The Formula 1 German Grand Prix normally would have been this weekend if it not for a disagreement of politics between track advisors, financial stability and spectators. This weekend we reminisce of the times when native German drivers would show their talents behind the wheel. Having the local support of friends and family to boost their motivation. It doesn’t take much to realize how significant a win can be at your home Grand Prix. An example would be Lewis Hamilton two weeks ago in Silverstone. Nico Rosberg and Nico Hulkenberg do not have that chance this year. Ferrari doesn’t care at the moment.
Midseason is known for slowing to a crawl, they call it the ‘Summer Break’. Taking time to look at where you have come since the beginning of the season, not to mention how your season will progress. Losing the German Grand Prix makes it drag on even more slowly. That means stories are exaggerated, rewritten and otherwise not worth reading.
However there is one grand story to pursue. Ferrari has allegedly crafted a deal with both Williams and Valtteri Bottas. The first domino of F1 silly season if you will. To date, Kimi Raikkonen hasn’t kept pace with his teammate. It’s to the point where Ferrari seems desperate to get him out of their car. But does Ferrari really have the financial stomach to fulfill their hunger for this new driver?
The amount of money Scuderia Ferrari has offered to Williams, according to the Italian press, is around $4.5 million. It’s not a lot of money to lose a driver like Bottas, especially to Williams. Therefore their counter offer is a tall, stomach wrenching, $16.8 million. That’s just for the team to hand him over, another deal has been made for Bottas to be interested, but Ferrari is keeping that number close to the vest. The only reason Ferrari has this opportunity in their hands is because of the Williams contract. There is a kink in its armor for 2016 where the driver is an “option” if the team can boot him out, they can do so. Ferrari is a team that once paid an immense amount of money for Kimi to leave the first time, they’re no stranger to this concept.
The Italian team isn’t playing this game in typical Ferrari fashion. In my opinion, they come off as being indecisive in what they really want. Daniel Ricciardo was once an option a few weeks ago, but due to the little wiggle room in his contract he is off the table. Even Felipe Nasr was said to be a candidate for the Ferrari seat. But let’s get to the bottom line, Ferrari won’t accept someone with one year under their belt. Nico Hulkenberg on the other hand deserves the position more than any driver on the market today. Think of his current situation. He is an experienced driver who shows potential with a private team that is looked over far too many times.
The Hungarian Grand Prix is one week away. After that, a long ‘Summer Break’ for not only Valtteri Bottas to deal with what’s on his plate, but for all of the drivers to realize how the second half of their season is going to play out. What is for certain? Nobody knows at this point. I can’t say Bottas will make a move this season. The fact that Williams has made a counter offer more than three times the amount of the latter is remarkable.
But then again, they could have just said NO.