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Taxi for Hamilton

September 28, 2012

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So Lewis is off to Mercedes at the end of the season and Sergio comes in.

My Twitter timeline’s been filled today with messages and posts from McLaren fans, by far the majority of whom are angry and seem to have already turned their backs on their former hero. Equally there’s been a enormous amount of support for the move from ‘Lewis’ fans too.
The reaction may be understandable to some extent. Like football, F1 fans can be truly dedicated to their teams and support them through thick and thin. However unlike football, there’s also a large portion of F1 fans who support the driver rather than the team and they won’t hesitate in swapping the ‘rocket red’ shirts of McLaren for the white of Mercedes.

Although the internet’s rife with speculation today about the reasons for Lewis’ decision, of course we’ll never really know. His official press release through his new team talks of ‘wanting a fresh challenge’, interestingly without mention of thanks to McLaren, but the truth will be something only he knows for sure.
Only the fullness of time will reveal wether or not the decision was a good one, and of course even that’s subjective. If his priority, as he has said it is, is to win more world championships, then perhaps we need to wait until the groundbreaking rule changes of 2014 to come into play and indeed take shape. Whenever such fundamental changes to technical regs hit the sport, there’s an opportunity for all teams, and particularly in this case engine manufacturers, to take advantage of the clean sheet of paper. Think back to Adrian Newey’s domination with his take on the new ‘narrow track’ Formula One cars at the end of the 90’s.
If other factors became more important during negotiations, perhaps only Lewis himself will know if his career choices have been good ones. Salary, future earning potential, fame, personality clashes, status within the team, pressure from management, freedom from McLaren’s contractual confines or possession of trophies amongst any number of other things could have undoubtedly played some part.

For McLaren fans, it’s time to say thanks to Lewis for his achievements in their cars, wish him well, whatever his ambitions are, and welcome your new driver, who, by the way, is no slouch. Sergio Perez is someone to be getting excited about.
For Lewis fans, a new chapter begins. A ‘challenge’ next season perhaps, perhaps not? in today’s F1 world of unpredictability, who knows how good the Mercedes car will be, but one thing’s for sure, it’ll be a little bit quicker with Lewis in it. Most eyes will look towards 2014 and hope that the might of an established engine company working to an engine formula which tears up the old rule book, can integrate their unit into a decent car to match. The technical team there are good, and despite the lack of success so far, they’re hopefully learning from each mistake.
The drivers at both teams we’re told, will have equal status, in the beginning at least, but they’re two interesting partnerships and we all look forward to watching the relationships unfold.

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From → Formula One

10 Comments
  1. Ian McLeod permalink

    You’re absolutely spot on, only time will tell, but for the moment, I suspect that Lewis has been poorly advised by people more concerned with image and money than motor racing. Or he may simply feel that he’s “outgrown” McLaren, with whom he spent his adolescence and early adulthood. Either way, his immediate ambition MUST be to win the coveted #1 for his car next year. Just as McLaren’s ambition must be to provide him with the machinery to do that, in order to prove (to him and the world at large) that he’s turned his back on a championship-winning team. It’s a fascinating development no matter where your affections and allegiances lie.

    • Samantha permalink

      Lewis was not offered more money by Mercedes – the final offer by McLaren would have paid him more than any other driver (this is from the mouth of Whitmarsh himself http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/19762809 ) – he went because he felt he could do better at Mercedes than at McLaren. I wish people would know the facts before commenting as if it were fact.

  2. PixelSurgery permalink

    I’ve stopped following F1 for a while before Lewis came in 2007. He made me interested in F1 again, spiced it up a bit, so I guess I’m a bit of a fan of his. That said, I’m disappointed of the news but being a lifetime McLaren supporter I can’t see myself following him to his new team, my heart belongs with the team. I can understand that at his age he might want a change of surroundings and try a different team, but of its all based on money then I’ll be hugely disappointed. I am a bit confused that with the mediocre record Mercedes had so far (except for Brawn GP) he would feel so confident of going there and achieving more success than McLaren can offer him, I guess time will tell.

    On another note, did Lewis remove any mention of VMM from his Twitter profile description or was it never there? I know Button has a mention that he drivers for VMM. Also, did Button really stop following Lewis this morning? Are we up for a interesting end of the season drama between these two ‘team mates’?

    • Lewis never mentioned McLaren in his Twitter profile and Jenson never followed Lewis on Twitter either. Just media trying to hype it all up a bit more than it already is.

      • PixelSurgery permalink

        Ahh, thanks, glad to see this cleared up, also interesting that Jenson did start send a message to Perez and is following him.

      • Samantha permalink

        Yes, it is interesting that Button never followed Lewis but is immediately following Perez. Lewis is still following Button, and has always followed Nico Rosberg. I think that Button is a large part behind Lewis’ move. I think he is quite sneaky & never liked Lewis. His mission is now accomplished. Fascinating that Button is seen as the “nicer” man but in mine and many others’ opinion, nothing could be further from the truth.

  3. Samantha permalink

    Couple of other points, Rosberg tweeted on Friday: “Very cool that lewis will be my new teamate! Gonna be another great challenge!” but this is hardly mentioned in any media. Also, there should be a correction in your article – Lewis did thank McLaren in his press release but again, this was not mentioned in ANY media except BBC F1 News – most media quoted the first part of the press release, but not the second where he thanks McLaren. Makes you think there is some kind of conspiracy to portray Lewis as not a nice guy, but shurely shome mistake! http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/19756943

    • Sammy permalink

      We’re talking about the official statements released on mercedes-amg-f1.com and McLaren website not what was released by other news media. The official statement Lewis released on the Mercedes website didn’t mention McLaren at all.

      Look, I get it, I understand you’re a massive Lewis Hamilton fan, but don’t be biased, please see a bigger picture. You’re accusing some of us of hating on Lewis but you’re just reasing what you want between the lines. The point some of us are trying to make is not to make Lewis look as a bad person, but to clearly see that the relationship between McLaren and Lewis might have fallen appart. For what reasons we will not know what really happened unless either side sais it officialy, and I think it is very childish of you to accuse Jenson Button of it without having ANY facts. Same happened with Alonso and nobody knew 100% fact of what happened other than childish speculations made by fans and media. Also do keep in mind that Button has a very respectable reputation with other drivers and teams from his 12 year long F1 career, something that can not be said about Lewis in his 5 year long F1 career, now that’s a FACT.

      That said, I was Lewis supporter way before Button came to McLaren, but most importantly I have been following F1 for over 20 years, and always supported the team first, drivers come and go, there’s a lot more to following F1 than just supporting a young pretty boy with fame.

      • Samantha permalink

        There is no rule as to whether F1 supporters support teams or drivers. I have always supported Lewis and have no interest in the team, and in particular now, I rather loathe the team. How dare you presume WHY I support Lewis – that’s extremely arrogant and rude of you. Also, people are entitled to interpret what they observe into their own opinion which is what I have done. From what I can see from F1 journalists, that’s what they do too. Now run along and support who you want, and I’ll support who I want.

  4. Sammy permalink

    At what point did I deny your or anyone else’s right to support a driver or team? Clearly there is no point in having a mature discussion with you without you being all drama offended and attack whoever disagrees with your opinion. Grow up.

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