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Each member of Mercedes staff to get a minimum bonus payout of £10,000

14 October 2014 [12:40] - TODAY.AZ

Mercedes are going to pay their Formula One staff a bumper bonus of £7m after the team won the constructors’ world championship in Russia last Sunday.

The 700-strong workforce will be told the happy news by the head of motorsport, Toto Wolff, and technical director, Paddy Lowe, over a bacon-butty breakfast for champions at the team’s Brackley headquarters on Tuesday morning.

Every member of the workforce, from the highest-paid engineer down to the catering staff and cleaners, will receive a minimum payment of £10,000. But some members of the team who earn six-figure salaries – with Wolff and Lowe at the top – could receive considerably more than that, so the figure of £7m is only a starting point.

The championship favourite Lewis Hamilton, meanwhile, has received his own bonus with confirmation from Wolff that he will be offered a fresh contract beyond the one which expires at the end of next year. So too will Nico Rosberg. “That is because these two boys are part of the success of the team, they know each other so well and they respect each other,” Wolff said. “So our main priority is to continue with Lewis and Nico beyond 2015.”


Mercedes have won 13 of the 16 races this season, and Hamilton’s win ahead of Rosberg in Sochi on Sunday was their ninth one-two finish. The German team will receive a windfall of £40m from the sport for their successful season, moreover, and Hamilton and Rosberg are expected to arrive at the Brackley headquarters on Tuesday. The drivers too will receive bonuses, though they hardly need them – Hamilton earns an estimated £20m a year, with Rosberg on about £15m.

Mercedes will follow their first constructors’ title with the individual title, but probably not until the final race in Abu Dhabi on 23 November.

Toto Wolff says the racing between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg will become even more competitive now that the constructors’ championship has been won, with the drivers’ title also a formality.

Wolff, Mercedes’ head of motorsport, says: “If you look at the points, we have made a massive step toward the drivers’ title because we are 92 points ahead of Daniel Ricciardo with 100 left.

“So we could be coming into a situation which everybody would love of course in being safe to let them race in the way they want to race.”

Hamilton and Rosberg have always been free to race but Wolff was furious when the pair became too competitive in the Belgium Grand Prix in Spa, when the two clashed, ending Hamilton’s race.

Wolff added: “There is still this invisible little leash and maybe we can get rid of it completely.

“There is so much competition in the team between the drivers, but we are still having this team feeling. In the briefings, in our discussions, there is just this energy. And it’s moving the team forward. Lewis is definitely in a different league since I met him first.

But Wolff, like most people in F1, is unhappy with the double points arrangement for the last race in Abu Dhabia next month.

Asked if he was a fan of “the lottery” he said: “No no, no. Not even now. I understand why the commercial rights holder wants it because it’s going to be so exciting until the end.

“And so from his perspective I 100 percent understood. From our perspective it gives a little bit of a question mark. It could swing into one direction, if you have a DNF you could be losing all points or you could be making 50. And this is not good for the sport.”

Hamilton cannot bear to countenance the thought of losing the world championship on the double-points race there. The 2008 world champion, who leads the championship from his only plausible rival, Rosberg, by 17 points, with three rounds to go, can win the next two races in the US and Brazil and still be pipped in the desert if he fails to finish the final race.

Hamilton has been the dominant driver, becoming only the fourth to win nine races in a season, more than twice as many as Rosberg. Sunday’s win saw him pull level with Nigel Mansell as Britain’s most successful driver, with 31 victories.

The decision to award double points in Abu Dhabi was made in an attempt to prevent Red Bull running away with yet another championship. But it could now ruin Hamilton’s title challenge, which would be a travesty.

Jules Bianchi, meanwhile, remains critical in a Japanese hospital following his high-speed crash at Suzuka nine days ago.

The FIA, the sport’s ruling body, has come under fire from the four-times title winner Alain Prost, who said on Monday: “I don’t want to make any polemics with the FIA because I have a lot of respect for what has been done in terms of safety over the past 20 years. It is cars and tracks and there was only one thing left: it was this truck on the track.”

/ Theguardian.Com /


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