Vital Login
Social Login

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's F1, It's Vital'

Hamilton moved for the money?

Was Lewis Hamilton's move from McLaren to Mercedes solely based on money?

When it was first muted that Hamilton could be contemplating a move to Mercedes most people thought that BBC pundit Eddie Jordan had finally lost his remaining marbles.

But as the weeks went on and there was still no resolution in regards to signing a new contract extension with McLaren, people legitimately started to question if Jordan had a point.

The British press started quoting various financial figures in regards to the deal while the 2008 Formula One World Champion remained tight-lipped about the situation.

When the announcement finally came that he would be making the switch it came just a week after McLaren appeared to think that they had wrapped up the contract talks.

Couple that with McLaren being the in-form team on the grid, capable of providing a car that Hamilton could go on and win his second world championship with in 2013 and the deal looked all the more confusing. Just like players rewards card you won’t know how it will end until the last minute.

Mercedes of course have hardly pulled up many trees since their return to the sport as a manufacturer, they purchased the Brawn GP team following their successful double taking the 2009 Formula One drivers and constructors titles and then failed to really put together any success under the all German team of Nico Rosberg and returning star Michael Schumacher.

Three podium finishes for Rosberg in 2010 was all the team could manage on route to finishing fourth in the constructors championship, 2011 was even poorer with a fourth place finish for Schumacher in Canada their best result as they ended the season 49 points worse off then in their first season.

This year Nico Rosberg's maiden career win was the obvious highlight in China, but overall the team have again struggled and will finish the constructors championship in fifth place [assuming they don't lose out to Sauber over the final two races].

So Hamilton's move clearly wasn't performance related, or at least not based on recent history.

There is an argument that with the engine regulation changes in 2014 that perhaps manufacturers will dominate the sport, that certainly appears to be the opinion of Red Bull's Adrian Newey, so if that proves to be the case then in a couple of years time it could prove to have been a smart move.

But the likelihood is the move was down to either one of two other options, or perhaps even the combination of the both.

The need for Hamilton to sample Formula One in a different team to the one he first linked up with as a 13-year-old boy and money.

Those factors certainly appear to have played their part, especially in the view of McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh.

"If I were speculating there are a number of factors and the prime one, I think, is that there comes a time when a man feels he has to flee the nest. I think it was a bit of that and a range of different emotions. He has been with us for so many years that I do not fully understand it. he told formula1.com.

The other factor of course is money.

Hamilton's contract negotiations were being handled by XIX entertainment, the same company that represents the likes of David Beckham, Andy Murray and The Spice Girls.

They wanted Hamilton to have more time available to concentrate on his own sponsorship deals and 'brand', whilst at McLaren the corporate side is more based towards the team.

Wages were also an issue, with McLaren becoming a customer team in 2013 following Mercedes selling their stake in the company, McLaren offered Hamilton a reduced contract.

His expiring contract saw him earn £15 million a season including bonuses, but McLaren's first contract offer this season was based on £12.5million a season plus bonuses.

When Mercedes placed their first offer on the table they started negotiations at £17.5million plus bonuses.

Once McLaren realised that they could lose out on their prodigy they upped their bid to £13.8million plus bonuses, still falling way short of Mercedes offer, but still enough to make him the highest paid driver on the grid in 2013.

Mercedes however were not done yet and they bettered their original offer according to BBC sources to a mammoth £19.4million a season, plus bonuses and that was when Hamilton signed on the dotted line.

Whitmarsh continued: 'We made Lewis an offer - an offer, which I believe is more money than any other driver at the moment is being paid. That leads us to suspect that our competitor and our partner Mercedes-Benz offered a bit more money. I don’t know that, but I think for Lewis made his decision. I am disappointed in one sense, but you have to focus on going forward.'

So will Hamilton regret making the move based on other factors other than simply being competitive?

'He is not going to say ‘hey, they offered me more money’. He is also not going to say that he’s made an awful mistake. I hope he thinks today that he’s made an awful mistake and I hope he thinks that next year. He’s made that decision and he has to live with that decision.'

But despite the fact that Whitmarsh and Hamilton are about to partways in just two Grand Prix's time, the team boss is still committed to getting results.

'Right now we still want to win races. We are motivated by that and our conversation circles around that. And maybe he is completely dispassionate about it, but my guess is that we both will have very emotional moments in Brazil. When the separation has arrived.'








Join Vital F1

It's easy to join up and join in on VitalF1.com, simply click the link and enjoy getting involved!

If you are already a member of Vital Football, your logins will automatically work on VitalF1.com!

The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday November 10 2012

Time: 12:00PM

 

Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Articles

Hass might join F1 grid in 2016 (Wednesday April 16 2014)

Red Bull lose appeal (Wednesday April 16 2014)

Brawn to return to Ferrari? (Tuesday April 15 2014)

Domenicali quits (Monday April 14 2014)

Red Bull appeal begins (Monday April 14 2014)

Who will win the Chinese GP? (Sunday April 13 2014)

Mercedes hit out at Ferrari (Saturday April 12 2014)

Perez nearly quit F1 (Friday April 11 2014)

Mercedes stay on top in Bahrain (Thursday April 10 2014)

Red Bull & McLaren in legal row (Thursday April 10 2014)

Blog: The Battle of Mercedes (Thursday April 10 2014)

Mercedes on top in first test (Wednesday April 9 2014)

Formula One should celebrate new era (Wednesday April 9 2014)

F1 cost cap plan abandoned (Tuesday April 8 2014)

Two new teams to join Formula One? (Tuesday April 8 2014)

Maldonado punished (Monday April 7 2014)

Formula One puts on a showcase (Monday April 7 2014)

Blog: Bahrain GP Report (Monday April 7 2014)

2014 - Bahrain - Race (Sunday April 6 2014)

Blog: Sakhir Qualifying (Saturday April 5 2014)

2014 - Bahrain - Qualifying (Saturday April 5 2014)

2014 - Bahrain - FP3 (Saturday April 5 2014)

2014 - Bahrain - FP2 (Friday April 4 2014)

2014 - Bahrain - FP1 (Friday April 4 2014)

Cautious optimism for Schumacher (Friday April 4 2014)

Williams resolve team orders row (Friday April 4 2014)

Hamilton & Rosberg on par (Thursday April 3 2014)

Sauber have identified their issues (Thursday April 3 2014)

Sauber & Caterham make driver changes (Wednesday April 2 2014)

Alonso finds the positives (Tuesday April 1 2014)

Fuel-gate rumbles on (Tuesday April 1 2014)

Red Bull are closing the gap (Tuesday April 1 2014)

Who will win the Bahrain GP? (Monday March 31 2014)

Blog: Malaysian GP Report (Sunday March 30 2014)

2014 - Malaysia - Race (Sunday March 30 2014)

Blog: Sepang Qualifying (Saturday March 29 2014)

2014 - Malaysia - Qualifying (Saturday March 29 2014)

2014 - Malaysia - FP3 (Saturday March 29 2014)

2014 - Malaysia - FP2 (Friday March 28 2014)

2014 - Malaysia - FP1 (Friday March 28 2014)

Sutil unhappy with weight issues (Thursday March 27 2014)

Video Feature: Malaysia Preview (Wednesday March 26 2014)

McLaren pushing hard (Wednesday March 26 2014)

Red Bull owner slams F1 (Tuesday March 25 2014)

Lotus hoping for improvement (Monday March 24 2014)

Date set for Red Bull's appeal (Monday March 24 2014)

Who will win in Malaysia? (Saturday March 22 2014)

Red Bull looking to improve (Friday March 21 2014)

F1's new sound (Thursday March 20 2014)

Williams delighted with Bottas drive (Wednesday March 19 2014)

Lotus problems down to MGU-K component (Wednesday March 19 2014)

Perfect debut for Magnussen (Tuesday March 18 2014)

Disappointing weekend for Red Bull (Monday March 17 2014)

Bittersweet weekend for Mercedes (Monday March 17 2014)

F1 Blog: Australian GP: New dawn (Sunday March 16 2014)

2014 - Australia - Race (Sunday March 16 2014)

2014 - Australia - Qualifying (Saturday March 15 2014)

2014 - Australia - FP3 (Saturday March 15 2014)

2014 - Australia - FP2 (Friday March 14 2014)

2014 - Australia - FP1 (Friday March 14 2014)

Stewards to be lenient in Australia (Thursday March 13 2014)

Chilton targets maiden point (Thursday March 13 2014)

Video: Ferrari's internal battle (Thursday March 13 2014)

F1 Blog: The Braces Are Off (Wednesday March 12 2014)

Lotus depending on Renault improvements (Wednesday March 12 2014)

Ecclestone targets Azerbaijan (Tuesday March 11 2014)

No change for Schumacher (Tuesday March 11 2014)

Qualifying tweaks confirmed (Monday March 10 2014)

Lotus will recover (Saturday March 8 2014)

Vettel concerned with lack of pace (Thursday March 6 2014)

More to come for Mercedes (Wednesday March 5 2014)

Where do McLaren stand? (Tuesday March 4 2014)

FOTA folds with a whimper (Saturday March 1 2014)

Williams looking solid (Friday February 28 2014)

2014 Formula One Prediction Competition (Thursday February 27 2014)

Smedley's Williams move confirmed (Wednesday February 26 2014)

Wolff to drive two practice sessions (Tuesday February 25 2014)

Archived Articles

List All Vital F1 Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

Vital Members League (view all)

1. Red5 998
2. DJ 850
3. The Fear 769
4. Villaininthemerde 612
5. johnkelv 559
6. Druss_the_Legend 508
7. Push The Button 426
8. col8 334
9. __villa__ 145
10. The Intimidator 137

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Who will win the Chinese GP?
Nico Rosberg 28%
Lewis Hamilton 48%
Nico Hulkenberg 1%
Fernando Alonso 5%
Jenson Button 1%
Sebastian Vettel 3%
Kevin Magnussen 0%
Valtteri Bottas 0%
Sergio Perez 0%
Daniel Ricciardo 3%
Felipe Massa 1%
Kimi Raikkonen 9%
Someone else 1%