To Ferrari, or not to Ferrari? That is the question the paddock is obsessed with. Such is its verve that Jenny Gow of the BBC describes the area to the rear of the garages – which is lit like Disneyland lit up by fairy lights – as like a “Women’s Institute” meeting.
Ferrari were quickest in FP1, one of the few sessions this season Mercedes have been deposed from the top spot. Of course the budding bromance of Vettel and Raikkonen would be over were Lewis to arrive in 2016.
Lewis has been silent on the matter so far this weekend, however, Niki Lauda dismisses the Lewis to Ferrari stating “he can’t”.
The problem for Lewis is that if he announces he is off to Maranello next year, then the Mercedes team will clearly favour Rosberg in this year’s title race and Hamilton would have to be excluded from technical development information.
On the matter of Lewis’ contract extension, Niki Lauda claims, “It’s all going in the right pace. There’s nothing wrong. It is basically sorted out, no more discussions. It is sorted out. It just needs to get signed.
“For me it’s out of the way because it’s done. An announcement, I don’t care. There’s nothing to worry about.”
Interestingly Lauda floundered somewhat questioned as to whether Hamilton was considering a move to Ferrari. “No, he can’t,” claimed Lauda. “We all agreed he’s driving, he agreed, we agreed, that’s it. Simple.”
Despite Niki’s protestations, in the world of Formula One as Sauber demonstrated, even a contract is not worth the paper it’s written on – and right now – Mercedes do not even have that.