The recent shakeups in the status quo of Formula drivers were expected,
and yet still a surprise. Lewis Hamilton has expressed his feelings in
many ways so his jumping ship makes sense. However, leaving a team he
has been connected with for 14 years does make one wonder why the Briton
walked away from the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team.
Imagine being a team owner / principal and having a brash youngster of
10 walk up to you and claim “one day I want to race your cars!” That is
how the story goes on how Hamilton met Ron Dennis. Perhaps the head of
McLaren might have thought ‘can you imagine the guts this kid has?’
Hamilton left an impression and in 1998, Dennis called him, and signed
the young kart champion to the McLaren driver development program. In
2003, Hamilton landed his first single-seater title: Formula Renault
2.0 UK title. In 2005, he became the Formula 3 Euro Series champion, and
the earned the Masters of F3 title. The next year, he was the GP2
The Briton proved his worth in 2007, finishing second I the FIA Formula
One Championship as a rookie! The next year, Hamilton earned his only
World Championship. But his glory days were short; even though he was a
This year has been very difficult as the Briton has had mechanical
failures and errors in pit lane that either cost him a race win, a
podium finish or even point paying positions. Thus far in 2012, the
British racer has notched five poles — the most of any other Formula
One driver. However, he has retired twice, and when in the lead of the
grand prix event. Still he has three wins this season.
One can see why Hamilton wanted the change, and perhaps his brashness is
one reason Ross Brawn was keen to steal him away from McLaren.
In order to snag Hamilton, Mercedes factory team had to shove the seven
times Formula One world champion aside. Yet they were the ones who
convinced Michael Schumacher to come out of retirement and lead their
Silver Arrows team.
Truthfully one can understand not resigning the German racer. He has
earned just one podium finish since his return in 2010. Placing third
in Valencia saw Schumacher smile brightly. Still it seems that Mercedes
believes their team is championship contenders, and yes they should be.
Neither of their two German drivers, Schumacher and Nico Rosberg, has
produced consistent top results.
Rosberg did score the pole and the victory in China earlier this year but his best finish since then was second at Monaco.
Is Hamilton making the correct move for his future? Viewing the stats
says no; but knowing that he has not been happy at McLaren, it would
seem that it is a good move. Perhaps with a new car and a new team will
be the best of all worlds for Hamilton.
Schumacher did not retire as many expected. He still might as he has
made a fortune over the years and can return to his “castle”. His public
appearances will enhance his lifestyle, along with special events.
Still he was bitten again by contesting Formula One grand prix events
and there are a few possible seats available.
The German still holds records in Formula One, along with the most
championships. Yet the recent criticism of his driving style has made
more news than the winner of the recent Singapore Grand Prix. His fans
are angry with the negative comments of their favorite driver, and now
with the Mercedes team. They would be delighted to see Schumacher
continue to race.
Peter Sauber’s team is now down to one driver due to the fact that their
young hot-shoe from Mexico signed with McLaren. Sergio Perez has shown
the skills, and the desire to challenge for podiums, and a potential
victory. The current Sauber driver has three podiums to his credit.
Next year, he will be racing for one of the top teams!
When one views the changes to the status quo, Perez truly is the winner in the recent changes for the 2013 season, and beyond.