by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : Issue 123
Red Bull move would be risky for Hamilton GPWEEK OPINION >> ways been negative. The gap to the winner at the opening round at Qatar was only 16.4 seconds. And this in spite of full recovery from his shoulder injury, and a major motorcycle upgrade, when he was given the key to next year’s bike, with the engine destroked to 800cc. Halfway through the season, progress has fallen woefully short of expectations. Right at present, there are no clear signs that it will improve in a hurry. Ducati has been wrong-footed and Rossi has not been able to help them regain step. His fans at Mugello showed remarkable patience, cheering his efforts to the echo just as usual, just as they had when he was winning. So far, they have been willing to cut him plenty of slack. Rossi, for his part, is working hard to sustain the determined good cheer that carries him through all the awkward questions at Press conferences and meetings. When the TV cameras are on him he mugs and gurns with all his usual impishness, and perhaps only a touch of desperation. But he also looks increasingly pre-occupied at unguarded moments. Is he running out of patience? And what will be the consequences when that happens? I think, however, he and the rest of us would be wise to take our cues from those loyal Mugello fans. They haven’t lost faith in the fact that Rossi should win by right, and that when things are right, that ’s what will happen. Ducati and the star rider need a bit more time together yet before the marriage can be termed a failure. It could turn around over the next few races. At the same time, this has been dragging on long enough to become uncomfortable. And patience never lasts forever. Hamilton has 18 months left to run on his current McLaren deal (which is worth £15 million a year) but, claims the Daily Mail, there’s a clause in the contract (negotiated by his father, Anthony) that allows Hamilton to walk if neither he nor the team finish the year as champions. Should Hamilton leave McLaren, the effect on the team could be quite devastating. It has been moulded around this driver. To Ron Dennis and Martin Whitmarsh, Lewis is their Jim Clark and the idea of him defecting to a rival is unthinkable – just as Clark leaving Lotus would have been to Colin Chapman. Hamilton has already surpassed Clark’s record for being the most successful driver to race for one single team. There are plenty of potential suitors, not least Renault who may be looking soon for a new number one if Robert Kubica doesn’t return to them. But, ultimately, Hamilton will go with the team that will give him the quickest car. That may be Red Bull Racing, who only have one driver under contract for next year – Seb. But this is a team moulded around one driver too. For Hamilton, I don’t think it would be a snug fit. And Red Bull, which struggled to manage inter-team rivalry between Vettel and Webber last year, would find 2010 Bush League compared to a Vettel- Hamilton spat. Senna and Prost all over again, I reckon. And, from what people tell me, in the UK we’ll be watching the fireworks on Channel 4 Has Rossi awoken from the Ducati dream? 21