Just about a month ago, reports had it that Mercedes was confident it could renew the contract with the two-time world champion Lewis Hamilton before Christmas. Now, it is 2015 and the deal has not been closed. Moreover, recently, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff admitted that Fernando Alonso would be their first target should Hamilton not stay with the team beyond this year.
Contrary to his previous remark that he wanted to renew the contract as soon as possible, Toto Wolff, Mercedes team boss now tells Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport: “There's no hurry. We will talk about it during the year.
“I am optimistic. The priority is to continue with these drivers.
“But if that's not possible, Alonso is the first alternative. Then there's Bottas.”
Besides, speaking about Alonso’s move to McLaren this year, Wolff even said: “He is dangerous in any car. If he has a car in his hands that is capable of being sixth, he takes it to third.”
Well, it is no secret that Mercedes has dominated 2014 overwhelmingly and this kind of situation might continue for years should engine freeze not lifted. Thus, why would Lewis Hamilton, who has entered his last year of the contract with the German team this year, hesitate to sign a new deal with the promising winner?
Actually, about a month ago, the reserved Briton seemed very discreet about his career in Mercedes beyond 2015.
He said: “We haven’t discussed the nuances but it really is pretty much a formality I would have thought. I haven’t made any decisions of how you go about it. Ultimately, driving is what I do best. I’m not a businessman. I’m not a contract negotiator. Nothing is really decided on how the meeting will go.”
And what made the Briton so discreet?
Hamilton and his teammate Nico Rosberg has had a turbulent year in 2014. Although the two drivers became friends again after the last Grand Prix was over in Abu Dhabi, the future relationship between the two is yet to know. And Nico Rosberg, the main opponent for the Briton, now has committed to a multi-year term with the German team. Moreover, many teams have appealed to a lift on engine freeze. If that is done, some teams like Ferrari and McLaren might gain some catch-up. With the Briton’s excellent driving skills, podiums within reach are not impossible.
Therefore, what shall we expect for the driver line-up in 2016? Don’t worry too much about that. Let’s enjoy 2015 first.
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