BBC BLOGS - Andrew Benson

Archives for September 2012

Hamilton looks for long-term success at Mercedes

Post categories:

Andrew Benson | 14:58 UK time, Friday, 28 September 2012

Lewis Hamilton's move to Mercedes is the biggest development in the Formula 1 driver market for three years.

Ahead of the 2010 season, Fernando Alonso moved to Ferrari, world champion Jenson Button switched from world champions Brawn (soon to become Mercedes) to McLaren and Michael Schumacher came out of retirement to replace Button.

Now, the man who most consider to be the fastest driver in the world has taken a huge gamble by switching from McLaren, who have the best car this year and have won five races this season alone, to Mercedes, who have won one race in three years.

To make way for Hamilton, Mercedes have ditched the most successful racing driver of all time.

Read the rest of this entry

Hamilton saga nearing endgame

Post categories:

Andrew Benson | 10:56 UK time, Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Only Lewis Hamilton truly knows where he wants to drive next season - and perhaps not even he does just yet. But the signs are that the saga that has been occupying Formula 1 for months is nearing its endgame.

Hamilton has two competing offers on the table for his future - one to stay at McLaren and one to move to Mercedes.

The word at the Singapore Grand Prix - for what it's worth - was that he is leaning towards staying where he is; one McLaren insider even suggested that a deal could be inked within days.

At the same time, there may be a complication. There are suggestions that earlier this year Hamilton signed something with Mercedes - a letter of intent, a memorandum of understanding, perhaps - that he would need to get out of before he could commit to McLaren. His current team have heard talk of this, too. Hamilton's management deny this.

Read the rest of this entry

Singapore swing hands Vettel the initiative

Post categories:

Andrew Benson | 19:35 UK time, Sunday, 23 September 2012

Lewis Hamilton cut a remarkably phlegmatic figure after the Singapore Grand Prix, considering his retirement from what seemed a victory for the taking left his championship hopes in tatters.

The McLaren driver said all the right things after the race about not giving up, but the sad reality is that he is 52 points behind Ferrari's Fernando Alonso with only 150 still available.

To expect Hamilton to be able to make up more than a third of the points still remaining on a man who is driving one of the best seasons in Formula 1 history is ambitious in the extreme, although it's certainly going to be entertaining watching him try.

Hamilton's performance in Singapore confirmed two things about this season - McLaren are the team to beat with the consistently fastest car and the 2008 world champion is driving superlatively well.

Read the rest of this entry

Hamilton's tough decision

Post categories:

Andrew Benson | 10:00 UK time, Thursday, 13 September 2012

Since BBC Sport chief analyst Eddie Jordan reported on this website last week that Lewis Hamilton was on the verge of switching to Mercedes from McLaren next year, Formula 1 has been awash with speculation about the 2008 world champion's future.

McLaren did their best at last weekend's Italian Grand Prix to dismiss the story - team boss Martin Whitmarsh even joked: "Any sentence that begins, 'Eddie Jordan understands' is immediately questionable, isn't it?"

But it was noticeable that not only did McLaren not deny the story was true, they said very little to suggest Hamilton was staying with them.

From Whitmarsh, it was: "Lewis and his management have made their position clear to us", "my understanding is we're talking to him" and "I'm pretty convinced we will have a very good, competitive driving line-up next year."

None of which translates as "Hamilton is staying".

Read the rest of this entry

Hamilton glory cannot hide the hurt

Post categories:

Andrew Benson | 19:34 UK time, Sunday, 9 September 2012

Lewis Hamilton’s victory in the Italian Grand Prix was his second in three races and McLaren’s third in a row, confirming their position as the form team in Formula 1.

They have won nearly twice as many races as any other team this season – their five compare with the three of Ferrari and Red Bull. No-one else has won more than one.

Just as worryingly for their rivals, the last two victories – Hamilton’s on Sunday and Jenson Button’s in Belgium seven days previously – were utterly dominant.

The retirement of Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel with his second alternator failure in a race this season also helped Hamilton move into second place in the championship.

Read the rest of this entry

Lewis Hamilton move would not be a huge surprise

Post categories:

Andrew Benson | 17:34 UK time, Wednesday, 5 September 2012

If Lewis Hamilton does move to Mercedes from McLaren for next season, as Eddie Jordan believes he will, it would be a massive shock but not a huge surprise.

There has appeared no urgency from either Hamilton or McLaren to sort out a new contract for 2013 and at the same time there have been signs of unease in the relationship.

The 27-year-old's management team have approached all the big teams this summer and they got short shrift from Red Bull and Ferrari.

Mercedes's reaction has been warmer, and negotiations are known to have taken place, but the issue is complicated by Michael Schumacher's situation.

Read the rest of this entry

Smooth Button masters F1's greatest test

Post categories:

Andrew Benson | 19:23 UK time, Sunday, 2 September 2012

At the circuit widely regarded as the greatest test of a racing driver in the world, Jenson Button took a victory in the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday that was probably the most dominant this season.

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel, who finished second to Button after an impressive performance of his own, had an even bigger margin of superiority in Valencia but he was unable to make it count because his car failed.

Button had no such trouble. He stamped his authority on the weekend from the start of qualifying and never looked back, as all hell broke loose behind his McLaren.

Read the rest of this entry

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.