Hamilton and Raikkonen contracts interlinked

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In the week prior to the Monaco GP, TJ13 reported that Nico Rosberg had signed a new multi-year deal. This was confirmed in July, but by now the talk of a Hamilton new deal was already underway.

Almost a year on the matter of Mercedes World Champion driver’s seat for 2016 is still not confirmed, though it appears Mercedes’ Toto Wolff is now most keen to push matters forward.

When asked whether the matter of Lewis’ contract was critical giving the growing threat on track from Ferrari, Wolff replied, “Of course, Lewis is a factor and an exceptional guy in the car.

“I think like always in life it needs to be a win-win situation and at the moment it is a win-win situation. We have a very quick guy in the car and we have a very quick car.

“We have a solid foundation in the team; we have built an organisation which can be successful on a sustainable basis long term.

“With Ferrari bouncing back very strongly, it’s a win-win.”

The rhetoric from Toto is interesting, because it may not be just the threat on track from Ferrari that Mercedes should concern themselves with.

During the Bahrain 2015 F1 weekend, the Ferrari team principal fielded questions on Kimi Raikkonen’s new contract and whether Lewis Hamilton would be replacing him next year.

“I’m happy with the drivers we have.” said Arrivabene.

However, the matter of a contract extension for Kimi is not on the near horizon.

“This doesn’t mean that I want to sign tomorrow with Kimi. We were very, very clear, I repeat again and again, I said to Kimi look it depends on your performance”.

Arrivabene believes that the very lack of contract was the motivation behind Kimi raising his game and claiming a podium position in Bahrain. Given this thinking, Kimi is unlikely to be putting pen to paper any time soon.

The Scuderia boss also attempted to play down the rumours that Hamilton could replace the ‘Iceman’ in Maranello for the 2016 season.

“Did Lewis Hamilton call you? Because he never called me!” quipped Arrivabene. “Every driver here in the paddock they want to drive for Ferrari, this is normal. Even guys that were quite a lot of times world champion.”

This less than convincing denial will fuel the ‘Lewis to Ferrari’ rumours even further – and why not?

Momentum is certainly with the red team at present and Mercedes have so far proven failed to demonstrate they have what it takes to respond and re-establish their dominance.

One saving grace for Kimi is that James Allison is fighting the Finn’s corner. The Ferrari technical director knows well from his Lotus days that the ‘Iceman’ can deliver on track; when driving quickly whilst maintaining tyre preservation are a necessity. This is a key design philosophy of the FS15-T.

So for now, it may well be that the contractual states of Hamilton and Raikkonen are intrinsically linked.

Whilst Kimi is driving for his F1 future he is simultaneously buying Lewis more and more time to see whether the winds of change are blowing in a favourable direction.

52 responses to “Hamilton and Raikkonen contracts interlinked

  1. What about this TJ13? “Germany’s Sport Bild, however, claims that after Hamilton made advances towards Ferrari, Mercedes chairman Dieter Zetsche sought and received a personal assurance from his counterpart Sergio Marchionne that the Briton is not headed to Maranello.”

    Taken from GP247 on this past Saturday.

    • It speaks volumes that the chairman of Daimler Benz felt it necessary to take such action.

      Further, Ferrari have always done what Ferrari want to do…

      • Can we take that as a sign of how much Zetsche wants Hamilton in the team, judge?

      • TJ13 – Thank you for the reply. Seems Lewis is very adept at driving up his price and terms for his last, or next to last, contract (depending on length). Who were the ones that said he wasn’t very smart?

      • how does that fit with these rumors from last year http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2014/sep/05/lewis-hamilton-mercedes-contract? i seem to remember that mercedes sources indicated that the board had somewhat of a “take it or leave it” attitude towards hamilton.

        can we assume that mercedes tried to lowball him and are now realizing that it might have been a mistake because he has other offers on the table? or is this whole contract saga down to lewis not wanting to commit to mercedes for too long?

        all of this looks a bit like 2012 (mclaren offering lewis less money, ron saying “last time i heard, i was the one employing him, not the other way around, contract negotiations stalling) and in the end, lewis left for pastures new.

      • With all due respect, what does Ferrari have always done what Ferrari want to do specify? In the interest of Ferrari or the Sport or the Driver etc. At the end of the day It’s speculation anyway. I’m sure they would relish having Hamilton alongside Vetted as would the tifosi.

  2. The closer Ferrari get to Mercedes the more desirable the current Hamilton is to Mercedes. We can all speculate what the hold up is down to but at the end of the day this will be just that, speculation.

    I hope he signs for Mercedes and that Ferrari continue to catch up, makes for a potentially exciting future.

    • “..We can all speculate what the hold up is down to but at the end of the day this will be just that, speculation….”

      What’s your point? This placed is fuelled by speculation – that’s why we’re here ☺, not just to read historical accounts.

      I’m sure the TJ13 editorial policy is to try to *just* miss the slide into pointless speculation.

      • Speculation is absolutely fine but there’s always the risk of it passing through hearsay and into faux-facts. With this whole contract thing going on and on the internet is swarming with speculation sold as facts. Makes working out what is really happening quite difficult!

        At least it can make for some fun reading.

  3. This latest twist seems to make a mockery of all the various articles over the past year about Mercedes not wanting to resign Lewis and that unlike RBR and Ferrari are in no hurry to tie him to their team. It also makes a mockery of th coutless articles and opinion pieces claiming Lewis doesnt know what he is doing by dragging the contract talks out. Not to mention the ones about him asking for too much interspersed with the ones about him settling for less than Alonso and Seb
    Its all a bit confusing all though it makes for good clickbait for those who get tittilation from any suggestion of a Hamilton failure in some way
    Maybe it will drag on till the end of the season – lots more articles

    • There’s no confusion – Ferrari significantly closing on MB this year has changed the narrative. The three amigos may well the their plan to leave Lewis hanging this long.

      • To which I would add all the negotiations I have conducted that made me look brilliant came about as much by happenstance as by purposeful planning. Ferrari’s revival has indeed changed the narrative and based on what I saw this weekend Lewis is indeed suddenly in the catbird’s seat.

  4. Can Alonso sign for Ferrari instead please? I feel like we will be robbed of Alonso vs Hamilton part 2 at this rate. Time is not on Alonso ‘ side.

  5. Wasn’t there talk that Vettel had signed with Ferrari only if he was given N01 driver status? I can’t see Hamilton agreeing to be a NO2 driver, with all the restrictions that would impose on his driving.

    • Thanks for raising that point!

      I haven’t heard of solid evidence either way as to what favored status Ferrari is contracted to provide to their drivers, (such details are usually confidential, so not surprising).

      But flipping through twitter this weekend reveals that:
      * Mark Hughes over at Motorsport Magazine wrote earlier today (Apr 20), “It’s said that Vettel negotiated number one status in his contract when he joined the Scuderia…”
      * Crofty’s blog that he does for the Silverstone website has a new post today which notes Hamilton commenting previously that Vettel has #1 status contractually; but Crofty asks does Hamilton know this as fact, or was he merely floating a balloon to see if Vettel / Ferrari would deny it?
      * Arrivabene’s weird statements this past weekend, (“The paper at the moment is white, OK? Sometimes I have to take the pen and then take it back…”, etc.) may seem childish and immature (not surprising from a man who has marketed cigarettes for 3 decades till now), but I see that as a strong indicator that Kimi is in fact out in 2016.

      If Vettel is contracted #1, that means that no smart driver whose primary goal is to win a drivers championship will go to Ferrari. In which case Ferrari is looking at someone who is just happy to be in F1 at a top team, (for example Vergne).

      It’s a pity about Kimi being out in 2016, since what we’ve seen in the first 4 races this season is that Kimi has the better race pace over Vettel but his qualifying performance is weak and it hurts his races.

  6. I think the Ferrari and the Merc are pretty close, and it’s Hamilton is making the difference at the mo. I don’t think Hamilton would be worried about facing Vettel in the same car, but I doubt the feeling is mutual.

  7. Another thing to add into the mix is the possibility of new engine rules for 2017. That could easily bring about a new pecking order. Also to be considered is the remote possibility of a VAG engine/team in the near future. So Lewis and others have far more to evaluate than a simple, ‘Mercedes great right now – yummy give me a seat’.

  8. From the article; ‘and Mercedes have so far proven failed to demonstrate they have what it takes to respond’….

    So, apart from their driver extending his lead in the championship and the team extending theirs – they have failed to respond! What exactly would be deemed a response I wonder?

  9. This time last year, how many of these experts predicted where Vettel and Alonso would be in now?

  10. TJ13 I believe you guys have hit the nail square on it’s head with the headline of this article. I must thank you for your foresight, speculation call it what you will, either way I’m sure this can only spice the contractual negotiations for Hamilton even further in his favour. Hamilton no doubt would love to attain multiple WDC’s with three different teams which would make him stand out further amongst his generation of drivers.

  11. I think that during the three week break before Barcelona the final bits of Lewis Hamilton’s contact that need to be resolved between the lawyers may be resolved. The battle between Mercedes and Ferrari that is developing on track and off track development wise will bring out the absolute best in Lewis. He knows what his Silver Arrow is capable of and will enjoy the challenge of working with the team to get the most out of the car and, at the same time, further developing his race craft. Mercedes know that they have a driver in Lewis that has brought their Formula 1 team and their brand to the pinnacle of motorsport success. A team can have the best Formula 1 car in the sport but if they don’t have a driver who knows how to work with the team and successfully push the car to its performance limits each GP; the team may only have moderate success. The marriage between driver and car has to be perfect for championships to be won. As for Nico, the battle with Ferrari will also see him working with the team to get the most performance that he can from his Silver Arrow and further develop his race craft.

    Kimi has a Ferrari Formula 1 racecar that suits his driving style and he’s having fun on track again. A driver having a racecar that suits his driving style, in my opinion, is essential for success. A driver can adapt to certain extent but if he is never really comfortable in the car; pushing it to its limits may be impossible. I think that Kimi sees the potential of his new car, wants to continue working with James Allison to realize that potential. I think with the SF15-T will bring about resurgence with Kimi and he and Sebastian will push each other in a good way. I’m not surprised that Mr. Arrivabene has taken the carrot approach to Kimi’s contact because it more than likely will bring about good results during the season for Ferrari. I could be wrong but I think that ultimately Kimi will end up signing a new contact with Ferrari at some point near the end of the season unless the Ferrari power unit/car starts losing its newfound mojo and he has a bunch of DNFs.

    • Let’s hope so… this rather embarrassing public saga has been dragging on for way too long.

      If it isn’t – what do you think that would suggest?

      • I hope so too. I think that Lewis is probably taking the time to read the contact and know what he is signing which is good because then both sides have a clear understanding of the contractual terms not just one side. The long process doesn’t look the best publicly but there are documented reasons why it has taken so long. I think that the contact is with the lawyers now and that its signing will happen soon. Mercedes and Lewis are aware of the benefits of the continued partnership with each other. I share Niki Lauda’s view that an announcement isn’t that important. What’s important is that the contract gets signed.

      • The “saga” is “embarrassing” only because the people what comprise the F1 media are willing to trot out speculative articles and commentaries rather than exhibit the patience and discipline necessary to wait for the result of the contract negotiations and report from a place of knowledge.

        Sports contract negotiations can carry on for an entire season and into the offseason before being settled. And much more often than not, when an athlete is representing him/herself, inside the meeting room, two things, generally, occur: 1) there is enough common understanding between management and the athlete that the sides, but particularly management, show a realistic perception of the athlete’s present and future value – and the contract is done quickly or, 2) management enters negotiations with a set dollar amount and a laundry list of spurious excuses (“reasoning”) for doing so. The athlete, having surveyed his/her earnings landscape, which includes how much money they garner for management on and off the playing field and in comparative value with his/her peers, accurately perceives management’s machinations as a sign of disrespect for the athlete’s ability to perform their due diligence in regards to contract talks. Number two is more often than not, the reason for contract talks to become drawn out beyond the avearge negotiating time frame for a given sport.

        Armed with this knowledge, it is almost at always more rewarding for the journalist to place the onus of responsibility for extended negotiations on management, which forces them to respond more honestly.

        For the journalist the reward (beyond personal the satisfaction of reporting from what too many journalists perceive as a dangerous position, as they fear losing access to the team and management, when, in actuality these journalists most often gain respect from management for understanding how things work) is becoming known to the public as a “go-to” source for insightful and even-handed reporting.

        Though it may appear that the public salivates over the hint of salacious news about a “star” they LOVE it when the inner workings of management, especially when the management has a public face like Toto Wolff, are made known.

        • Thank you for your explanation of sports contract negotiations. I have been around the sports business since I was young and have had quite of bit of exposure to the process. As Martin Brundle says, Lewis is “box office” and he’s right. He has proven his skill set in Formula 1 through the years and he is carefully building his brand and both Mercedes and Lewis can benefit from a continued partnership. If the process drags out longer, it drags out longer. It may not look the best publicly but sometimes the process takes that long to get things right for everyone involved. It’s important that both parties understand and are okay with the contractual terms. The contact gets signed when it gets signed.

          • And I’ve negotiated some pretty hefty personal ’emolument’ contracts in my time. Yes, the bigger they are means they can take much longer than others, but it is the public nature of this together with veiled threats and broken promises on timescales which draws continual comment

          • Lewis was in Rome today with Roscoe. Could it be that he was arranging more endorsement agreements that will pay him additional money on top of his new contract? I like that he went against the grain with the new Bell Helmet agreement? Niki has said that things have been agreed upon and Bernie said that Lewis is staying at Mercedes. Things could fall apart at the last minute. It gives me heartburn and nightmares to even think about it. The thought of Alonso at Mercedes makes me absolutely sick because he’d slowly destroy everything that has been built. Alonso has managed to basically destroy every team he’s been with. It’s his me, myself, and I complex. Yes, a F1 driver has to be selfish to a certain extent to succeed but Alonso only thinks of the team when it’s in his complete best interests.

  12. Off topic, but there are a whole lot of new names posting that I haven’t seen in the last 6 months or so and I don’t see a lot of the old names; is this a trend? It’s great if there are new commenters, but are the Judge13 regulars dropping out? If so, bad news Judge. I’m about ready to leave myself; this is getting sort of boring. I know a lot of Judge people are anti-Joe, but at least the comments on Joe are erudite. The Judge comments seem to be oscillating between the obvious and the brief and personal and are quickly losing interest. Just saying.

    • The actual number of comments is up significantly since the new site layout. This would give the appearance of dilution – but we do have new faces here… unlike apparently F1.

      But people come and people go – some would say last year’s comments section was dominated by too much by Nico/Lewis petty arguments…

      If you start a thread in the comments – people of like mind may be attracted to engage with you.

  13. I thought this website was convinced that Mercedes were planning to get rid of Hamilton? A lot of junk written on here…and very little in the way of “inside” information. Just cheap speculation.

    This website used to be a good read about 18 months ago…has gradually gone downhill ever since. I now read it just to gauge public sentiment. The news content is not even up to the standard in the Daily Mail.

    • Funny, I was about to say the same about your comments…

      I’ve taken the liberty of checking your last comments and every single one was full of unfounded allegations and more often than not outright insults.

      • Wrong. Read through them again.

        My first comments about this site were very positive, especially around the period of the Raikkonen to Ferrari scoop. This site used to be amongst the best F1 reads online.

        Recently it’s turned all very PlanetF1…..sorry, just being honest here.

          • Rate:
            Jamesallenonf1
            Motorsport Magazine

            Don’t like:
            Joe Saward – full of boring business news, very little on racing
            PlanetF1 – need I comment?

            Sincerely, I used to really like this site. It used to be my first read in the morning, Just feel that its tone and character have changed over the last year.

        • Wrong again – I am not an editor of any type of website whatsoever. Please don’t use this tactic to dismiss criticism.

          If you put your views out there in public then you should be ready to receive counter-opinion that might not be to your liking.

          There has been a notable absence of useful or insightful content recently. Just wondering why this is? It’s either a loss of contacts within the world of F1 or just a change of strategy towards sensationalism to attract traffic.

          • On the back end of the site – we can isolate and list a person’s comments chronologically – every one they ever made – you have been the prophet of doom over the site going downhill way back since early 2014. You should really kick the TJ13 habit and go read something from somewhere else.

          • Hmmm, well I will say I’ve been an editor and journalist. Having thoughts on subject matter that differ with the author of an article or commentary are to be expected. However, destructive editorializing amounts to little more than trolling.

            Though I’m comparatively new here I’ve found this the one F1 website or blog where discussions may get heated at times yet the participants continue to strive to make cogent statements concerning the subject matter.

            Another interesting facet of tj13 is the manner in which people write/post and comment. Everyone here has a unique perspective and voice, and is comfortable in expressing and holding to their opinions; yet I’ve seen more people here who have disparate perceptions but will agree when valid points are proffered, whereas, on other sites people are and remain at odds with each other no matter what.

            Finally, everyone at tj13 LOVES F1 and is only interested in its continued success. As a result the articles, commentaries and comments are, when problems with the sport are presented, always solutions oriented.

            Hopefully, by taking a more measured look at other F1 sites and the comments sections, you gain more appreciation for the goings- on here… I know I have (oh, and tj, just send me $$$$$ through PayPal for this glowing site review ;-)…).

          • Lol. We bestow on you the inaugural title of “TJ13 Ambassador”

            Car and driver are waiting to whisk you away to your embassy 😉

  14. Not Long Ago, The BIG REDS Wanted 3 Cars On The Grid.

    The Same 2012/2013 Saga.

    Now, Instead Of MICHAEL, We Have The ICE Saga.

    I Desperately Want LEWIS In RED, But I Do NOT Want ICE Out Of F1, Either.

    With Both RED Boys Pounding Him In Turns, blondi Is Just Screwed.

    In 9 Years, When Was The Last Time LEWIS Could Afford A DNF And Still Maintain The WDC Lead ?

    GO, 44 !

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