Date:Wednesday September 5 2012
British driver Lewis Hamilton is set for a sensational switch from McLaren to Mercedes for the 2013 Formula One World Championship.
If the news which has been broken by BBC chief analyst and former Formula One team boss Eddie Jordan is proved accurate, than the switch will be the biggest shock the world of Formula One has seen for many years.
Hamilton's contract at McLaren is set to expire at the end of the 2012 Formula One World Championship and complex contract negotiations between the team and the British drivers representatives have been ongoing for months and many had been expected them to have been concluded while Formula One was on it's summer break.
But the sport returned to the track last weekend and no official word had come out regarding the negotiations.
Intriguingly, Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone affectively retired off Mercedes driver Michael Schumacher at the weekend with various comments to the media hinting that he would be leaving F1 at the end of the season.
These comments poured fuel on the fire that a seat will be available at Mercedes next season, but the seven-time former Formula One champion refused to confirm that he would be retiring for a second time at the end of the year when asked by the BBC following the Belgian Grand Prix.
Despite this, Jordan is convinced that Schumacher will retire and will be replaced by Hamilton.
'I believe Hamilton and Mercedes have already agreed personal terms and a deal could be imminent,' Jordan told the BBC.
'Some weeks ago I said on TV that I felt Lewis was on the move and I had an idea at the time he had been speaking to Ferrari, which we now know is true, But I can now confirm his people have had meetings with Mercedes.
Jordan believes that Mercedes are in a stronger financial position to satisfy Lewis Hamilton's demands as they are aiming to push forward after establishing themselves as a team in their own right.
So far the team have won just once since taking over the Brawn GP team for 2010 and signing up Lewis Hamilton would really show their stakeholders that they are determined for success.
While McLaren are entering a new era for the team as they will have to now purchase their engines from Mercedes following the end of their previous partnership.
'the [McLaren] team have made it clear they cannot offer him as big a salary as his current $15m deal, which was negotiated before the global financial crisis.
'On top of that, McLaren have to pay for their Mercedes engines for the first time next year. Jordan concluded.
While 2008 World Champion Lewis Hamilton would probably prefer to stay with the team that he has grown up with, Simon Fuller's XIX Management look after his professional affairs and Jordan believes that Mercedes would be a much better fit for 'Brand Hamilton'.
'Hamilton moving to Mercedes would also make a lot of sense in the context of his manager Simon Fuller, the man behind the Spice Girls and now David Beckham.
'Fuller is trying to position Hamilton as a major global star, like Beckham, and Mercedes is a much bigger global brand than McLaren.
A McLaren spokesman has tried to reiterate that negotiations between Hamilton and the team are set to continue, whilst Simon Oliveira of XIX Management and Mercedes GP chief executive officer Nick Fry refused to comment to the BBC.
Date:Wednesday September 5 2012
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