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Whitmarsh thinks Mercedes offered Hamilton 'a bit more' money

Martin Whitmarsh says he suspects Lewis Hamilton already regrets accepting a bigger-money offer to switch to Mercedes next year.

The McLaren chief answered "I don't know" when asked why he thinks the 2008 world champion decided to leave his boyhood team, but thinks a big factor is Hamilton's desire to spread his wings after six years with the famous British outfit.

But Whitmarsh told F1's official website that money was probably another factor.

"We made Lewis an offer -- an offer which I believe is more money than any other driver at the moment is being paid," said Whitmarsh.

"That leads us to suspect that our competitor and our partner Mercedes-Benz offered a bit more money."

Whitmarsh said he is also concerned for Hamilton that he may have made his decision hastily, after retiring from the lead in Singapore recently.

"I think it is always bad to make a decision in the aftermath of a bad race," he insisted.

"He was pretty sure that he was going to win that race and it was a disappointment and as I just said it is never good to make a decision in such a situation."

Whitmarsh also said he thinks Hamilton has already regretted his decision "on occasions", but doesn't think the 27-year-old will admit it.

"He is not going to say 'hey, they offered me more money'. He is also not going to say that he's made an awful mistake.

"I hope he thinks today that he's made an awful mistake and I hope he thinks that next year," said Whitmarsh. "He's made that decision and he has to live with that decision."

Published Nov 10, 2012 8:39 am
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Comments (7)

nahidrahman
no Whitmarsh you utter pillock. He's leaving because your car's reliability is sh**e and the constant pit gaffes in the early part of the season, which otherwise would have seen him lead the championship. Even if he got more money, so what? There isnt much point getting paid so much if then you cant win races you should be because the car gives out. He's going to build the team around him and come back to winning ways shortly. I hope you think today that you've made awful mistakes and I hope you think that next year. You couldn't deal with the reliability issues properly and you have to live with that decision. Lewis deserves better. The reason you are so bitter is because Perez isn't showing the skill that he did prior to his 2013 signing. you've lost the fastest driver on the grid, and it is your fault.
Nov 12, 2012 4:08 am
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Wuhgqvv9
Mercedes GP have so far amassed less than half the points McLaren have and are currently lying 5th in the Constructors Championship and are only 12 points ahead of Sauber. McLaren are the closest team to Red Bull in terms of pace. Yes, they've had reliability issues but pace-wise they have been up there with Red Bull and Ferrari for years now. You say Lewis deserves better, how is moving to a midfield team going to serve him better?
Nov 13, 2012 2:22 am
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nahidrahman
I don't deny your point. McLaren is a top 3 team and right up there with RBR. but a team like that can't afford to make those kind of gaffes, especially so many throughout a season when a driver like Lewis races his heart out to win but cant with no fault of his own. I'm not saying it is going to be instant success with Merc, but he'll make a comeback for sure. and in any case, we'll see his true talent in a different car. I bet he will do a lot better than michael and nico
Nov 13, 2012 4:09 am
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keithxp
Pace may not be so important if they end up losing 3rd in constructor's championship to Lotus. Funny thing is, the Mercedes car hasn't been that reliable either.
Nov 13, 2012 3:52 pm
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inlinesix
Wow sounds quite bitter there, Whitmarsh.
Nov 10, 2012 11:20 am
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SnakesInMyPants
He should be. I would be if the fastest driver in F1 was leaving my team.
Nov 10, 2012 6:48 pm
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keithxp
this guy should really spend more time making the car reliable.
Nov 10, 2012 9:34 pm
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