Former Jordan F1 team boss Eddie Jordan has fired a warning shot at Lewis Hamilton. During a media interview, Jordan said of Sir Lewis that “everyone is replaceable”. He was referring to Hamilton’s on-going contract negotiations with Mercedes F1. Let’s debate as to why he is totally wrong. To begin with, Jordan is correct, everyone is replaceable, be it within F1 or indeed any other professional career sporting or non-sporting. A professional sports career is relatively short-lived, this is the way. We do know Sir Lewis is closing in on the last phase of his time in F1, but he still has at least another 4 years left before he calls it quits. This is why Jordan is wrong. Sir Lewis is of the moment, he is the now, he is the benchmark on every level. As of this moment in the now he is not irreplaceable. This point of view is absolute and based on his ability to deliver and compete every race weekend.
Whether you look at it statistically, analytically or emotionally as of the now, Hamilton is irreplaceable to Mercedes. As of the now, Hamilton is out of contract and renewal talks have been slow and protracted. Hamilton is seeking better terms, a bump in his annual salary which is rumoured to be between £30-40 million. Mercedes can easily afford his demands, but this has made Jordan’s blood boil. During a recent media interview he said:
“Apparently the parties disagree on the terms. I just heard that Lewis wants more than Mercedes are willing to pay.”
“It’s also about sharing the team’s income and having an influential role in the Mercedes group. If I were the boss of Daimler, I would show him the door – either you drive on our terms or you go.”
Again Eddie Jordan is wrong, Hamilton has the right to make demands, he isn’t Kevin Magnussen. Sir Lewis is in a position to make wage demands based on his racing pedigree. Modern businesses make decisions based on data and analytics. Mercedes know that Hamilton, statistically speaking, is on higher ground.
One could argue that Hamilton is in a position to walk away from the contract talks if Mercedes do not meet his demands.