The question as to when Lewis Hamilton will resign for Mercedes seems a perpetual one, to the point where old farts Niki Lauda and Helmut Marko use the situation to have their fun with the media.
“There are no sticking points we argue about, there is no hurry. I want to do it all at my own pace and there are no discussions with other teams, I’m not considering a change, ” has said Lewis Hamilton on numerous occasions after being relentlessly asked the question.
Yesterday we saw Red Bull hold an event at Spielberg in Austria, for the test session of Honda’s factory MotoGP rider Marc Marquez in an old Red Bull RB08 from 2012 – oddly dressed in 2018 Toro Rosso colours, we saw Mercedes Niki Lauda in attendance. The event at the Red Bull Ring is another step toward the inevitable Honda / Red Bull partnership coming in for 2019, of which TJ13 predicted in September 2017.
“Lewis will sign. We only discuss details, not the money. It’s about promotion performances. Lewis stays safely with us, that will be solved, ” claims the Austrian during the inevitable press questioning – no doubt much to the annoyance of old time friend and sparing partner, Red Bull’s Helmut Marko, who would fine such questioning a distraction from the Red Bull Honda marketing exercise.
It’s no secret that Red Bull are very keen to retain the services of their number one driver and Monaco winner, the Australian Daniel Ricciardo, who is still yet to sign on the dotted line.
“I hope that finally gets signed. Because Ricciardo says that, as long as Hamilton is not yet contracted to Mercedes, he also does not want to sign. It’s a bit strange! ” confesses Helmut Marko during the press conference with Lauda.
“Ricciardo blackmailed you with Hamilton, who has not yet signed. What Hamilton gets, he can not get anyway. So: We have not made him an offer, ” Lauda teases Marko.
“He [Ricciardo] should now sign with you. ” Marko counters to his Austrian Mercedes adversary, “But there is someone at Mercedes, who may not like that!” he quips.
It also appears that the general speculation is correct, that Ricciardo is waiting to know for sure if Red Bull will indeed sign with Honda for 2019 onwards. It’s expected that such an announcement will be made by the Austrian GP at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg for July 1st.
“The internal timetable means there’s a decision on the engine issue, and possibly that’s also on the driver’s mind, until the Austrian GP,” confirmed Marko.