We’ve heard a lot of folks describe their thoughts on the possibility of Lewis Hamilton moving to Mercedes and while the traditional thought is centered on the money being offered as the catalyst, Sky Sports F1 man, Anthony Davidson, says he thinks it is deeper than just money.

“I’m not entirely convinced it comes down to financial reasons, I’m sure both teams are sufficiently funded to give him want he wants in that respect,” Davidson told Sky Sports News.

“But if Mercedes are offering something as a whole package that looks really good for the long term future, then maybe, just maybe that’s what is tempting him at this stage.

“I think both sides have time, McLaren and Mercedes, although they would like him to sign for them respectively as individual teams. But I think Lewis is probably in a pretty strong position right now.”

If Hamilton decided that the lure of a Mercedes package was a long-term future, there is certainly a risk involved. That risk is not unlike the one taken by Michael Schumacher when he left Benetton for Ferrari (or even Fernando Alonso for that matter) or Kimi Raikkonen to McLaren. Building a team around you and working with the team to develop a title-winning car is no easy task.

The first hurdle is joining a team with the resources to actually build and develop a car that could win and in that, perhaps Hamilton sees in Mercedes an operation that has that kind of resource allocation for their program. The question could be asked, is Hamilton the kind of driver that can build a team around him and help develop a car that can win?

Schumacher has always been a technical driver. Once asked what he would have done if he were not in Formula One, he said he would have been a mechanic. Alonso, too, understand the very technical aspect of a car and how to develop it but has Hamilton shown this kind of aptitude?

Many drivers would love the opportunity to have a team built around them and to be the focal point of their championship efforts. I’m really not sure why Hamilton wouldn’t feel that way at McLaren, with all due respect to Anthony Davidson, as he has been developed by their young driver program since the age of 13. If he were going to succeed anywhere, surely McLaren would be the place.


An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry focusing on technology integration, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • Paul

    I guess the only answer to the question about his abilities to build a team around him is “I have absolutely no idea”. We might find out if indeed he does move to Merc. Personally, as a Hamilton fan, I’d rather he stayed at McLaren (and I presume the same could probably be said for Schumacher fans, Todd!)

    I would say, even if taking just 2012 as a sample, Lewis doesn’t seem to lack the ability to give good technical feedback when setting up the car, whereas his far more experienced team mate (who was a very strong team leader for parts of 2009) has, on the whole, been more than disappointing in this department.

    In addition to this, maybe moving into a new team, and away from one where he’ll always be “the kid that joined us when he was a teen”, might give Lewis the confidence to step up to a team leader role. I’m sure many of us have experienced the extra respect earned – and confidence gained – when entering a new job with a reputation for success in previous jobs.

    • Sometimes it is just a time for a change, Paul. Maybe new scenery and new challenges would help Lewis flourish even more. Ross Brawn isn’t a bad mentor mind you. :)

  • rob

    “Kimi Raikkonen to McLaren”

    What risk was there associated with his move from Sauber?

  • Rapierman

    I suspected that the only reason that Hamilton might leave would be the “Twitter-gate” issue, if it’s created enough of a rfit that Hamilton would have no choice but to leave.

  • Philip Pegler

    My own (probably isolated) thought is that Lewis Hamilt

  • Philip Pegler

    My own (probably isolated) thought is that Lewis Hamilton has been shown the door at McLaren and now it’s a question of keeping things appear under control. If he wasn’t a legitimate threat for the Championship, I expect McLaren would have already taken him out of the car and replaced him; who with? I’m not sure.

    McLaren have never been short of finances, and perhaps now, with title-sponsor Vodafone soon coming to an renegotion stage, the team and it’s drivers need to remain an attractive proposition. Many people are becoming increasingly tired of Hamilton’s juvenile antics, his immature externalisation of every emotion that he doesn’t like and want him to grow up and conduct himself in a manner befitting both his age and talent.

    Musical chairs may be about to start, but I don’t think it’s wise to simply assume that Lewis to the financial penthouse (Mercedes) and Michael to the retirement out-house is necessarily right.

    The coming weeks are likely to see another spin of the wheel of fortune; don’t forget that there is a little segment called bankrupt. Let’s hope that Lewis’ turn does not yield a complete loss for the talented, yet sometimes self-absorbed, Englishman.

    • jay

      Highly unlikely wishful thinking.

  • Gordon

    I think super neat and tidy McLaren have put into Lewis’s contract that he must ditch that ridiculous goatee. The Germans are more accepting of dodgy facial hair, just look at Oktoberfest pictures. Therefore Hamilton is off to Mercedes. You just need to look at things logically.

    • F1Sommelier

      I agree Gordon. I think all teams should have a “ridiculous facial hair clause” I am actually surprised Ferrari let Alonso get away with his impersonation of Captin Morgan as long as they did.

  • positiveCamper

    I think the point about whether Lewis can build a team around him is key. Lewis is no Michael Schumacher in this regard. He is all Lewis all of the time. He simply does not have the kind of personality that is going to solidify a team around him.

  • JTW

    One gets the impression that, with McLaren, the team is, or wants to be, omnipotent. Yes, the driver is important, but they are still subservient to the wishes of the team in terms of promotions, commitments, and pr events. That is obviously in opposition to the mandate of Hamilton’s XIX management (just look at the their web site). I suspect this comes down to a power struggle between Hamilton’s desire to be unfettered from the team’s promotional requirements, and McLaren’s desire to keep the status quo. And perhaps that is the allure of Mercedes: drive an F1 car which will get better, and be (mostly) free to be marketed as you wish?