Mercedes-Linked Duo Remain Quiet While Schumacher Offers Advice

Last night’s mutterings from Eddie Jordan have set the topic of discussion for the weekend’s Italian Grand Prix. The former Jordan team owner remarked that Lewis Hamilton was about to jump ship from his McLaren home to Mercedes for 2013, with the Irishman believing personal teams having already been met.

Hamilton was today asked if he knew the team he would drive for next season, and refused to commit to his current McLaren team, instead wishing to concentrate on the present matter of the upcoming race weekend.

“No. But I want to win. Just need to think of the right place to do so. I’m in a great position and I just need to focus on the preparations for these races,” he said.

“There is a long way to go. Jenson has shown we have great potential in our car and team. That’s what I need to focus on.”

Negotiations for a new contract had slowed down in the past few weeks. Lewis had been making a point of wanting to keep the original trophy presenting to drivers on the podium, instead of the replica which McLaren give to their drivers whilst keeping the original with the team. Boss of the team, Martin Whitmarsh, had been assured, saying that it was a small matter which would be ironed out, but in that time, it appears Mercedes have snuck in and become a factor, whether scaremongerers or not, to Hamilton’s case.

Few real alternatives exist for Hamilton outside of McLaren. Ferrari have their clear number one in Alonso and are said to be chasing down Sebastian Vettel for 2014. Red Bull have Vettel, while Mark Webber has signed a contract extension. Mercedes are the only real choice for the man of Grenadian-descent should he leave the team which brought him into the sport.

Di Resta has former ties to Mercedes

Should he vacate his seat, one driver who is being linked to fill it is Paul Di Resta. He drove for the Mercedes team in the German Touring Car Championship (DTM) and Mercedes have supplied McLaren with engines since the mid 90s. The Scottish driver, who tested for McLaren in the past, has shown well at Force India since his debut last season. Being more reliable and dependable than out-right quick, he would certainly be a solid instead of spectacular choice. Di Resta did not comment on the speculation involving next year but rather expressed that he was not thinking about the future.

“I don’t know because I don’t hold the key to it. It’s always nice to have speculation. It’s always nice to see the interest, but it’s something that I can’t let my brain run away with.

“I’m in the car tomorrow and expected to do a job. That is going to be the focus. But it obviously has become a year where there are possibly three teams that might be changing.”

Aside from his sometimes over-aggressive nature on the race track, Hamilton’s behaviour outside of the car has gotten him into trouble in his career which included an arrest by Australian police for dangerous driving on the week of the 2010 Australian Grand Prix.

The offending sheet which got the driver into some team troubles

Last weekend on social networking site Twitter, he posted a picture of a sheet showing the telemetry data from his qualifying lap, which not only gave a comparison between himself and his team-mate, but also revealed sensitive information revolving around car setup. The team forced him to delete the message but by then it was too late and was seen by his thousands of followers on the site. McLaren are a team which has traditionally been more secretive in their operations than others and Hamilton’s carelessness did not sit well with the Woking-based squad.

One of Germany’s most successful sportsmen will make his decision before season’s end

Whatever does happen with Hamilton and Di Resta, the Mercedes man who has been keeping everyone waiting for some time has further insisted that a decision will be made in October on whether he stays on racing or retires. It is more likely that Hamilton or Di Resta move if Michael Schumacher does finally call time on an illustrious career, given that Rosberg is in the young star role at Mercedes. The seven-time F1 champion was asked why a driver would move from race-winning machinery to a car struggling for podiums, as he himself did in 1995 when he went from reigning champions Benetton to the then-struggling Ferrari. His belief was that if a change is needed, whether it is for the immediate good or not is irrelevant, and that new surroundings can be a more important factor.

His unveiling in 1996 as a new man at Ferrari would prove to be fruitful with many race victories five Driver’s Championship titles in the years ahead

“To make my decision in 1996 it was very clear with certain other factors that happened at the time I clearly wanted to change,” he said.

“I was looking for the right way for the future for my own perspective, and I think for me it was to do with the personal relationship that I have.

“When, at the time, I met Jean Todt for the first time really, with his ideas and his point of view, there was a very clear correlation. There was that point of view that I was looking for, for my future; which I decided.

“Whether it was a difficult way or not, that was not so much important to me. It certainly was clear it was a challenge and at the time it was no problem to face that challenge.”

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