The most interminable topic F1 writers used to find themselves having to pen meaningless copy over, was the F1 calendar. Though in the past nine months a new candidate has ousted Bernie’s pet subject from the top of the list of headlines.
Lewis Hamilton and his contract negotiations with Mercedes have been filling every F1 writer with a pre-disposed skepticism as one soft deadline after another comes and goes.
We are 99.6% of the way there, was Lewis interpretation of the negotiations during the Malaysian GP weekend, yet the final 0.4% feels as large a gap to bridge as Ferrari’s 45 second deficit to Mercedes in Barcelona.
There have been rumours the Lewis wants to be paid more than any other current F1 driver because he is the man of the moment and the current F1 champion driver. On the flip side, Mercedes appear to have been suggesting that their dominant F1 car is the key to Hamilton’s latest driver title and threatened publicly to recruit a replacement for Lewis.
There may be light at the end of the tunnel for those of us regular writing recaps of the debacle that has been this contract extension negotiation. Speaking to the assembled media in Barcelona, an assertive Hamilton was clear about what has been and what we should expect.
“All stories that have come out about money are generally bullshit. That is not the case. It is utter bullshit, basically”.
The eloquent Lewis Hamilton continues offering hope for the F1 scribblers. “You’ll see it in Monaco. I will have some news for you in Monaco.”
It is too early in the season for Hamilton to be announcing a move away from Mercedes, though the form of words he used is not an absolute promise of a done deal with Mercedes.
However, having been dominated by his team mate all weekend at the Spanish GP, a new contract announced in Monaco would be a good news story for Lewis ahead of what will be a tough battle with Rosberg.
Nico has been conquered the streets of the principality for two years, claiming pole and the win in 2013 and 2014.
Once again, the Mercedes rotation policy of who runs last during Q3 will see Lewis get the final lap on Saturday. Previous form suggests Hamilton will be chasing a Rosberg time and will need to deliver his best, if he is to start the race from the front of the grid.
Once again, the qualifying hour will be the main excitement of the GP weekend in Monaco, as the outdated circuit year after year fails to provide anything resembling a race, for the modern F1 cars.