03 Dec 2016

Lewis Hamilton’s New Teammate

By Rakesh | No Comments.

Lewis Hamilton's Garage

Lewis Hamilton – Who’s a suitable team-mate?

Who will be Lewis Hamilton’s team mate in 2017? An article on the BBC website lists  possible team mates following the shock retirement of Nico Rosberg. Based purely on logic and the goals of the Mercedes team I discuss how this affects the options available.

Why am I writing about this on a web application development blog? Easy – because the choice of team mate for Lewis Hamilton will be based on logic, and logic alone.

The Mercedes Goal

First and foremost the goal of for Mercedes AMG F1 is to win the constructors championship in 2017. If Lewis Hamilton wins the drivers championship – great!  In the final race of 2016 we heard continual requests over the team radio for Lewis to speed up to guarantee the win for the team. The teams focus was clearly set on winning the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and not on helping Lewis Hamilton to be world drivers champion.

Grand Prix racing is a conundrum. The teams want to win the constructors championship and the drivers want to win the drivers championship. In most cases these two goal are completely aligned unless of course both drivers can win the championship, as we’ve seen for the past three years.

The Threat of Red Bull

In 2017 there’s a change to the rules which appear to play into the hands of Red Bull Racing with their brilliant lineup of Ricciardo and Verstappen. This is the competition that Mercedes has to overcome.

With the anticipated threat that Red Bull pose: Who is going to partner Lewis Hamilton to guarantee Mercedes achieve their goal? Choosing a driver who has never appeared on the podium in F1 is a huge risk. That rules out the likes of Pascal Whehrlein, Esteban Ocon, Paul Di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg.

If we maintain focus on the teams goal their primary targets would have to be either Daniel Ricciardo or Max Verstappen. Both are race winners and both would strengthen the Mercedes team. As an added bonus: Taking either would weaken Red Bull’s chances of winning the constructors championship.

The Lure of Ferrari

An approach for the Red Bull drivers would surely be knocked back. Mercedes will have to look elsewhere.  Sebastian Vettel would be ideal for Mercedes, need I say more. Although the BBC article suggests that Vettel may not want to lineup alongside Lewis Hamilton with the same equipment. I’m going to throw in a question. If Vettel joined Mercedes: Would Hamilton want to move to Ferrari?

Although Ferrari haven’t been in the best of form recently: I could see all of that changing if they got their hands on Lewis Hamilton. The danger of bringing in Vettel is that Mercedes could lose Hamilton to a very capable rival. For Hamilton this could guarantee him legendary status in the sport if he were to win a title at Ferrari. Because of this Vettel must be a non starter.

Valtteri Bottas would be a good fit, although he’s a bit bland. He would certainly work well as’ the other’ driver in alongside rock star Hamilton. But he’s not a proven race winner. Fernando Alonso would be difficult, or would he? He hasn’t had the chance to win for the past couple of years. He is an amazing talent who’s career has fallen off a cliff. He must be a very realistic possibility as he would give Mercedes the ammunition to achieve their goal. So don’t rule him out.

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button?

Then there’s Jenson Button. Yes – he’s just retired and yes – he said he’s really retired, but:  Who would have thought an opportunity like this would present itself? Isn’t it too good to be true? Could Jenson ignore this chance if it was offered? He gets along well with Hamilton and he’s a world champion F1 driver.

I’m going to nip down to the bookies now and stick a few quid on Jenson Button to get a 12 month contract with Mercedes.


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