So at last the guessing games – will he won’t he – are over… Lewis is going to Mercedes and leaving Mclaren, or is he really?
Sometimes we forget that his long relationship with Mclaren has always effectively included Mercedes… He has always been a Mercedes powered driver, in fact he is already the most successful Mercedes GP driver ever, so why move?
There seem to be numerous reasons…
- Perhaps the apparent coolness of the relationship with Martin Whitmarsh compared to the almost paternal warmth of that with Ron Dennis?
- Perhaps the unsettling arrival of Jenson Button who is no one’s second driver, despite Lewis apparently being paid or offered 2 to 3 million above Jenson’s reputed 7 million wage?
- Perhaps he knows some plan to leapfrog the grid that the wily old fox Ross Brawn has in mind?
- Perhaps he thinks Mclaren will go into decline when he leaves?!?
So what of Michael and Nico?
Nico has shown flashes of greatness, but is it he or the car that is unable to be consistent? Will he be retained ? Is he being offered a good deal or, given time, is he part of a complete Mercedes funded clearout? He may stay for now, but I suspect one of the younger drivers will become a clear number 2 to Lewis as he goes into the second stage of a career which surely will include at least one more World title..?
I expect we will find out more in the next few days as Michael walks away for the second time from F1… or does he? Which team will have a new boss in 2013? Would Bernie really let that amount of experience exit F1…?