McLaren ready to match Mercedes' offer to Lewis Hamilton

McLaren is ready to match Mercedes' wage offer to Lewis Hamilton in a bid to further tempt the former world champion to remain at his current team

McLaren ready to match Mercedes' offer to Lewis Hamilton

On the back of frenzied speculation about Hamilton's future caused by Eddie Jordan's claim that he would move to Mercedes in 2013, negotiations have been ongoing between the Briton's management team, XIX Entertainment, and McLaren.

Although no deal has yet been agreed, high-level sources suggest that the wage deal on offer is no longer an issue.

McLaren is believed to be offering at least, if not more, than the approximate £11.5 million per season deal that it is understood Mercedes has put on the table.

The main issue to be debated now is whether or not the greater commercial freedom that Hamilton could have at Mercedes - because personal sponsorship deals are not as tightly controlled as they are at McLaren - is worth enough for Hamilton and XIX to consider it a better option.

McLaren has a number of extensive commercial tie-ups with companies like Hugo Boss that limit the personal sponsorship possibilities that are open to its drivers.

However, as Hamilton's current deal with Reebok shows, there is scope for personal deals to be part of a McLaren package. And sources suggest the outfit may be willing to be more flexible in what it allows Hamilton to do if it guarantees securing his future.

The financial situation is also further complicated by the fact that any deals Hamilton could get at Mercedes may not be as much as win bonus possibilities he could have at McLaren.

McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh said over the Singapore Grand Prix weekend that he felt Hamilton appeared more focused.

When asked by AUTOSPORT whether there were any worries that the disappointment of retiring from the race would impact on Hamilton's decision about his future, Whitmarsh said: "I have to say that Lewis has been incredibly strong.

"I've spoken to Lewis first hand and he is in a very focused frame of mind. He came around, thanked everyone in the team for their efforts this weekend and it was a much stronger-minded Lewis that we have seen before.

"He is very focused, he knows there are 150 points that are available and he knows we are going to work hard to collect all of them, or as many as we can."

Other team members were equally keen to praise Hamilton's attitude over the Singapore weekend.

Mercedes reshuffle rumours

The situation for Hamilton is also further complicated by suggestions that Mercedes may be poised for a management shake-up.

Speculation in the Singapore paddock pointed to the Mercedes board pondering a reorganisation of how the outfit is run, having finally given agreement to a deal that will commit it to Formula 1 until 2020. A decision could come at a board meeting that is scheduled for this week.

Sources have suggested that former world champion Niki Lauda could even be drafted in to take a role with the team, following his successful involvement in negotiations between Mercedes and Bernie Ecclestone to frame a new Concorde Agreement deal.

Lauda himself denied that he had a firm offer in place from Mercedes, but did not dismiss the possibility completely.

"I've not been asked," he told AUTOSPORT about speculation of a role at Mercedes. "It would be wrong of me to say anything because I haven't been talked to about it.

"The only thing I did was help Mercedes with the Concorde Agreement discussions, and that was just to get the ball rolling between the two parties."

shares
comments
Lotus sure next upgrade will revitalise Kimi Raikkonen's Formula 1 title bid
Previous article

Lotus sure next upgrade will revitalise Kimi Raikkonen's Formula 1 title bid

Next article

Going nowhere for over 75,000km

Going nowhere for over 75,000km
The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff Plus

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

OPINION: Although the central building blocks for Mercedes’ recent, long-lasting Formula 1 success were installed before he joined the team, Toto Wolff has been instrumental in ensuring it maximised its finally-realised potential after years of underachievement. The 10-year anniversary of Wolff joining Mercedes marks the perfect time to assess his work

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Plus

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021? Plus

How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021?

OPINION: A system to score all the grands prix from the past two seasons produces some interesting results and sets a standard that 2023 should surely exceed

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Plus

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Formula 1
Jan 30, 2023
Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return Plus

Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

He has more starts without a podium than anyone else in Formula 1 world championship history, but Nico Hulkenberg is back for one more shot with Haas. After spending three years on the sidelines, the revitalised German is aiming to prove to his new team what the F1 grid has been missing

Formula 1
Jan 29, 2023
The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected Plus

The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected

The late Mauro Forghieri played a key role in Ferrari’s mid-1960s turnaround, says STUART CODLING, and his pretty, intricate 1512 was among the most evocative cars of the 1.5-litre era. But a victim of priorities as Formula 1 was deemed less lucrative than success in sportscars, its true potential was never seen in period

Formula 1
Jan 28, 2023
Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss Plus

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

OPINION: Fred Vasseur has spent only a few weeks as team principal for the Ferrari Formula 1 team, but is already intent on taking the Scuderia back to the very top. And despite it being arguably the most demanding job in motorsport, the Frenchman is relishing the challenge

Formula 1
Jan 27, 2023
The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2023