Lewis Hamilton is now looking ever more likely to be moving to Mercedes after McLaren offered him a new contract which would see a big cut in his wages. The team that took him under their wing when he was 8 and have nursed him into Formula One, have offered the 2008 World Champion a contract for ‘considerably less’ than his current £15m a year pay check, according to the Daily Mail. This comes as Hamilton was expecting to agree a pay rise to stay with the team.
Meanwhile, Mercedes are offering a definite No.1 status within the team along with a nice £60m for a three-year contract. The deal would be sweetened by the fact that Mercedes are already experimenting with the 2014 mandatory ‘green engines’. Although McLaren will be running the exact same engine, Mercedes will have access to the R&D data well before McLaren, effectively giving Mercedes a huge head start.
The speculation started when former team owner turned BBC Pundit announced that Hamilton had held talks with Mercedes. Fuel was added to the fire when Hamilton complained about his team-mate, Jenson Button, having an advantage over him during the Belgium Grand Prix Qualifying session, And the next day posting a picture of highly secret telemetry that detailed Button’s advantage as well as fuel mixtures and gearbox settings.
The deal with Hamilton would come whether or not Michael Schumacher announces his retirement from the sport as some speculate he will. If Hamilton makes a move to Mercedes, Schumacher would get the boot.
And with just 7 Grand Prix left this year, time is running out for Hamilton to make his decision.