Lewis Hamilton’s extended stay at Brackley does not seem to go well with lots of experts and F1 fans. Tom Coronel, former WTCR driver, and an established Sports critic sense some disagreement between Mercedes and Hamilton in the same respect.
The speculations and gossip surrounding the Mercedes-Hamilton coalition’s possible end are now things of the past. Still, as per Coronel, this agreement is not what it seems like from the outside.
Hamilton may have axed his own feet – Tom Coronel
Tom Coronel raises many questions about Hamilton’s role in this entire ‘Contract extension drama. As per him, “Hamilton has overplayed his hand and has overvalued his own market value, which is never a good thing. Don’t forget that there are enough drivers in the waiting room ready to take his seat. Mercedes have drivers they can choose from, very talented young guys.“
“If you kept someone waiting for a long time, I would do the same. Lewis tried to play a game, and the opposing side did too.”
Coronel further points to his doubts while quoting the ‘Contract period’ as a big proof for this analysis.
“If both parties had agreed 99 per cent, then you sign a deal for several years. The love is not there because they both had to compromise a lot to race together this year and in a few months they will have to start negotiations again for 2022″
“Mercedes want to keep all their options open, that is clear. I think they disagree with Lewis’ high salary demands. In the past, you could ask for a lot of money, but times are different. Lewis must realize that too. Given what is happening in the world, you can’t possibly ask for that much money There is no one at Mercedes who makes $40 million a year so why pay him if you can’t explain that to your staff? It’s hard because of the crisis, other people have to give up their salary or lose their jobs. That simply isn’t justifiable.”
How this contract extension brings dark clouds over Hamilton’s future with Mercedes?
Hamilton is all set to earn €30 million a season at Brackley. That said, even Coronel believes ‘Money’ is a crucial point of discussion between both parties. However, it is the ‘one-year commitment’ clause in the contract that brings all the questions. According to Coronel, this one-year commitment seems like a request tabled by Mercedes, not specifically what Hamilton demanded.
“Money forms the basis of every contract,” Coronel said. “If you agree on that, you have already completed eighty per cent of the deal. There is no war around that, otherwise, there is a problem.“
“A one-year contract is really not his choice. If you want to quit, you do it anyway and as a team, it is impossible to force a driver to race. When it is finished, then it is gone. And at his age, the motivation can suddenly disappear, you saw that with Mika Hakkinen and Nico Rosberg. Why should Lewis not stop? What does he have to race for? He could stop while on top if he takes the world title this year“
Lewis is afraid of Verstappen – Tom Coronel
Coronel further criticized Hamilton for his hesitation regarding the inclusion of Max Verstappen as a probable team partner.
“I understand Lewis, he has seven world titles and has given everything. I expect him to look at his future outside Formula 1 together with Mercedes, becoming an ambassador for the brand, staying involved in other projects. I think it’s a good thing that he had part of his previous salary, which Mercedes no longer wanted to pay, put into a fund. That shows that Lewis is also thinking about the rest of the world.” He remarked.
“Every driver wants to have the fastest car, regardless of brand,” Coronel continued. “Therefore it wasn’t just a rumour that Lewis wanted a Verstappen clause in his contract. I understand that, because I don’t think anybody wants Verstappen as a teammate – unless you are joining from a lower-ranked team and are willing to play second fiddle“
“This situation is ideal for Mercedes. If you want to build a team, then choose George Russell for 2022. He is young and has to impress, but he has a lot of talent. Next to him you just put Max Verstappen and that’s where you build the future of your team. “, Coronal further stated.
How are things going to line up at Mercedes after 2021?
Hamilton has agreed to sign a contract extension till 2021. Hence, there is every chance he will be parting ways with Mercedes at the end of the current season.
Speaking of options, Max Verstappen is undoubtedly one of the strongest candidates for the same spot. Besides being highly appreciated by Team Boss Toto Wolff, he got an ‘exit clause’ to his current Red Bull contract. So, there’s every reason that we can look forward to some new and talented faces at Brackley in 2022.