Schmidt's F1 blog on Mercedes driver search

Schmidt's F1 blog on Mercedes driver search
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E. This is a joke that everyone can laugh about, just not Mercedes. The best Formula 1 team is looking for a driver. If there were no contracts, there would be 20 drivers on the mat at Mercedes tomorrow. But as it is, Mercedes will probably have to choose from the pool of pilots who are not yet committed. The logical choice would be Pascal Wehrlein. He comes from the Mercedes junior program. But if Wehrlein were also the first choice for Mercedes, they would have signed him long ago.

Alonso and Vettel as an option for 2018?

There is only one reason for waiting and analyzing. Mercedes would rather have a man with experience as a sparring partner for Lewis Hamilton. But unfortunately they are all under contract. It used to be said: Formula 1 contracts are not worth the paper they are on. That was once. Since there was a court of arbitration for contractual matters, it is no longer so easy to steal from a contract against the will of the team.

Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso are still tied to their teams until the end of 2017. Bad luck, we said in an initial reaction. For them, however, the location is more comfortable than it looks. Because they can hope that Mercedes will face the same problem again in a year. And then they are contract-free. By mid-2017, Vettel and Alonso will know where the journey with Ferrari and McLaren is going. And then you have the option Mercedes, should a little weir or any other not take the way Mercedes expects.

At the moment, the second guard behind the two big shots for the second Mercedes cockpit is being traded: Valtteri Bottas, Sergio Perez, Carlos Sainz, Nico Hulkenberg. There is speculation on the net that Mercedes only has to wave bills, and Williams, Force India or Renault are already trading with them. Folks, it's not that easy. If Williams gives Bottas, Force India Perez, Renault Hülkenberg or Toro Rosso Sainz, then these teams have an even bigger problem than Mercedes now.

That puts the existence of these teams at risk and cannot be compensated for with a 10 or 20 million dollar transfer fee and Wehrlein in exchange. Should Mercedes prefer a Bottas, Perez or Hülkenberg to its own Wehrlein, then Williams, Force India and Renault would have to ask themselves: What should we do with them? And Toro Rosso would then have to take Pierre Gasly, who until a month ago was apparently still considered worse than Daniil Kvyat.

Today's situation is particularly special from Hülkenberg's point of viewtragic

Williams would be without a net and a false bottom if Bottas were sold. Lance Stroll is an 18 year old debutante who no one knows how good he is. In addition to the Canadians, the racing team needs a permanent fixture in the car. Anything else would be suicide. Same game at Force India. Esteban Ocon is definitely a great talent. But he only has 9 Grand Prix under his belt. Perez is a kind of life insurance for Force India. If Renault does without Hülkenberg, the works racing team will drive with Jolyon Palmer and X. If the results remain for another year, CEO Carlos Ghosn will turn off the lights in his Formula 1 department. Regardless of whether Renault has committed to 2025.

Toro Rosso is most likely to get involved in horse trading. Because the job of Red Bull's B-Team is actually to train young drivers. Which is not going to happen next year at the moment. But with the poisoned climate between Red Bull and Mercedes, it is hard to imagine that Salzburg would help their archenemy out of a tight spot.

Of course, nobody could have guessed in October that Rosberg would step down if he won the title. Nevertheless, from the point of view of Nico Hülkenberg, the current situation is particularly tragic. If he had stayed with Force India, he would now have had a certain chance of a seat at Mercedes. Because then Force India could have given the long Rhinelander to Mercedes for a corresponding discount. Because you still have Perez up your sleeve.


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