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Lewis @ Mercedes: the biggest mistake of his career?


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Poll: Lewis Hamilton has made a terrible mistake (562 member(s) have cast votes)

You reckon?

  1. Nah man, he's gonna be great, relax (255 votes [45.62%])

    Percentage of vote: 45.62%

  2. He'll probably beat Rosberg, the rest is someone else's responsibility (144 votes [25.76%])

    Percentage of vote: 25.76%

  3. No biggie, he'll be back at Mclaren in 2016 (46 votes [8.23%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.23%

  4. OH SHI- (114 votes [20.39%])

    Percentage of vote: 20.39%

Vote

#1 Risil

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:51

Lewis Hamilton and his management dropped some very obvious hints this summer about his leaving Mclaren for The Team Formerly Known As BAR. Many seasoned journos, most prominent among them Joe Saward, admitted they'd heard all the stories but refused to believe them on account of their illogicality.

Racing vulcans, you've got a lot to learn about Lewis.

In his defence, if Lewis had announced the deal this time last year -- Alonso-to-Mclaren style -- after Mercedes's first half-season we'd have been praising his shrewdness. A technical structure is being put in place: remember the last time the team planned long-term? Resulted in six wins and a world championship for Hamilton's old teammate, Jenson Button. Add in full backing of Mercedes's engine concern at a time when powerplant- and car-builders are collaborating more closely than ever, and the sort of cheque that'll allow Hamilton to start a career in music never worry about his future again, the thing kinda makes sense.

After all, if it does all go tits-up, with $100m in the bank he'll be able to drive for his next team for free.

Besides, Hamilton doesn't drive well when he's unhappy: he used to tell us that every week and then crash out or lose to Button to prove it. If his inner lights say "Go west, young man", then that's what'll keep him motivated and successful. Once the Mercedes deal was signed and announced, Hamilton became the quickest and most error-free driver on the grid.

On the other hand, he's abandoning his best chance for a world championship since 2008 to drive for a team that struggled to score a point after the European races. There's clearly a bit of psychological dragon-slaying in Hamilton's decision.

For the neutrals? Hamilton can drive a bad car really, really well. Expect pyrotechnics. He and Rosberg would be an intriguing pairing even if they were driving Caterhams. And there's the chance of some meltdowns, drama and Twitter Irresponsibility along the way. Because he's a naive little waif whose racer's self-belief seems to rest on the idea that no one could possibly dislike him.

Discuss...

Edited by Risil, 01 January 2013 - 17:48.


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#2 F1ultimate

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 13:01

As an F1 driver a WDC wont make you a legend, but the years before and after your WDC will. No doubt leaving Mclaren is a risk but one that will be rewarding for Lewis from all aspects if he finds success at the team. It's something that had to be done, leave for a different challenge than just winning races but instead help build a team to succeed. For Lewis that is a better use of his time and telent than remain with a team that almost wins every year but doesn't.

#3 pRy

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 13:19

I think if he uses the next few years as a learning experience to build upon his own personal understanding of himself and to further mature as a person and as a driver, then he's in a win win situation really. Because by the end of this contract he will either have another title to his name, or he can at least switch to another team that can give him more guarantees as a more rounded driver. Similar to say where Alonso is right now for example.

Sometimes a rough few years can be the most valuable. And I hope he at least can learn from the experience. I credit him for having the balls to do it. He's been in the comfort of McLaren since his early teens, over 10 years. It can't have been easy to leave home. But he's done so and it will be what it will be. Good luck to him.

All of the above is assuming, of course, that it really was his decision and he hasn't been pushed into it by commercial aspects.

#4 BigCHrome

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 13:28

Sigh, why cant people get it in their heads that continuing at McLaren wasnt an option? The environment was beyond toxic. Mercedes was his only choice.

#5 P123

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 13:32

All depends on how Mercedes develops; whether they continue to under-achieve. Without a crystal ball it's impossible to say whether it's right or wrong long term, particularly with the new regs. for 2014.

So in conclusion, maybe, maybe not. /thread and onto the next Hamilton topic.  ;)

#6 Risil

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 13:36

Sigh, why cant people get it in their heads that continuing at McLaren wasnt an option? The environment was beyond toxic. Mercedes was his only choice.


Either a lot of people are lying or Hamilton genuinely has taken some responsibility for his career. Your choice. :confused:

BBC, 5/9/12:

McLaren issued their own statement, insisting they were still in talks with the 2008 world champion about a new contract.

"We have been told by Lewis Hamilton's management team that the story is untrue," said a McLaren spokesman. "Negotiations between Lewis Hamilton and McLaren continue."


BBC, 19/9/12:

[O]n Wednesday, McLaren technical director Paddy Lowe said it was their "assumption" that Hamilton would stay.

"That's how we're working in terms of the design for next year," he said.

"It is our assumption that they are the drivers who we will be fielding next year. We have two fantastic drivers in Lewis and Jenson and we are very keen to keep them."


Autosport, 25/9/12:

Although no deal has yet been agreed, high-level sources suggest that the wage deal on offer is no longer an issue.

McLaren is believed to be offering at least, if not more, than the approximate £11.5 million per season deal that it is understood Mercedes has put on the table.

The main issue to be debated now is whether or not the greater commercial freedom that Hamilton could have at Mercedes - because personal sponsorship deals are not as tightly controlled as they are at McLaren - is worth enough for Hamilton and XIX to consider it a better option.

McLaren has a number of extensive commercial tie-ups with companies like Hugo Boss that limit the personal sponsorship possibilities that are open to its drivers.

However, as Hamilton's current deal with Reebok shows, there is scope for personal deals to be part of a McLaren package. And sources suggest the outfit may be willing to be more flexible in what it allows Hamilton to do if it guarantees securing his future.


Autosport, 6/12/12:

"You can never say never and I've had a great time," said Hamilton. "I think it will always be my home.

"I'll always look at it as where I've come from. Going back there would be nice one day. But I want to go and experience some things for a bit.

"It's almost like leaving home and going travelling for a bit. But I'm doing it with a different company."



#7 Risil

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 13:38

All depends on how Mercedes develops; whether they continue to under-achieve. Without a crystal ball it's impossible to say whether it's right or wrong long term, particularly with the new regs. for 2014.

So in conclusion, maybe, maybe not. /thread and onto the next Hamilton topic. ;)


Perhaps we can apply Hari Seldon's psychohistorical methods to the combined posts of the Lewis Hamilton threads to plot his likely level of success? ;)

#8 Rikhart

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 13:39

On the sporting side of things, it was very bad. However, he seemed fed up with mclaren, is going to be very well paid, and seems at peace that he´s going to be in the midfield (if this applies to practice we shall see, as he has always had either a very good car, or a car that quickly recovered from being bad, which mercedes cant do). I wonder how well he will hold psychologically to be fighting in the midfield or the occasional podium/lucky win.

#9 Coral

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 13:39

Sigh, why cant people get it in their heads that continuing at McLaren wasnt an option? The environment was beyond toxic. Mercedes was his only choice.


Agreed. It was clear to me after Button's win in Melbourne in 2010 that Lewis had to leave McLaren. Lewis's biggest mistake was in staying at McLaren for so long...familiarity breeds contempt. At Mercedes Lewis will be free from relentless PR donkey-work and he will be able to grow and develop as a driver. He will be fine. :)


#10 Risil

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 13:41

I wonder how well he will hold psychologically to be fighting in the midfield or the occasional podium/lucky win.


I'd say he dealt better with things in 2009, in a slow car but knowing in his heart-of-hearts he was world champion and tougher than all the rest, than in 2011 when he had a quick car but was beaten by his teammate and a younger-faster-stronger driver was cleaning up in the Red Bull.

Edited by Risil, 01 January 2013 - 13:42.


#11 P123

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 13:42

Perhaps we can apply Hari Seldon's psychohistorical methods to the combined posts of the Lewis Hamilton threads to plot his likely level of success?;)


If you wish to go to the effort, but it may be best to leave those posts in the toxic waste.  ;)

#12 F1ultimate

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 13:45

I'd say he dealt better with things in 2009, in a slow car but knowing in his heart-of-hearts he was world champion and tougher than all the rest, than in 2011 when he had a quick car but was beaten by his teammate and a younger-faster-stronger driver was cleaning up in the Red Bull.


Exactly. Its a tall achievement to finished on the podium in 2009 which was outright dominated by Brawn and Red Bull.

#13 P123

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 13:48

I'd say he dealt better with things in 2009, in a slow car but knowing in his heart-of-hearts he was world champion and tougher than all the rest, than in 2011 when he had a quick car but was beaten by his teammate and a younger-faster-stronger driver was cleaning up in the Red Bull.


Yeah, he dealt badly with Vettel's success- there was an Autosport article where he actually bemoaned the level of success Vettel was achieving- music to the ears of the competition knowing how easy it was to get under his skin. Sometimes saying what's on your mind isn't wise, but such has always been LH's probelm. He was actually doing very well early in 2011, given McLaren's woeful pre-season.

Perhaps the move to Merc has shown he's a little bit more relaxed, can see the bigger picture; that he has a long career ahead to achieve the success he desires. That he needs to leave McLaren to develop. Alonso has been able to comfort himself at Ferrari with the fact it took Schumacher 5 years to win a WDC with them, and we all know what happened after that.

#14 Sin

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 13:50

I'm missing a poll option saying "Yes I think it was a mistake..." instead of just Oh Shit...

#15 jj2728

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 14:01

Because he's a naive little waif whose racer's self-belief seems to rest on the idea that no one could possibly dislike him.
Discuss...


Seems like you've already made up your mind that it was a huge mistake on Hamilton's part. Either that or you truly dislike the man.

#16 F1Champion

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 14:02

I honestly think that his management company don't know enough about F1 and instructed him to make a money move rather than a success move. The pattern of performance within Mercedes illustrates the same thing year after year. Lewis is betting on the 2014 engine regs but what good is an engine if the chassis is rubbish? You need an F1 insider as an agent who understands resources, personnel and patterns of performance.

McLaren would retain the Mercedes engine and still have a better chassis.

The modifications that McLaren need to make to their team (reliability, design etc) are far smaller than the major overall that Mercedes needs to make a winning car.

#17 bub

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 14:02

He wasn't happy at McLaren, Mercedes have potential so I don't think it's a mistake at all. At the end of his Mercedes contact he'll be the same age or younger than guys like Massa, Alonso, Webber, Kimi and Jenson are now so as long as he remains as good as he is now or even improves (he could learn and mature with this new experience) his career should be fine.
Thinking this will be disastrous for his career is a bit pessimistic imo.

#18 dhill39

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 14:03

I think he's going to be ok,winning or not,his mind will be free from all the Mclaren and Jenson two facing.In a couple of years,if its not working out,he can go somewhere else,but I think it's going to be fun to watch magic from Lewis these next three years.

#19 P123

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 14:10

Because he's a naive little waif whose racer's self-belief seems to rest on the idea that no one could possibly dislike him.


Erm.... ok, I think the idea of closing the driver topics was to increase the quality of debate. It's not going to happen with such rhetoric, and calls in question your motivations for starting the topic.

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#20 r4mses

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 14:32

I honestly think that his management company don't know enough about F1 and instructed him to make a money move rather than a success move. [...]


...exactly my impression.


#21 Rubens Hakkamacher

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 14:32

It will effectively be the engine departments of Mercedes vs. Renault versus Ferrari.

As we've seen in prior seasons when engines were in flux, there could be a 15 hp+ disparity. Newey can't make up a potential 15+ hp difference. Right?

Ferrari has divided their process in half for 2014. That doesn't bode well for them.

Renault is not Ferrari or Mercedes in the engine department, right?

I think it a bit naive to expect Mercedes to keep McLaren right on the front line of their engine development, particularly if it starts looking like Mercedes can be a contender. Which is really the point for Mercedes having their own F1 team, right?

I think there is also something going on that we are not privy to: either VW will come in as McLaren's engine supplier, or Honda. Wacky, I know.

More wacky and fun speculation - consider this: what if McLaren knows they're switching to Honda in 2014; but they're all under an NDA? Lewis is thinking "uhmm... I don't know about this, but I can't speak publicly on it". Mercedes doesn't know for sure, but probably knows. That puts Mercedes in potentially a privileged position in 2014 - but nobody would be able to say publicly "this is the situation".

In this scenario, there is a negative for Lewis to consider: Jenson has ties to Honda, probably knows their engineers from before, AND speaks fluent Japanese.

Or maybe not. Happy New Year.










#22 V8 Fireworks

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 14:49

Sigh, why cant people get it in their heads that continuing at McLaren wasnt an option? The environment was beyond toxic. Mercedes was his only choice.

Exactly it was untenable to continue at a team that lost 4 WDC in a row, not to mention Hamilton losing a strong, remarkable chance to be rookie double WDC before that.

Hamilton really should have more WDCs, McLaren have truly underperformed on this matter. Where was the dominant McLaren form that people expect? That greats like Lauda, Prost and Senna had the luxury of enjoying?

#23 V8 Fireworks

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 14:53

Doubt any top driver joining any other team or even leaving F1 for any other series will ever be a "terrible" mistake. Major lack of perspective. Lewis will be fine, McLaren will be fine, we will all get used to the new status quo in no time.

:confused: Of course we mean simply a career mistake.

One bad team can lead to another and can lead to the end of a career if handled poorly. Of course these F1 drivers are in the terrible pickle of not enough parking spaces for their Bugattis and Zonda, always a struggle to negotiate with those mean-spirited Monaco condomonium complexes. You call it a "penthouse" and it only has 6 parking spaces, what a joke! :eek: :p

#24 ali_M

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 14:56

How can he have made a mistake and the future is wide open? I don't know if anyone can reasonably claim that Mercedes will never pit a consistently competitive car over a season, while Hamilton is driving for them.

It's pretty darned exciting to see Hamilton do something like this. It's refreshing. Yes, we've seen moves like these not work out for some other drivers. However, Hamilton is not just any other driver, is he?

We'll just have to wait and see. IMO, there's absolutely no need for the gloom and doom at this point. It's way too early for that.

Edited by ali_M, 01 January 2013 - 14:56.


#25 V8 Fireworks

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 14:58

As we've seen in prior seasons when engines were in flux, there could be a 15 hp+ disparity. Newey can't make up a potential 15+ hp difference. Right?

15 hp is nothing though, Red Bull already lose more than that due to their KERS lite system. A simple difference in power delivery choices could account for 15 hp difference. I reckon differences of say 50 hp, could be enough to be a factor.

Surely Schumi's Ford V8 lacked far more than 15 hp compared to Alesi's Ferrari V12, or even Hill's Renault V10, yet the championship was still his? :) Minardis would have been over 100 hp down with their three-year old in-house Cosworths, but they hardly improved much when they had only one season old Cosworth V10.

#26 V8 Fireworks

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 15:00

However, Hamilton is not just any other driver, is he?

Who says?

Hamilton seems to be quite good.

What if Rosberg has 105 pts and Hamilton 96 pts at season end however, will fans make a re-evaluation? Fans would usually chose to downgrade the "shown up" driver, rather than consider the other could be better than thought. Hamilton's reputation would be damaged then.

#27 showtime

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 15:02

A big move like this needs more than a season to be judged and we are trying to do it before it starts... :drunk:

#28 lambylamby

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 15:03

Who says?

Hamilton seems to be quite good.

What if Rosberg has 105 pts and Hamilton 96 pts at season end however, will fans make a re-evaluation? Fans would usually chose to downgrade the "shown up" driver, rather than consider the other could be better than thought. Hamilton's reputation would be damaged then.


Define goals... careers in racing are like any career. My 2 cents are if I were in his boots, then developing a car that can start to register more podiums would be an achievement in 3 years.

#29 garoidb

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 15:08

Exactly it was untenable to continue at a team that lost 4 WDC in a row, not to mention Hamilton losing a strong, remarkable chance to be rookie double WDC before that.

Hamilton really should have more WDCs, McLaren have truly underperformed on this matter. Where was the dominant McLaren form that people expect? That greats like Lauda, Prost and Senna had the luxury of enjoying?


He has joined Mercedes, not Red Bull. I suppose I will now be told that Mercedes have only lost 3 WDC in a row!

I expect Lewis to be back at McLaren in 2016, and quite possibly before, taking Jenson's seat.

Anyway, this Mercedes move could work out but the chances are against things going quite as well as they have at McLaren IMO. I could certainly see Lewis having a season like Kimi had with Lotus in 2013. Would that be enough to satsify him and his McLaren doubting fans?

#30 garoidb

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 15:10

I honestly think that his management company don't know enough about F1 and instructed him to make a money move rather than a success move.


I think this comment does Lewis a dis-service. The ultimate decision had to be his own.

#31 garoidb

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 15:17

It's pretty darned exciting to see Hamilton do something like this. It's refreshing. Yes, we've seen moves like these not work out for some other drivers. However, Hamilton is not just any other driver, is he?


Lewis is one of the top three or four drivers IMO, but that doesn't mean he will be competitive under absolutely any circumstances.

Other drivers have made moves to weaker teams, but usually in circumstances where that was the best available option. Lewis could have stayed at McLaren by all public accounts, so that makes this a different case. Off the top of my head, MS to Ferrari in 1996, JV to BAR in 1999, Rubens to BAR in 2006, Alonso to Renault in 2008 and Heiki to Lotus/Caterham in 2010 are examples of drivers joining teams lower down the pecking order but there are key differences in each of these cases. Are there other cases of a top driver leaving a top team for a mid-field team voluntarily?

#32 kosmic33

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 15:22

I'm missing a poll option saying "Yes I think it was a mistake..." instead of just Oh Shit...

Funny I'm missing one saying "no I don't think it's a mistake".......


#33 Risil

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 15:51

Are there other cases of a top driver leaving a top team for a mid-field team voluntarily?


By my count (bearing in mind it's got to be voluntary and the team moved to has to have been weaker in Driver X's last season -- not going to get into who counts as a "top driver": if you're in a top team and you decide not to continue with them, that's enough) in modern times we've got

- Lewis Hamilton, Mclaren to Mercedes (2013)
- Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari to Honda (2006)
- Jacques Villeneuve, Williams to BAR (1999)
- Michael Schumacher, Benetton to Ferrari (1996)
- Gerhard Berger, Mclaren to Ferrari (1993)
- Nelson Piquet, Williams to Lotus (1988)
- Elio de Angelis, Lotus to Brabham (1986)
- Didier Pironi, Ligier to Ferrari (1981)
- Patrick Depailler, Ligier to Alfa (1980)
- Niki Lauda, Ferrari to Brabham (1978)
- Jody Scheckter, Tyrrell to Wolf (1977)
- Emerson Fittipaldi, Mclaren to Fittipaldi (1976)

Correct me if I'm wrong about the voluntary-ness of any of these. It worked out immediately for Schumacher, Pironi and Scheckter in 1977; and the careers of Barrichello, Berger and Lauda were probably served well by their moves. Piquet, Villeneuve and Fittipaldi may have regrets, although two of them had the personal satisfaction of racing for themselves. Sadly, De Angelis and Depailler never really got to find out whether they'd made the right choice or not. :(

Fwiw out of all these I think the closest analogy for Hamilton's move is Lauda's.

Edited by Risil, 01 January 2013 - 15:53.


#34 garoidb

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 16:03

Correct me if I'm wrong about the voluntary-ness of any of these. It worked out immediately for Schumacher, Pironi and Scheckter in 1977; and the careers of Barrichello, Berger and Lauda were probably served well by their moves. Piquet, Villeneuve and Fittipaldi may have regrets, although two of them had the personal satisfaction of racing for themselves. Sadly, De Angelis and Depailler never really got to find out whether they'd made the right choice or not. :(


Piquet's move to Lotus was made knowing that Williams would then lose Honda engines, so I imagine he thought it was a better bet than Williams. I don't know if Elio was eased out, but Senna was taking over the team and I can understand why he left. Pironi's moves from Ligier to Ferrari, with a turbo engine on the way, would have made sense as a long term move even from a 1980 perspective. Perhaps that is quite a close analogy to Lewis's move to Mercedes. Lauda's move to Brabham was also down to the breakdown in his relationship with Ferrari (very understandable) and also possibly analagous. It may have cost him some success, though. Jody Scheckter also says in this months Motorsport that his leaving Tyrrell was due to the partnership having run its course, much like Lewis (his observation). Emerson's move is a bit different, due to the family connection.

#35 Clatter

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 16:07

Renault is not Ferrari or Mercedes in the engine department, right? And yet, over the years the Renault powered cars have been able to challenge. I see no reason why they should not be able to produce an engine as good as Ferrari or Mercedes.

I think it a bit naive to expect Mercedes to keep McLaren right on the front line of their engine development, particularly if it starts looking like Mercedes can be a contender. Which is really the point for Mercedes having their own F1 team, right? It's naive to think that any team supplied with Mercedes engines will in some way be given inferior engines to the Mercedes team.

In this scenario, there is a negative for Lewis to consider: Jenson has ties to Honda, probably knows their engineers from before, AND speaks fluent Japanese. Are you sure about that? I can remember JB making comments about his girlfriend teaching him a bit of Japanese, but I don't think he is anywhere near fluent.
Or maybe not. Happy New Year.



#36 as65p

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 16:14

Erm.... ok, I think the idea of closing the driver topics was to increase the quality of debate. It's not going to happen with such rhetoric, and calls in question your motivations for starting the topic.


Erm.... I don't think it's mandatory to have no opinion about a topic in order to open a thread about it. And neither is the motivation to open a thread questionable just because the poster has an opinion.

As to the topic, it's quite simple, time will tell. I honestly don't think drivers can be sure what would be the right thing to do for future seasons, it's a betting game at best, even for the engineers it is.

It's not impossible that Mercedes might come good, all of a sudden, even if it does look unlikely at this point in time. Personally I'm quite happy with his move, if only cause the "vs. Button" was getting boring, "vs. Rosberg" should bring fresh fun. :D

#37 olliek88

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 16:16

This thread is a little premature, probably by about 3 years.

Who knows, Merc might have a good enough car to challenge next year and if not 2014 is almost a clean slate, both with the new aero and engine regs. We need to wait until this relationship has run its course before we judge it, not before his even sat in the car.

#38 jj2728

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 16:16

Fwiw out of all these I think the closest analogy for Hamilton's move is Lauda's.


Lauda's? Had Lauda not had an ironclad contract in his pocket for 1977, he would have been shown the door by Ferrari after the 1976 season. His was not a welcome presence in Maranello. There is nothing even remotely close to anolgize between Lauda and Hamilton with respect to their moves to different teams.

#39 ali_M

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 16:36

Lewis is one of the top three or four drivers IMO, but that doesn't mean he will be competitive under absolutely any circumstances.

Other drivers have made moves to weaker teams, but usually in circumstances where that was the best available option. Lewis could have stayed at McLaren by all public accounts, so that makes this a different case. Off the top of my head, MS to Ferrari in 1996, JV to BAR in 1999, Rubens to BAR in 2006, Alonso to Renault in 2008 and Heiki to Lotus/Caterham in 2010 are examples of drivers joining teams lower down the pecking order but there are key differences in each of these cases. Are there other cases of a top driver leaving a top team for a mid-field team voluntarily?


The part I emboldened definitely goes without saying, doesn't it? :)

Schumacher's move to Ferrari in 1996 was based on salary and team potential to win championships even though they had failed to win in for the last 15 yrs.

Mercedes have not done that well for the last 3yrs. However, this doesn't mean that they will not do well in the future. They have the potential and they now still have two great drivers to continue their quest for success with. I'd not at all be surprised if this is realized.

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#40 Risil

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 16:48

Lauda's? Had Lauda not had an ironclad contract in his pocket for 1977, he would have been shown the door by Ferrari after the 1976 season. His was not a welcome presence in Maranello. There is nothing even remotely close to anolgize between Lauda and Hamilton with respect to their moves to different teams.


I know Lauda didn't see eye-to-eye with Enzo Ferrari, but didn't he have a few supporters in the FIAT-Ferrari combine? He remained pretty close to Luca di Montezemolo. There's also the fact that Ferrari continued to provide Lauda with good equipment and support even though his teammate was fast enough to take full advantage of it.

Edited by Risil, 01 January 2013 - 16:50.


#41 garoidb

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 16:49

The part I emboldened definitely goes without saying, doesn't it? :)


The first part is obvious, but the second part needs to be remembered :)

Schumacher's move to Ferrari in 1996 was based on salary and team potential to win championships even though they had failed to win in for the last 15 yrs.

Mercedes have not done that well for the last 3yrs. However, this doesn't mean that they will not do well in the future. They have the potential and they now still have two great drivers to continue their quest for success with. I'd not at all be surprised if this is realized.


It could work out. Nobody can be sure. The troubling thing is that the driver Lewis is replacing is also a great driver and would have been a force within the team. I'd expect Lewis to be slightly faster, of course, but surely MS would have had more team and car development skills. So ... why didn't it work? It seems to me that the elements of the Ferrari super-team that are not at Mercedes may have been supremely important.

#42 Risil

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 16:51

I've heard reports that Schumacher wasn't very comfortable developing the car in the simulator. Perhaps Hamilton will have more success in that regard.

#43 Szoelloe

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 17:03

I've heard reports that Schumacher wasn't very comfortable developing the car in the simulator. Perhaps Hamilton will have more success in that regard.


Yep, he got sick. But NR was/is fine with it. Now they have two drivers who are fine with it. Raikkonen is sick of sims to, and a number of other drivers.

LH has done the right thing. He took up the gloves, and set his goals. He is finally showing signs of being a man, and not a high school junior.


#44 ali_M

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 17:07

The first part is obvious, but the second part needs to be remembered :)

It could work out. Nobody can be sure. The troubling thing is that the driver Lewis is replacing is also a great driver and would have been a force within the team. I'd expect Lewis to be slightly faster, of course, but surely MS would have had more team and car development skills. So ... why didn't it work? It seems to me that the elements of the Ferrari super-team that are not at Mercedes may have been supremely important.


It's difficult to say and there's a lot of room for speculation. It would seem that Michael and the team needed more time, time that Michael wasn't motivated enough to give. One cannot really say what would have happened if he stayed on for longer. The team has been undergoing restructuring since he's been there. This year, the aero department had to go through a major revamp. They're definitely in a state of building and establishing fundamental stability. The skeptics feel this will perennially be the case, but this is left to be seen.

It's not reasonable to claim that since Michael didn't succeed with the team in its first three years, that no other driver will enjoy success with the team.

Too many things have been happening in the team to conclude that there's no chance of future success that that it will be another Toyota.


#45 jj2728

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 17:32

I know Lauda didn't see eye-to-eye with Enzo Ferrari, but didn't he have a few supporters in the FIAT-Ferrari combine? He remained pretty close to Luca di Montezemolo. There's also the fact that Ferrari continued to provide Lauda with good equipment and support even though his teammate was fast enough to take full advantage of it.


It never sat well with Ferrari that Lauda withdrew from the '76 Japanese GP. di Montezemolo aside, the hierarchy at Maranello was by that time conivinced that Lauda was a spent force and that their bets would be better hedged by laying their favoritisim on Reutemman. Having Lole as a teammate, and especially having him come on board in '76 as Lauda's replacement never sat well with Niki. And Niki being Niki he was never afraid to tell Ferrari exactly what was on his mind, one of those things being that early on in '77 he let it be known that it would be his last year with the Prancing Horse outfit.

#46 Disgrace

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 17:33

This thread can only be answered at the end of his Mercedes career. Villeneuve at BAR suggests you can only spend so many years in the mid-field before you become irrelevant to the top teams.

#47 Risil

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 17:37

It never sat well with Ferrari that Lauda withdrew from the '76 Japanese GP. di Montezemolo aside, the hierarchy at Maranello was by that time conivinced that Lauda was a spent force and that their bets would be better hedged by laying their favoritisim on Reutemman. Having Lole as a teammate, and especially having him come on board in '76 as Lauda's replacement never sat well with Niki. And Niki being Niki he was never afraid to tell Ferrari exactly what was on his mind, one of those things being that early on in '77 he let it be known that it would be his last year with the Prancing Horse outfit.


Thanks. Since they'll be working together at Mercedes I guess we'll see in more detail how their personalities clash. :lol:

Anyway, we're totally having a civilized discussion here. Could be the New Year's hangovers. Btw is that an IMSA GTP Jaguar in your pic?

#48 undersquare

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 17:41

I could see the 2013 Merc being like the 2010 McLaren

#49 senna da silva

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 17:43

Lewis has always been a Merc driver.

#50 garoidb

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 17:43

It's difficult to say and there's a lot of room for speculation. It would seem that Michael and the team needed more time, time that Michael wasn't motivated enough to give. One cannot really say what would have happened if he stayed on for longer. The team has been undergoing restructuring since he's been there. This year, the aero department had to go through a major revamp. They're definitely in a state of building and establishing fundamental stability. The skeptics feel this will perennially be the case, but this is left to be seen.

It's not reasonable to claim that since Michael didn't succeed with the team in its first three years, that no other driver will enjoy success with the team.

Too many things have been happening in the team to conclude that there's no chance of future success that that it will be another Toyota.


I'm not claiming that Mercedes won't succeed - none of us can be sure one way or the other. However, what is the source for such confidence that they will succeed? I suggest that it cannot rest merely on Ross Brawn's reputation, since the impact of Ross (and MS, Rory Byrne and Jean Todt) at Ferrari was much quicker. Ferrari were properly competitive by 1997 and stayed competitive for a decade (I am discounting the Brawn 2009 year since, as things stand, it is an outlier). All losing teams undergo restructuring, usually to no effect. Again, I am not making a definitive prediction, just expressing some doubt.

Maybe the turbo Mercedes engine will be the saviour, who knows?