by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte
e-mail: mercedesbenzblog@gmail.com

Latest rumors in the F1 industry: Fresh gossip about Mercedes-AMG and McLaren

According to French motorsport journalist Jean-Louis Moncet, Lewis Hamilton is determined to leave McLaren by the end of this year if the situation does not improve. The British champion is appearantly frustrated by the lack of positive results and the lag the team experiences regarding the development of the MP4-27. The most possible direction for him could be MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS, in case Michael Schumacher decides to quit F1. Reports hint a possible option to replace Hamilton at McLaren-Mercedes is Force India's Paul di Resta, former DTM champion and a likely candidate for the Silver Arrows works team as well.

McLaren's managing director Jonathan Neale reacted to this early claims, although he admits the repeated problems and team errors Lewis was forced to withstand in 2012 are an obvious setback that would likely make one experienced racer think twice about his future opportunities inside a certain team. Neale highlights:"I wouldn't put the last two or three races into a professional like Lewis' mind in terms of where he's going to be comfortable in the future. We would like him to continue racing for us. We have plenty of time. We don't need to make that decision until much later this year. You have to judge the performance of the team in the long term relative to other teams and we stand fairly well placed. But I'm not going to walk away from the fact that we have to continue to work hard to eliminate mistakes and find the upgrades and performance."

Thursday, on the eve of the Canadian GP and amid these reports, Lewis Hamilton was quoted saying: "I am not in any rush, no rush at all, so there is no need to do it now. The McLaren is the best car out there, I believe, and the team has a great history." However, he admits a future change of his F1 seat is probable: "I've thought of a move. At some stage my management will have to sit down and start planning. I'm very happy where I am so I think it may be fairly simple."

On the other hand, the 7-times F1 champion Michael Schumacher, whose contract expires at the end of 2012, benefits from a substantial support from Mercedes-Benz. Team guru Ross Brawn is reported stating: "With the pole position, Michael showed what he is still capable of, so there is no reason for us to not want to continue with him." Schumi has been less lucky in this start of season, scoring just two points due to the fact he was involvement in several track incidents and suffered from various technical issues. Brawn further stresses out: "He has the skills, the composure and the right approach, and we will develop the car intensively. He lacks nothing."

However, everybody has seen a tough hunger for results from him, as well as a positive, encouraging performance during practice and qualifying rounds, so there is no reason why Michael Schumacher won't be kept at MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS after 2012. Even his mate Nico Rosberg declares he expects the German to continue his F1 career in 2013: "I see no reason why he should stop. Michael will handle the situation. He is driving at a very high level and better days lie ahead for him."

Moreover, Michael Schumacher kindly responds that Nico Rosberg is a brilliant and competitive driver who can possibly win the 2012 title, given his maiden win, the consistent pace and the perfect overall shape he has shown in the last races. For the time being, Schumi is concentrating on what comes ahead: this week-end's Canadian Grand Prix at Montreal, where he feels he can fight for victory and reach the long-desired seventh heaven after his comeback in 2010. Expectations are high, moreso after Monaco, so let's hope Michael will finally break the ice and climb on the top spot of the podium on Sunday, after his last win in China in 2006.

Negotiations between Daimler AG and Bernie Ecclestone have reached an advanced chapter and both parties feel optimistic they will eventually find the best compromise. We remind you that back in May, MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS supposedly threatened to leave Formula 1 if the controversial and discretionary Concorde Agreement would have been greenlighted in its initial form. Now, it is obvious a funding solution for the Germans, possibly together with the desired F1 board representation, will be found at last. This will also come as a much-needed breath of  fresh air ahead of the 2014 season, the year when F1 is to experience major technical regulation changes. It is well known Mercedes-Benz is investing a lot of money into motorsporting activities, and developing the new 1.6-litre V6 engine and a more complex ERS (Energy Recuperation System) unit will indeed require great costs, translated into millions of euros.

As you see, it's rather difficult to make a prediction on the outcome of F1. However, these rumors always contain a drop of truth. In the event efforts won't pay off by the end of this year, in 2013 we could see a slightly different driver lineup for MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS and Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. For Michael, it is matter of personal decision if he resigns or not, but we guess both Lewis Hamilton and Paul di Resta would be more than happy to replace him at the Silver Arrows team, which is showcasing a constant and solid progress lately.

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