pay the least it can get away with while getting maximum return on their investment. This is nothing new, it’s been there since forever in all fields of work.

    20 million Euros a year plus performance-related bonuses is still pretty good, and if Hamilton can repeat his wins from last season, he’ll easily double that salary by his wins. I don’t see anything wrong with that, he can make up all that money just by winning races and the title. Perhaps we’re not seeing the other side of his management : at least in football it’s typical of agents to ask for ridiculous things and fork money from clubs through the player, I hope it’s not the case here. Ultimately, if Hamilton wants titles, the short-term bet of Mercedes is pretty safe so he really should sign that extension without dithering uselessly. Then I can watch Alonso whoring around for a Mercedes drive like he has done all season with some degree of pleasure.

    Wolff keeps mentioning Alonso as a back-up option but Alonso and cheap cannot fit in the same sentence. I think we’re looking more at Bottas coming in with Rosberg were Hamilton to leave. He has the speed, talent and would cost peanuts compared to Hamilton. That would be an interesting pairing too. Unless Mercedes absolutely want a WDC to be driving for them, but they have the best car right now so probably they can take a driver with great potential and cash in on him winning. Firing Hamilton to hire Alonso using the financial argument as justification just doesn’t sound right, for some reason (Actually it’d be funny if Wolff keeps raising Alonso’s hopes only to dash them right at the death lol).

    • It says much about any of the drivers mentalities. Senna offered to drive for Wiliams for free in 1993 because money meant nothing compared to the glory of winning…

      • That was Senna’s view and I doubt Lewis is distraught much by the thought of being offered ‘only’ 20 Million. It’s his fans, who are up in arms, because they can’t accept that the empire they once were doesn’t exist any more. They want Lewis to beat the world in EVERYTHING, including earnings, else the world wouldn’t worship the empire enough.

      • A multimillionaire from an already rivh family… The poor little lamb eh. Think about poor old Małdonado and Chilton, never mind driving for free, they pay good money for their seats! Lol.

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