A Daily Round up of Formula One news, inside whispers, opinion and comment. Today,
Hamilton third best paid driver in F1
Lewis Hamilton’s contract is 99.6% complete. “There’s no negotiating left, it’s just legal stuff,” Hamilton tells the BBC.
Toto Wolff said during the Malaysian GP, “The pay structure was never an issue between Lewis and the team. We have the same expectations. Lewis knows his value and we know his value and that was all very positive and very aligned.”
According to the Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid athletes, Hamilton’s salary in 2014 was £19.6m.
Lewis is expected to re-sign with Mercedes for two years with an optional third, but his basic ‘salary’ will rise fractionally to just under £21m. With bonuses the British world champion could earn around £27m a year, which is about £7m less than Vettel will make for just turning up to drive a Ferrari in 2015.
Fernando Alonso is guaranteed around £27m a year, for what the BBC reveal to be a 3-year deal with McLaren Honda.
Lewis will therefore be just the third best paid Formula One driver on the grid, before bonuses – yet the performance of the Mercedes car should ensure his income is on a par with Fernando Alonso, though some way short of Sebastian Vettel – for 2015 at least.
Lewis sacked his management company XIX and claims he has been negotiating this deal in person.
Mercedes engine caution in Sepang
Ferrari fans should enjoy their day in the sun, because Vettel’s popular win at the second round of the F1 2015 championships may be his and Ferrari’s only one for quite some time.
TJ13 has learned that following the race in Australia and the failure of Romain Grosjean’s engine, Mercedes in Brixworth decided to retro fit all their engines with a new – but not fully tested seal.
The Lotus of Grosjean was forced to retire during the formation lap of the Melbourne F1 season opening event. “Romain suffered from a loss of power which we are investigating,” explained technical director Nick Chester at the time. “We ran very reliably in pre-season testing, but sometimes certain issues don’t manifest themselves until the season starts.”
Mercedes Australian GP postmortem revealed that a seal in the ICU had unexpectedly failed in Grosjean’s engine. They were concerned that in the heat of Malaysia, a repeat of this would be catastrophic for all their engines. So a revised version was developed for all the Mercedes engines running in Sepang.
However, the test bench data was inconclusive as to when exactly the seal would fail, so all the Mercedes engines were restricted in their maximum output to ensure a safety margin existed.
Mercedes believe they have now resolved this problem completely, so all their engines will again have full power available during the Chinese Grand Prix.