And just like that, Formula 1’s Silly Season begins. Rumors over the weekend have McLaren making contact with Lewis Hamilton with regards to a potential return or at least an open invitation to have a discussion about a possible return.
While the Daily Telegraph says that the contact was made, it also ponders the type of situation it would take to make that happen. It suggests that a possible loss of the Driver’s Championship to Nico Rosberg might be a catalyst.
Some of that may depend on if Hamilton feels he was not dealt with fairly and it will be in Mercedes AMG Petronas’s best interest to insure that equity is present in their team dynamic. Perhaps that is what the earlier statement we mentioned here was for when Mercedes chief Toto Wolff said that they are all about total transparency at the team.
Other rumors have a possible connection between McLaren and former driver Fernando Alonso who left after the 2007 season under not-so-good terms. The 2-time champion has not made much mystery of his displeasure at Ferrari having joined the team in 2010 with no titles to show for his efforts.
I’ve certainly advocated a possible return to McLaren as the only realistic option for Alonso unless Red Bull or Mercedes had a seat open for him but it is a roll of the dice with McLaren’s new engine partner, Honda, coming on board next year and one would presume it will take time to cut their teeth in the crucible of F1’s new 2014 power unit regulations.
What about Red Bull? We’ve read Dr. Helmut Marko’s comments regarding 4-time champion Sebastian Vettel as needing to raise his game while praising young Australian Daniel Ricciardo and for very good reason. Ricciardo is having a terrific settling-in season with the team besting his champion teammate for the majority of the season so far.
Could the allure of Ferrari be enough to get Sebastian to consider moving? One issue is current contracts and if memory serves, Vettel’s goes until 2016 so this may not be an option unless there is a exit clause. Perhaps Ferrari could sweeten the deal by bringing Ross Brawn back to take Jean Todt’s old role and bring the Italians back to their winning ways just as he did for Mercedes?
It’s always fun to speculate on silly season so let’s hear your best speculation as to what you think might happen. It doesn’t have to be just the top two drivers either. What about Jenson Button, Nico Hulkenberg, Kimi Raikkonen or even Jules Bianchi? Any thoughts you might like to share with us below?