Lewis hamilton could have signed the last great contract of the Formula 1. The hepta-champion, who will receive this season 45.6 million euros, it has only been renewed for one year, so it would be harmed if the salary limit that has been raised comes into force.
In favor of said salary limit is Toto wolff, head of the Mercedes team. That is why he himself justified the renewal of Hamilton for just one season: “There are many uncertainties that can affect the sport and the company. Daimler is in a major transformation towards electric mobility that requires investmentIt is a very different financial environment from years ago ”.
Even so, the British driver has signed the highest contract in the history of Formula 1 at a time when the economic crisis that has caused the coronavirus has forced Daimler, the company that owns Mercedes, to reduce its workforce after suffering millionaire losses. However, with less than a month to go before the presentation of its new car, the team has been forced to accept some of the conditions of Lewis hamilton. “I am going to enter what is potentially my last stage in this sport and of course I want to maximize economic performance“, Warned the pilot of 36 years before you start negotiating with Mercedes.
Hamilton is the only Formula 1 driver who has renewed upward
Hamilton’s renewal has been atypical. Firstly, because the regulation change planned for 2021 has been delayed for a year to alleviate the economic situation of the teams, which this season will run with cars very similar to those of the previous one. Secondly, because, for this reason, the rest of the riders have renewed downwards. Even Fernando Alonso, which came to charge more than 30 million of euros during his last stage at McLaren, he has had to lower his cache to 7.5 million to return to Formula 1.
After Lewis hamilton, the highest paid Formula 1 driver in 2021 will be Max Verstappen with a salary of 18.2 million euros, while Leclerc will be the third with 11.6 million . The Frenchman will be the highest paid Ferrari driver, where until last season Vettel perceived 36 million of euros. Precisely to alleviate the economic situation of the Italian team, in Maranello they have chosen not to renew him and instead sign Carlos Sainz, who will charge 8.3 million, same amount that Sebastian Vettel will receive in Aston martin.
Formula 1 salary cap would only affect Hamilton
It’s clear that teams don’t want to have to sacrifice R&D for a driver’s salary. For this reason, taking advantage of the fact that three-quarters of the grid end their contract, the salary limit could be approved in the coming months. According to the Daily Mail recently, the Formula 1 teams, including Mercedes, have unanimously supported establishing a salary ceiling of 24 million of euros. That is, it would only affect Lewis Hamilton.
Even so, pilots will have the option to circumvent this salary limit. And is that Hamilton I wanted to renew at the rate of 70 million euros with Mercedes. However, both parties have agreed to do so for 45.6 million, in exchange for having two free spaces to put two sponsors that he himself will manage.
The same has happened in Alpine with Fernando Alonso. As Marco Andrea Zecchi, former Ferrari boss, pointed out: “If you fire people and spend a lot of money to sign Alonso, you run the risk of causing a revolution. Unions can ask why the company is laying off workers. ” However, the Asturian will perceive 7.5 million; that is, less than what Ricciardo charged. In return, Fernando Alonso will receive a bonus for each sponsor that comes to the team thanks to him. Alpine, for its part, will include Kimoa, his clothing brand, and Raw, the isotonic drink of which he is a shareholder, as sponsors.
The coronavirus and the salary limit in Formula 1
It should be noted that the pandemic has considerably reduced the income of the teams in 2021. The team that has bagged the most has been Ferrari, that entered 166 million of euros, 55 less than it billed in 2020. Mercedes, meanwhile, a total of 160 million euros in 2021 for 196 who entered in 2020; while Red bull has entered 146 million for the 168 that invoiced the previous campaign.
Also that Jean Todt, president of the FIA, recently stated: “The vaccine will be good for the whole planet. But there are potential changes to the different calendars, not just Formula 1. In my opinion, half the year will not be as we would expect from a normal season”. So, given that team revenues in 2021 are difficult to predict, setting a salary cap can be a good measure to ease the economy of teams after teams have been hit by the pandemic.