McLaren biggest losers in F1 silly season musical chairs?

Martin Whitmarsh at Singapore GP

Martin Whitmarsh believes McLaren did what they could to hang on to Lewis Hamilton

Sep.28 (GMM) Martin Whitmarsh on Friday insisted McLaren did not push Lewis Hamilton away. In the aftermath of news that the team’s protege and 2008 world champion is switching to Mercedes, some said that McLaren simply didn’t offer the Briton enough money or good enough contractual terms.

Martin Whitmarsh and Lewis Hamilton at Canadian GP“We made a financial offer which is better than anyone in Formula One, other than himself, receives today,” team boss Whitmarsh is quoted by Reuters. “I know we made a very, very big financial offer.”

Whatever went wrong for Whitmarsh, who insists he is happy to pair youngster Sergio Perez with Jenson Button, it has also gone wrong for Michael Schumacher.

“We had a good time with Michael Schumacher,” Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche told Welt newspaper, “however we did not achieve the goals that we [had] set ourselves. That was the requirement for a contract extension.”

Schumacher’s manager Sabine Kehm revealed that they let a summer option on his current Mercedes contract lapse.

Schumacher “would have been able to sign [for 2013] if he had wanted to earlier in the summer”, she told the BBC.

Now, Sauber appears to be the seven time world champion’s only real option to keep racing.

A Mercedes-Benz team portrait for the beginning of a new season including: Jean-Louis Schlesser (FRA) (Front, left); Jochen Mass (GER) (Behind); Karl Wendlinger (AUT) (Front, right); Michael Schumacher (GER) (Behind to left); team manager Peter Sauber (Centre). Sportscar World Championship, Suzuka, Japan, 14 April 1991.“It’s true I was at Sauber,” said Kehm, responding to reports that she met recently with Peter Sauber and Monisha Kaltenborn. “I have known them for years. But that doesn’t mean anything more than [that] I’m regularly there.”

Willi Weber, Schumacher’s former manager, doesn’t know what went wrong.

“I saw him last at Monza, and he was full of energy and ambition, which convinced me completely that everything was in the bag with Mercedes,” he told SID news agency.

Weber said he can imagine his former charge taking up a management or ambassadorial position with Mercedes now.

He would not advise Schumacher to take up Sauber’s offer, “No, and I have nothing against Sauber, but I do not think he wants to go from a global player to a private team.”

Subbed by AJN.

  • Tifosi

    28th September 2012…a day that would be remembered forever in history of Motorsport for the following:

    Hats off to the Mercedes AMG Petronas team to pull off possibly the biggest Driver coupe in recent history…

    Mercedes AMG Petronas…Thankyou for basically elbowing out the Great MSC …good going. You would never be forgiven for what you have just done…remember this …Schumi had done a big favour when he signed for Mercedes..He had put his reputation as the ‘Greatest Driver Ever’ at stake, but you gave him a car that was never competative..It was very painful for all us fans to see Schumi failing because of the car.. We just respected Merc because of Micheal..If it were not for Micheal I bet you would not have the fan following you have currently..You would have been there somewhere competing with Marussia or HRT .Its a shame that the team has given him the worst car that he has ever driven. It is the greatness of Schumi that he never stopped motivating the team. That is what makes great dirvers not just a driver who can drive, unlike the one you just adopted. You think Hamilton is a great driver. On track he could be but he does not have the nack of motivating the team as good as Micheal did always, be it Benetton or Ferrari. If it were not for MSC the car would not have been even running as a Mid Level team for the past 3 years…

    Mr. Lewis Hamilton congratulations on signing up to basically go nowhere for the next 3 years….probably for a few more millions you have dug your own grave…I am actually very unhappy at the situation because now Alonso would not have a worthy opponent on the track to fight other than say Vettle ofcourse but he needs a good car to do so just like KIMI, that is where there is a diffrence between drivers like MSC or currently ALONSO…that ability to always pull out more that what the car can produce whether it is a good or bad vehicle…you come under the Vettle category…

    You think you are doing something like Micheal did when he got into Ferrari in 1996, but remember Micheal did it all in a planned move, it was not a sudden change from Benetton but a process in which he knew the team could be developed into a potentially winning combination…but even that took him 4 years to get the championship finally….and also at that point it was a known fact that Benetton was only to go downhill as it sure did…unlike Mclaren who well are Mclaren..enough said…I only hope that you have planned it out likewise or you might as well kiss even imagining race victories goodbye let alone winning championships…I hardly understand the point of a switch you backstabbing prick..You are ditching the people & team who got you here, made you what you are & those doors would forever be closed from now…

    A few tips I would like to give is stop whining every-time the car is not good or something bad happens …stop twiterring your shit after every-race coz that does not help…you have the chance of a fresh start and I hope you capitalize on that…coz you have that zeal of a class race driver and that I know and appreciate..ALL the very best..

    Finally my idol MSC …remember that we, your fans are always there by your side to support you no matter what decision you make for the next year and the future. But if you can take my advise I suggest leave Mearcedes completely, please do not keep any associations with them on or off the track. You deserve far far more than what they have offered or rather taken away from you. There is no future with this team …they are backstabbers just like the one they have adopted yesterday…there is no future than well financially with them…& we know better you are not about that….
    Also, I would suggest you shift back to Ferrari if you wanna keep racing in F1, I am sure the guys are waiting for you with open arms…..a drive in 2013 with the prancing horse would be the ideal way to end things..ofcourse it makes sense only if Fellipe were not to continue…but that is still to be decided right…
    Please refrain from getting into any of the lower run teams …
    You have nothing more to prove to anyone. You would always be a true champion, a class driver that any team would always aspire to have..
    Good Luck ….take care…

  • MoneyR


    That’s a lot of blabla-hate. You don’t know what drives Hamilton and his decisions, neither do I. I see a lot of people commenting about Hamilton being a moneywolf. At the same time I read MW stating that they offered Hamilton more than anyone else earns in F1.

    It’s okay to be frustrated at mercedes for “ditching” your idol. (Micheal was aware of every stage of the contract negotiations between Hamilton and Mercedes) But this is no reason to be hating on Hamilton. Loyality has it’s breakingpoint too. Yes, McLaren gave Hamilton a lot, but this goes in 2 ways..

    Hamilton got where he is now, because of his capabilities too not just Ron Dennis or McLaren.

    I really hope Hamilton & Brawn prove to a good combo to shut all the haters.

  • Forza Ferrari

    Good comment and I agree with you completely. Mercedes team is a bunch of backstabbers! Ross Brawn in particular is at fault for the sad situation that Michael is in right now. Ross was the one who lured Schumi out of retirement with promises of huge success and glory. And now after they have made Schumi drive that piece of sh*t car without any great results, they just cast Michael aside, and in essence try to blame all their own failures on Michael. That’s just so unfair and wrong. As a Ferrari fan, I’m thankful to Ross for everything he did for Ferrari and Schumi, during the glory days, but the way Mercedes and Ross are treating Schumi now makes me sad and angry. I’m really disappointed with Ross. He has lost a lot of respect in my eyes. Shame on you Ross! And f*ck you Mercedes! Schumi is better off without your loser team anyway! Schumi will forever be the greatest racing legend and not Mercedes nor anyone else can change that fact. All the best to you Schumi, and all the failures to you Mercedes!

  • Stewy33

    Honestly I think the mind games were won by Alonso! Alonso was complimenting Hammy left and right even going as far as saying how “Great Lewis is in a less dominate car” With Alonso doing this He basically encouraged Lewis to go backwards on the grid to get rid of Hammy as a podium contender. Just one man’s opinion.

  • Tifosi

    @ MoneyR

    ok I get your point but read the article more carefully..this is what Dieter said…
    “We had a good time with Michael Schumacher,” Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche told Welt newspaper, “however we did not achieve the goals that we set ourselves. That was the requirement for a contract extension.”

    Now am sure the goal was to make Merc a winning combination…ok that did not happen….but it is not only MSC the reason for that..also Merc has come back to F1 after about 6 decades as a fully owned team..buying Brawn who were champions then…hence they slipping down means that there is a huge imbalance within…not just MSC is the cause..

    Infact MSC never compalined or ridiculed the Team in the past 3 yrs even once…he only motivated them at all stages ….and please he definitely has what it takes to take the team futher…Hamilton could be the next MSC I dont deny that…but his time at Mclaren has only been about bitching around how bad the team is on various occasions..It is about the Driver standing up for the team during the worst of times that makes the mark of a great driver…consider Alonso or even Massa …if u dont wanna consider MSC …my point is only that ..LH needs to step up to the cause ..which would have been better done at Mclaren than running away to Merc…
    That’s just my opinion…

  • Xav

    I agree with you Tifosi. The only thing that is not mentioned is that Merc can turn up in a winning team soon. Not because MSC nor LH, because of Merc itself. But I agree LH best decision had been staying at McLaren, always competitive. And of course would like to see Shumi in red again….

  • Xav

    Forgot to mention…. Checo Perez got the best part of the pie. If he had gone to Ferrari, surely he would be #2. At McLaren he can fight Button. No other better seat available in the grid.

  • Hawk

    Stupid opinion. F1 is a business like all major sport; not a family outing. Lewis and Merc know they can serve each other’s interests ie $100m.. You must be dying with envy when you see that! MW and Ron Dennis were not stupid to break the bank in an effort to retain Lewis esp knowing that they still have JB and Perez and Telmex to boot. It’s just that they had a threshold and couldn’t compete with the mighty Mercedes. It’s just a sport and not the end of Neither McLaren nor Lewis. Life goes on. Stop hating someone who does not know you moreover a sportsman not a politician. I think your hate is motivated by something else. Just shut up. You are embarrassing yourself with your lack of knowledge and analytical insight into the affairs of F1. To guys like Brawn, Haug, Mercedes; F1 and the brand is the priority not love for MSC. do you think they like Lewis more than Schumie? Fortunately it’s them who make the decisions not you who is in love with Schumie. And that’s why they are paid dearly for what they do, not you. What I know is the regret they have for the 3 yrs they have lost; to the extent of their owners threatening to shut them down!

  • Speedo

    Tifosi has got his knickers in a twist because his idol Schumi got kicked out and hence the name calling.

  • Mighty K

    Wonder if Ron ‘Stoneface’ Dennis threw his headphones in disgust after learning how this situation settled out. I certainly wouldn’t blame him. Of course the team can’t be happy with these developments but i would guess there’s some perception within that a silver lining does exists here.

  • Quade

    Mr Tifosi, like all know-it-alls, your comments are hilarious! I’m sure you “know” what soap Lewis uses in the privacy of his bathroom.
    Clearly, you cannot hate a person you do not know and have never met if not for prejudice of some sort. Give it up, we’ve had enough of these sort of “F1 expert” input from footie fans who suddenly turned F1 pundits when Lewis joined the train.

  • Tifosi

    @Hawk & @MoneyR

    Please try to understand I have never blamed LH for MSC being left without a drive at Merc…yes it is MSC as well who has brought this on himself…
    I respect LH for the Driver he is …all I have said is that LH has to sort a few issues such as the immature behavior shown by him over the years..this is not expected of a champion….when u have a bad day u need to understand that the team is having a bad day as well…calling them names in various press and then the next day saying ohh am sorry really doesn’t help…if he says I wanna develope a team around himself ..well that’s fine…y then not do it at McLaren aint as if they a Backmarker in the standings…MW has himself said that he feels the decision to leave was not the best LH has taken…Concorde agreement or whatever ..LH leaving has all the hints of his not having the best of rapport within the team…believe me I know a couple of people within the McLaren garage(friends of friends) and they don’t seem to be that interested with him anymore…

    I don’t think MW or rather McLaren would have a problem paying LH what he wants or rather deserves…MW has already said so about matching or bettering the offer of Merc ….
    You talk about MW having JB & Perez…JB could probably pull of a good race here & there but winning the WDC or WCC would need him to have a car he had in Brawn..Basically better than anyone on the field…he definitely does not handle pressure well as say currently LH or Alonso..
    Perez has not been tested yet..not everyone can pull off a LH or Vettle in their first or second year with a Leading team as McLaren or RB..
    & about Telmex..well what was wrong about the earning to McLaren from LH currently+ u have a definitely good driver…..
    it’s just that Perez was the only best option available to them at the moment…think about that…..I hope for McLaren he turns to be a gr8 find…
    From what I understand LH was basically brainwashed by his management to sign with Merc…He has not really been in a position to make good career decisions all by himself to be frank…Merc would give him a lot more exposure to further the Hamilton brand…
    You talk about entertainment…is it really entertaining to see a driver such as LH to be fighting for some midfield points coz he does not have a good car or for McLaren to fight for midfield points coz they don’t have a good set of Drivers just because either parties want to sign a Concorde agreement or not break some bank….even Bernie knows better than that…& moreover to be frank Merc does not really need to be in F1…if they did they would not have left in the first place..well not considering being engine suppliers of course..
    look if you think it’s only entertainment for which you look into F1 & the above is ur mindset…then you might as well look for that in the before and after parties of F1 than the race itself…those are quite “Entertaining” as well mate…
    All am saying is I don’t understand the logic in shifting to Merc just coz LH wants to start building a team around him & take them forward …it would definitely have been much better to do that @ McLaren itself…who I think could offer far more than the “History in Merc” that LH keeps mentioning about..Infact I would feel bad if things don’t turn out to be good for LH at Merc…it would be about losing another Champion to better advertising campaigns…

  • Tifosi

    @MoneyR & @Hawk…

    To the recent comment about unrest within the Mclaren team towards Hamilton, please refer to this Weblink…you will have to trasnlate it but it basically states clearly about the dislike from the Mclaren garage towards LH..

    MoneyR u talk about LH not bitching…please refer to the few following yallaf1 weblinks : I would be able to get you a 1000 more of these if u so require…

    Not to mention the recent Twittergate incident…

    Mate with this I have only reached upto the Belgium GP…just imagine what follows even before that…

    Serioulsy you think this is supporting your Teamates…you should be out of your freaking mind mate…

    these are a few ..if you truly follow F1…like an “old timer” like me …you would know very well what LH has been upto in the past few years except the first couple of years of his joining MclarenF1..enough said…

    Please refer to my comment further below to answer your other comments mate…

  • Tifosi

    Ok Weblinks dont seem to be accepted in comments here …they are as below…just put in “www.” before them..

    Refer to my comments below then…my apologies

  • John

    What nobody seems to appreciate is that Hamilton hasn’t been the star he promised to be. He’s simply not lived up to his initial promise.

    First and second seasons were superb for him, but since he’s been more interested in the celebrity lifestyle and living it with his Airhead girlfriend and her draggers on he’s simply a liability for McLaren.

    Twitting technical details of the cars, something they wouldn’t share between team mates never mind the world, just shows that his focus isn’t on racing.

    He’s in for a shock at Mercedes as Ross Brawn will clamp down on all of the celebrity nonsense and he won’t be on such a fee leash he had at McLaren. Mercedes he’ll be a driver, at McLaren he was the Ron Dennis’ special prodigy.

  • Michael Scumacher Dad

    tifosi “Finally my idol MSC …”

    what the fook are you on ? Go and get your crack pipe and start tooting it on it , who the hell are you talking too you think Michael is reading ??? YOU SON OF A BEOTCH LOL

  • John

    Guys, please, no personal insults. This isn’t football.

  • McHare

    Better off without the self centred money grabber. Was a big fan of his but he lets himself down so so much with his out of the car behaviour. Jens and Perez… bring it on for McLaren

  • f1 fan

    It would be exciting to see their facial expressions this weekend ( Lewis, Mclaren and Sergio,
    Yes Shumacher was a very good driver, but the seasons of 2000-2004 were soooo borrringgg!!!

  • Disgusted with 2012

    This will prove to be a positive for McLaren. Perez and Button should be a good pairing – Hamilton and anyone else has proven less productive. McLaren should have did whatever it took to keep Alonso, including dumping Hamilton as more liability than asset. I’d love to see McLaren win the WCC with Button / Perez, while Hamilton languishes at Merc as it struggles with its goofy mix of Lauda and Brawn under pressure from Dailmer to succeed or die, while led into blind alleys by the demands of Lewis as he politics his way into control, leaving Nico under attack. It’s a disaster in the making, while McLaren will be liberated from the influence of the Diva to refocus on winning as a real team again. This is not a loss to McLaren, it’s a gain. It won’t take long into 2013 to see just how great a gain it actually is.

  • JodyRenza

    I think Peréz & Button will be great together at Mclaren…they both drive very smooth..most of all..their ego’s isn’t bigger than the team.
    Hamilton might be good at Mercedes (I hope for their sake win the championship together)..if not Daimler will pull the plug for sure!
    I cannot see that Rosberg will play 2nd fiddle & that will bring friction within the team..
    I personally think Mclaren will have another engine partner in the future..HONDA? Never ever will Ron Dennis just take this laying down.

  • Butterfly

    Of the six champions on the grid, McLaren is now left with the weakest of them all, no doubt about it. Just imagine this year McLaren without Lewis. Three wins, six pole positions, another two possible poles… all that gone.

    It would have been a dry year for McLaren, that’s for sure. That’s what they’re going to get next year.

  • insideline

    I think Mercedes have done Schumi a favour. I hope he goes back to Ferrari for a year or two. I think McLaren did a great deal. They got rid of Ham the headache (who has made a lot of really stupid mistakes on and off the track), saved themselves £60 million, and signed Sergio who will do a great job, and bring a truck load of Telmex money. Ham was supposed to destroy Jenson. Did not happen. Jens beat him last year. If you look at $ for points, Jenson is half the price of Ham without all of the embarrassment. Jens is a sponsor’s dream and Ham is behaves like an idiot. Check out his latest Twitter. He looks like a 12 year old with his stupid Gangsta Rap photo. Red Bull and Ferrari said NO thanks and Mercedes are going to regret taking him. Nico Kick his Ass!

  • MclarenForTheWin

    @butterfly, jenson isn’t weak
    and the way he’s driving is actually a drivers goal because he drives smoothly
    i think he just finds it hard to get the car set up right
    so butterfly, don’t make judgement’s if you don’t race

  • Tifosi

    Congratulations Michael Schumacher to a legendary career.

    Races have gone by, tires have burnt out, history has been created, the engines you drove roared with vigor and passion, winning championships with great performances had become a habit and you truly show that ever rising motivation to reach great heights with the teams you were in.
    You have grown stronger with every race inspiring the team and fans around you. No one may match the records you earned.
    Seen as an idol who has kept concentration and comfort all way long to glory.

    There have been times where things have gone bad but also recovered to prove again the mark of a Legend you had in yourself. Whether it be Belgium, Monza, Suzuka or Germany… you have made the best use of the hardwork that you and your team do on those precious cars driven anywhere.

    I admire the never give up attitude you have.You will always be remembered as the greatest driver of all time and my inspiration.
    Will miss you.You are Legend.

  • Mrs Gail j Gray

    I agree TIFOSI, i miss him a great deal. i watch formula 1 still but the sparkle is not there as every race weekend i looked forward in watching Michael Schumacher, to me he is more than a sports celebrity but a close friend that i have admired since he started in 1991, and has inspired me for 5 years to write a book for him, in which i got published in 2007. the book is called Man on the Move, Michael Schumacher, My Sporting Hero and all the proceeds are going to UNESCO of France, i sent a copy to Michael and he loves it.