Did Mercedes outbid McLaren for Hamilton?

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    A significant question over Lewis Hamilton’s decision to join Mercedes for 2013 is how great a role money played.

    While the negotiations were still going on McLaren said they were “ready to match Mercedes’ offer”.

    However since then reports have claimed Hamilton will make more at Mercedes. The Guardian claimed:

    McLaren’s original offer was believed to be just two-thirds of Hamilton’s current deal. The contract with Mercedes is more lucrative at £15m a year and gives the driver potential to earn more commercially than he did at the Woking-based team.

    F1 Racing add more detail in their December issue:

    He is earning about £15m this year, including bonuses. McLaren’s original offer for his new contract was £12.5m.


    Mercedes initial offer was £17.5m, with the prospect of significantly fewer promotional days and the chance to make more money out of personal endorsements.


    When it became clear to McLaren that they were facing serious opposition for Hamilton’s services, they upped their offer to £13.7m. Mercedes responded by upping their to £19.4m.

    The point about promotional days is interesting. It reminded me of a story I heard about how Jenson Button was astonished when he joined McLaren from Brawn (now Mercedes) discovered his sponsor days for 2010 numbered in triple-digits. Money is one thing, time is another…

    Ben Needham

    I think a number of factors played a part in the move and to be honest I don’t blame him in the slightest.

    Truthfully, how many people would respond to the question; “Would you like to earn more money in return for working less days?” with a “No.”?

    If we agree that the main attractions in a job are money, time and happiness, I think Lewis has made the right choice.

    You could argue that he has a better shot at winning races/titles at McLaren, but is that really true? In six seasons at the team, he could’ve won the title 4 times. In reality he’s won it once, and the errors by the team seem to get greater each season. Is he really any worse off at Mercedes? A team he can rebuild Schumacher-esqe?

    I don’t blame him, and, if it doesn’t work out, big deal, everyone knows his talent and he’s young enough to move on again if needs must.

    Can’t wait for next season.


    Time is definitely important, and plays a big part in my negotiations for work, I battled hard for an extra 5 days paid holiday last time I moved job, in the end they couldn’t give it to me, but offered me more money instead which I felt compensated for that time lost.

    However, I find it hard to not laugh at these reports. They earn £15 million and have to work over 100 PR days a year? How horrible for them. David Couthard once said he saw himself as being paid for PR work and he gets to drive the car for fun. So that’s 100 days PR for £15 million, which is £150,000 a day. Ha.

    Of course, there is always more to a job than meets the eye and I have no doubt they work damn hard, it just seems like a funny thing to complain about, in the real world it’s not an issue, but I know I’d give everything to get the best deal for me if I was in their shows too.



    “Lewis didn’t come here because we offered more money, because we didn’t.” – Ross Brawn


    “I had two offers on the table which were very, very similar. Martin asked me what more they could have done. I said: to be honest, Martin, it was about the new challenge and a step that I wanted to make.” – Lewis Hamilton

    To be fair in November Whitmarsh said that Mercedes did in fact offer a little bit more money, but the gist I get from all the reports is that the offers were very closely matched, so I don’t think it was a deciding factor.


    More or less it’s clear about the money,but it seems that Lewis,himself realy wants a new challenge. He looks like he’s roaring for the new thing. It’s about him. he want’s to prove himself,prove that he can do it. Imagine if he manages to win in that mercedes,how much worth will he be then?


    Although it’s clear that Mercedes did offer Lewis more money, I don’t think that’s a part of it. It’s probably more due to the fact that he was frustrated with McLaren, having not won as many titles as he thinks he should, perhaps less days of sponsorship requirements, meaning he can focus more on the racing and obviously there is the dream of building up a team around him, as Schumacher did at Ferrari, and as Alonso has done at Ferrari now as well.

    But I can also see the ‘new challenge’ stance. It was the same reason that Alonso left Renault in 2006 (I assume), Button left Brawn in 2009, and there are lots of other examples throughout the years.

    Not a fan of the guy, but (even though at first, I laughed at the decision) I do respect him for at least giving it a go. It will provide a new aspect to the 2013, which definitely can’t hurt.


    That was an interesting quote from DC about it being a PR job and driving for fun. Kind of puts things in perspective. Just what on earth is McLaren trying to do with all this PR and “branding” anyways? I liked the Tooned series, but did you hear why it was made? To get children interested in the branding. ? To sell their cars? I don’t get it.

    Prisoner Monkeys

    Just what on earth is McLaren trying to do with all this PR and “branding” anyways?

    McLaren’s strategy essentially acheives the same ends as every other team’s strategies. The difference is in how they go about it.

    Most of the time, drivers do promotional work for their sponsors. It usually falls to them and their managers to arrange it, and if the brand is a major sponsor of the team, then the team might have some input. McLaren, on the other hand, do not allow their drivers to have personal endorsements. Instead, they do promotional work for the team’s sponsors, and all of it is arranged by the team. So the outcome is the same – the difference is in how they get there.

    Arguably, McLaren’s system is better, because the team orchestrates the whole thing; the drivers don’t have to do much – if anything – beyond the actual promotional work.


    @abdurahman To promote their F1 team and sports cars.

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