What If... - Hamilton's Next Team-Mate


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Contender: Pascal Wehrlein
Contractual Situation: Mercboy
Likely Result: Hamilton steamrollers the kid, with him picking up some race wins when Hamilton blows an engine or two. Wehrlein is, however, arrogant enough to bitch and whine about this.
Chance of Hilarity: Someone with a high opinion of themselves is going to be beaten. So there's that.

Contender: Valteri Bottas
Contractual Situation: Toto is his Briatore
Likely Result: Pretty much the same as Hamilton/Rosberg in 2015, I would predict. However, Bottas is unlikely to say or do anything remotely interesting. Even more so than Rosberg.
Chance of Hilarity: Bottas has been in F1 for three years and not said anything noteworthy. No.

Contender: Fernando Alonso
Contractual Situation: Due to Ronspeak, inpenetrable to all but the most verbose lawyers.
Likely Result: Absolute guarantee that one or the other of them is going to have a complete meltdown by mid-season. Possible involvement of the courts, photocopy shops and somehow Pedro de la Rosa.
Chance of Hilarity: It may well be funny, but I suspect the sequel cannot reach the heights of the original because however irritating Wolff/Lauda can get, they're not - and will never be - Ron Dennis.

Contender: Sebastian Vettel
Contractual Situation: He's got a Ferrari contract, so judging by their race strategy there's plenty of Get Out of Jail Free cards in there.
Likely Result: A whole lot of forced bonhomie lasting until the first time Seb gets a debatable strategy call, in which case the FOM will start to get busy with their beeps over the team radio. Seb to qualify better, and it'll be about 50-50.
Chance of Hilarity: Either we're going to hear a lot about ****ing blue flags and various people ****ing off, or we're going to see a sharp spike in the usage of #blessed.

Contender: Kimi Raikkonen
Contractual Situation: He's got a Ferrari contract, so judging by their race strategy there's plenty of Get Out of Jail Free cards in there.
Likely Result: Hamilton will beat him in the first five races, Kimi will generally pick up points and not give too much of a shit.
Chance of Hilarity: Little. Hamilton will cruise, Raikkonen will heed team orders when relevant, so the best you're going to get is the single word interviews.

Contender: Nico Rosberg
Contractual Situation: Free agent.
Likely Result: Hamilton will beat him this time.
Chance of Hilarity: Depends when Rosberg decides that his retirement was actually, in hindsight, correct in the first place.

Contender: Max Verstappen
Contractual Situation: Knee deep in sugary drink.
Likely Result: A thrilling contest for approximately the first 15 seconds of each race before one or both of them climbs out of the wreckage. Toto to go as bald as Niki by July, Ricciardo to win the title.
Chance of Hilarity: This would be brilliant, although I think the crisis of recruitment and retention of forum moderators may just hit a tipping point. A respinning of 1688 as a hostile invasion.

Contender: Pastor Maldonado
Contractual Situation: Trying to beg for $5 from PDVSA
Likely Result: Hamilton will not be as quick as him in the corners. By which I mean Hamilton will actually slow at them and turn rather than plough on through the gravel or run-off into the nearest wall.
Chance of Hilarity: Maldonado is the King of all Memes.

Contender: Jenson Button
Contractual Situation: Retired, but somehow still manacled to the twitching corpse of McLaren
Likely Result: Either Hamilton will beat him handsomely and repeatedly, or end up tweeting the specs of his car to @RedBullSpy.
Chance of Hilarity: Hamilton's increasing attempts to deny he was feeling stressed while Button spends his time taking the piss out of David Coulthard or Martin Brundle were always hilarious.

Contender: Lewis Hamilton
Contractual Situation: Ecclestone's Cloning Vat starting to approach viability
Likely Result: The Hamilton that gets car #44 will win because he'll be in a better place, and he'll tweet the word #blessed far less.
Chance of Hilarity: Hamilton will not want to be beaten by Hamilton!

Contender: Paul di Resta
Contractual Situation: Free as a bird (since no-one gives a toss)
Likely Result: Di Resta will have the crap kicked out of him, since this is not Formula 3 EuroSeries, and it'll be the team's fault.
Chance of Hilarity: Maybe be funny to see di Resta's whinging if it was humanly possible to see more than 10 seconds of a Paul di Resta interview and keep awake.

Contender: Adrian Sutil
Contractual Situation: Suspended sentence
Likely Result: One in hospital, one in jail.
Chance of Hilarity: It would all be fun and games until someone gets hurt.

Contender: Sergio "Checo" Perez
Contractual Situation: Want to keep those engines, Vijay?
Likely Result: Perez does a repeat of 2013, being far enough behind to not be a challenge, but be crazy enough to get in Hamilton's grille at times.
Chance of Hilarity: Some good radio messages when the silver arrows nearly collide.

Contender: Kamui Kobayashi
Contractual Situation: WEC
Likely Result: Kobayashis will be Kobayashis. Hamilton WDC.
Chance of Hilarity: Kobayashi.

Contender: Daniel Ricciardo
Contractual Situation: Not drowning in energy drink as much as Verstappen.
Likely Result: In 2014, we all said he couldn't beat Vettel. Let's not get carried away by this one.
Chance of Hilarity: Like with JB, Hamilton's mental state will not be helped by a team-mate who is smiling when Hamilton thinks he's beaten.

Good luck with the real job, Ocon!
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