The million-dollar question is: will the brite remain loyal to the mclaren team after all, or will he send michael schumacher into retirement at mercedes?? The industry is nervously waiting for the decision that could bring powerful movement into the driver market for 2013.
Hamilton and schumacher are the kingpins. Every statement, every step in the paddock of the glare-lit marina bay street circuit is observed and interpreted. "I don’t have any news, so be smart and use the time for other questions," world championship runner-up hamilton admonishes waiting journalists. Old master schumacher is too experienced anyway to fall into the trap of shrewd reporters. Sorry," says the 43-year-old with a smile, "there won’t be any information before october.
The hangover makes the rumors bloom. Hamilton won’t accept a pay cut at mclaren, it says. Mercedes, on the other hand, is ready to meet his fee demand. In addition, the swabian car manufacturer is now willing to "sacrifice" record champion schumacher, as the "bild" newspaper claims to have learned. On the other hand, the "welt" reports that the seven-time world champion could decide for himself whether to continue driving in 2013 and 2014 thanks to a unilateral option.
Nico rosberg, meanwhile, is not worried about his future with the silver arrow. "Of course i’m following the rumors," says the 27-year-old. "Whether michael or lewis will be my teammate in 2013? I don’t have any more information on this than anyone else in the paddock," says the man from wiesbaden.
The guesswork continues. Potential hamilton successors have long been in position at mclaren. Mexican sergio perez is currently the favorite ahead of british paul di resta and fin heikki kovalainen. "I have the confidence to do a good job even with a top team and to compete for the title," assures the clean-sheet pilot. Just a short while ago, ferrari boss luca di montezomolo had attested to the 22-year-old’s lack of experience and ruled out a transfer to the scuderia for the time being.
A cockpit could also become available at ferrari. Felipe massa’s contract expires, the brazilian has gambled away a lot of credit with many weak races. But massa is far from alone: just under half of the 24 drivers still have to tremble.
But no personnel matter in the period of transfer speculation known as the "silly season" even comes close to causing as much of a stir as the hamilton/schumacher case. "Hamilton is the key to the craziest ‘silly season’ in a long time," wrote the daily telegraph.
At least schumacher provides the hobby psychics with another small indication when he reports on his trip to his team’s test drives the previous week in magny-cours. Although the tests were reserved for the junior drivers, the experienced driver, unlike rosberg, carefully inspected the new developments on site, which are also already intended for the coming season. Is that what someone who is retiring at the end of the year does??