Fry: Mercedes wanted to replace Schumacher HeidfeldSeptember 13, 2019
Over the past six years, Lewis Hamilton has brought Mercedes four championship titles – and almost certainly will add a fifth this year. However, the transition of Lewis to Mercedes from McLaren could not have taken place. As the former executive director of the team Nick Fry writes in his new book, the company management did not want to sign a contract with Lewis and asked to carefully study the option of inviting Nick Heidfeld to the team.
An active search for a rider who could replace the outgoing Michael Schumacher began in mid-2012. Heidfeld by that time had not been in Formula 1 for a year already – he was fired from Renault in the middle of the previous season. Nick was considered a very experienced pilot, on his account there were already 183 Grand Prix, in addition, he worked as a Mercedes test pilot in 2010. But the main argument in his favor, apparently, was that he was German.
In addition to Heidfeld, Paul di Resta also claimed the place, who brought Mercedes the title in the DTM in 2010, after which, under the patronage of the company, he got a place in Force India. In addition, Jacques Villeneuve offered his services – apparently inspired by the example of Schumacher, as the Canadian has not been in Formula 1 since 2006.
The first meetings between Nick Fry and Hamilton’s manager (at that time) Simon Fuller took place as early as mid-2011, and substantive negotiations began in 2012. Fry himself considered this option a priority, but failed to get management approval.
“Initially, I could not convince Mercedes to hire Lewis,” recalls Fry. – Several times we were sent back, offering to come up with something else. For some reason, we were told once again to pay attention to people like Nick Heidfeld, who really wanted to get a place and constantly sent me messages with photos of himself, his family, his dog in vain attempts to draw my attention to himself. ”
It is not known how it would end, but Nicky Lauda, invited to the team in September 2012 as a non-executive director, helped to turn the tide. On his very first day of work, he told Fry: “Go and do it. And then I’ll ask Mercedes for forgiveness. ” In late September, the Lewis transition was officially announced.
Book by Nick Fry and Ed Gorman, “Survive. Drive Win. ”Will be released on October 3, and from October 17 it will be available on Amazon for $ 20.8.
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