May 24, 2013
Hamilton holds the key to the F1 carousel
Formula One heads for the bright lights of Singapore this weekend with the rumour mill sparking as it spins but the driver merry-go-round seemingly stalled until Lewis Hamilton makes his mind up about his future.
McLaren's 2008 world champion is not alone in holding a key to the carousel but, out of contract at the end of the season, he stands out as a driver with control over his destiny and a man whose talents are both sought and fought over.
If he decides to leave 'home' and move to Mercedes, the 27-year-old Briton will trigger a chain reaction around the paddock that looks sure to coincide with Michael Schumacher's second retirement.
What happens at Ferrari, the other big Formula One conundrum of the moment, will be a decision taken by the Italian team rather than Brazilian Felipe Massa - who wants to stay alongside championship leader Fernando Alonso but risks being ushered to the door.
Yet Ferrari may also have to wait for Hamilton, with potential alternatives to Massa maybe wondering whether a McLaren drive might be a better option than being Alonso's number two.
Hamilton told reporters at the weekend that he was focusing solely on winning a second title with McLaren and would not be distracted by the contract speculation and 'rubbish' swirling around him.
One simple way to end the talk would be to announce a decision, and McLaren have planned further talks with his management between Monza and Singapore.