December 3, 2016

Who is Toto Wolff calling today?

Can you imagine the number of calls in and out of Brackley in the last 24 hours?    Social media certainly had a good time with it yesterday.

Rosberg's surprise retirement leaves the undisputed number one. team is an odd place:  they. must fill what is arguably the most desirable open seat at a time when all of the sport's stars are (technically) not available.

Of course, F1 contracts have historically shown not to be worth the paper they are printed on and if there is the will and a check there's a way so, who is Toto Wolff calling today?

His easiest call would be to Pascal Wehrlein, he's already under contract to Mercedes.  Moving Pascal up  would mean depending on a Hamilton the team has learned it can only partially do.  You never know when Lewis might skip a tire test because of a "sore foot" or need to go shopping in Malibu.
Certainly Lewis has delivered for the Germans (and the team for him) but Mercedes is not the type of team  happy to put all of its eggs in one basket,

The most obvious choice and the one most would like to see is Alonso.   A talent like his,  in a Mclaren in disarray as it has been in the last eight years, is not good for the sport and, among top drivers, he is the one most likely to have a valid escape clause in his contract.

The downside for Mercedes is that someone has to tell Lewis.  Sure, Hamilton has said he does not care, but then again he has said a lot of things.   Having those two on the team could mean nightmares more than dream team for Wolff.  

For the public?  Pass the popcorn.

Verstappen or Ricciardo?   Not a chance.  A move to Mercedes would not be the smart play for either of them, not with new regulations tailor made to Red Bull's strengths.  

Bottas? Hulkenberg? Why when you have Wehrlein or Ocon?

And then there is Vettel.   Another year with Ferrari and not in a happy place at the moment. Certainly one could imagine a numbers oriented character like Sergio Marchionne not getting especially sentimental if those numbers were right.

A guy like Vettel, four championships, not short of funds, two young daughters,  perhaps the only thing left to prove's that it was not just the car,  does he go for the top team or does he stay on the more difficult road Ferrari is on,  for the satisfaction of seeing it through?

You have to wonder what wheels have been set in motion by Nico's choice.

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