Formula 1

Why Lewis Hamilton will return to McLaren

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McLaren return on the cards (©GettyImages)
McLaren return on the cards (©GettyImages).

Lewis Hamilton finds himself 29-points adrift of his team mate Nico Rosberg in his pursuit for his second Formula One world championship.

It has been a season of many ups and downs for Hamilton, where he achieved the most race victories of any driver on the grid, yet he has made some crucial mistakes and had a lot of misfortune along the way.

But what has stood out above everything else this season has been his rivalry with Nico Rosberg and the controversy which has surrounded them. None more so than at the Belgian Grand Prix where Rosberg was accused of purposely making contact with his team mate, leading to retirement for Hamilton.

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Uneasy 

There is an uneasy atmosphere in the Mercedes camp right now. The team is split and Hamilton is certainly unhappy. Therefore I believe that a return to former employees McLaren is a more than likely option for him.

There are many factors which suggest this move could happen. Firstly, Hamilton is not feeling loved at Mercedes. I think he is a driver who wants to have that fuss made about him and to be shown full attention. Hamilton's history with McLaren is deep and he is their own. His relationship with Ron Dennis is very close and they would love to work together once again.

I also feel that Hamilton is more comfortable as an outright number one team driver. He may have thought that it would be the case alongside Nico Rosberg whose Formula One statistics can't match Hamilton's. But it has been far closer than many expected.

He had difficulty when he and Fernando Alonso were team mates back in his first season in Formula One. With Jenson Button seemingly not having too many years left at McLaren, Hamilton could return and partner the younger Kevin Magnussen and be without doubt the number one man. 

But why would Hamilton want to leave a team which is supplying the fastest car in Formula One right now? Despite all the unrest, at least at Mercedes he has the best chance of winning another world title, which is the ultimate aim regardless. 

Timing 

The Formula One driver market is all about timing. Hamilton displayed the perfect example of this by moving to Mercedes when many doubted their credentials, but it turned out to be a master stroke. And maybe the timing is about right to move on once again.

McLaren have a new engine deal for 2015, with Honda returning to the sport. Now there is no guarantee that it will be an instant success, but there was not one either when he took his chances with Mercedes.McLaren are working hard to become competitive again and the motivation of Hamilton's arrival could be the catalyst they need. And the fresh start he does too.

But 2015 may be just too early to risk it. What would make sense is to stay for one more season with Mercedes, get his head down, avoid trouble and see what comes his way. Then in 2016, when McLaren with their new engine and approach have had time to adapt, return tom the team which made him.

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