Lewis confirmed that he was moving to Mercedes GP Petronas for the 2013 season. It was quite a flurry of news in 1 day. It would seem that my previous analysis was off by a bit. Although, I still believe that Lewis should have stayed at McLaren.
I postulated that his reason for leaving was always because of the need to win. All F1 drivers are driven by that need to win, it's only the politics and money that sometimes decide where they go and stay. It made sense for Lewis to stay at McLaren because of their strong pedigree and ability to win championships, if not challenge strongly for it. Of course, all drivers want to win and there was an opportunity to do that with Mercedes since the rules would be rearranged in 2014.
The major rule changes in 2014 would mean an opportunity for Mercedes to come out with a winning car. They have the resources and Ross Brawn has been quietly building his team. They have the time to build on this throughout 2013. If Brawn has got it right, meaning he has the money, time, skills and the driver, Mercedes could spring a surprise in 2014 and take Lewis on to his second world championship. If it doesn't then Lewis could be languishing in the midfield.
Of course I am hopeful that all goes to plan as I'm sure Lewis made this calculated move. But there was a troubling bit of news yesterday from Pitpass. Pitpass is a well respected F1 website and they usually get it right most of the time. The have very good relations with Bernie and if they say something, you'd better listen. What they did say was not very encouraging.
Bernie Ecclestone was reported to have said to The Hindustan Times - “I listened to the noise of the engines in Maranello the other day, the new engine and the old engine, and even (Ferrari president) Luca di Montezemolo said it sounded terrible and didn’t like it,”. He added that Todt “will get rid of it. I think Luca is also saying we should suspend it for two or three years. I think it is sensible to get rid of it and stick with what we have got. It is much cheaper than the new one. It probably could be 30 percent of the price.”
So far this is not confirmed but if it does happen, then it will throw a spanner in the works for Lewis. If the new engine gets junked and F1 stays with the current engines, Mercedes might not be able to steal a march on everybody else. In fact, this uncertainty will cause some resources to be stretched thin to cover all outcomes.
Keep your fingers crossed. It's gonna be a wild ride for the next 1.5 years.