Hamilton deal confirmed
Lewis Hamilton has agreed a new three year deal with Mercedes until 2018 the team confirmed today. The deal is believed to be around £26 million a year but they have not confirmed this.
In a statement Hamilton said “Mercedes is my home and I couldn’t be happier to be staying here for another three years.” The announcement ended all rumours that the brit could be moving to Ferrari. Hamilton will remain alongside current team-mate Nico Rosberg who also has a multi-year contract extension.
Hamilton Said “Mercedes-Benz began supporting me in 1998 so I am very proud that this contract means I will mark 20 years with Mercedes in 2018.”
Toto Wolff Mercedes motorsport boss added “Lewis enjoyed an historic World Championship season with Mercedes-Benz last year and it was a priority for this season to renew his contract for the next term. We have taken the right amount of time with the process and not rushed ourselves.”
In-depth survey of any sport fans
F1 drivers are pre-pairing tonight for what they said today is the most “in-depth survey of fan opinion ever undertaken by any sport in the world” according to the union the Grand Prix Drivers Association (GPDA).
The survey will be officially launched by Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel and Alex Wurz tomorrow in Monaco. In a statement they said “the GPDA Global Fan Survey, the grand prix drivers aim to create the most extensive, in-depth survey of fan opinion ever undertaken by any sport in the world.”
Earlier this month Wurz said that drivers wanted to give back to fans at a time of change when unfavourable comparisons are being made with other series. He Added “I hope it’s cool. The fans will tell us if they like it or not and that’s what we want…we want to give a little bit back and communicate with the people who love the sport equally to us.”
Manor tribute to Jules
Manor will pay tribute to injured driver Jules Bianchi who crashed at last years Japanese Grand Prix. The team yesterday said they were preparing for an emotional return to Monaco where they scored their first points in F1,
The cars and team will wear ‘MONACO 2014. P8. #JB17’ in memory of events over the last year. Earlier this week Team Principal paid tribute to the Frenchman saying “It’s going to be difficult. It’s going to be tough for everybody. He’ll be in the next town”
Bianchi was serious injured after he hit a recovery truck in Japan and continues his recovery near Monaco in his home city of Nice.
Bracing for penalties
Some teams are bracing for grid penalties before the summer after plans were rejected to increase the number of engine units this season. This means that some teams will need to take ten place penalties before the summer break.
Renault and Honda have both been struggling with pour reliability with Red Bull nearing taking a fifth element, and McLaren is not far behind. Although even a penalty-free fifth engine would not have spared them over the course of this season.
The penalty this season will be a five-second penalty early in a race going up by five every time plus a ten place grid penalty after a sixth element.