A rather interesting piece of recent history came up since the rumours of Lewis Hamilton going to Ferrari gained some momentum over the Abu Dhabi weekend, and this was the fact that Nico Rosberg had been interested in racing for Ferrari before signing a long term deal with Mercedes.
Alberto Antonini, a former journalist, was Ferrari’s spokesman for Formula 1 between 2015 and 2018, in the Maurizio Arrivabene era.
The Italian journalist wrote today in FormulaPassion.it some details on the Rosberg negotiations from that time, spurred on having read the rumour stories over Hamilton and Ferrari, started by Gazzetta dello Sport.
Antonini writes: “If there are rumours and stories about such contacts, it is only because someone who is very familiar with the situation wants to consciously pass them on”.
The fact that insider information from Ferrari is “leaked” to the press has almost become a tradition in Maranello. At the time of Enzo Ferrari it was the order of the day that someone called the Gazzetta – mostly with the intention of creating public pressure. But sometimes simply because someone couldn’t keep their mouth shut.
Rosberg surprisingly ended his Formula 1 career as reigning World Champion at the end of 2016. His Mercedes contract would actually have run until the end of 2018. But before he was extended by two years in July 2016, he was also in contact with Ferrari. However, the Italian press had reported about this at the time.
Rosberg had brought Gerhard Berger, a friend of his father Keke, on board as “manager” for the contract negotiations. Berger’s assignment was to negotiate the best possible deal. The Austrian apparently activated his old contacts in Maranello. That was in May. Two months later, however, Rosberg signed again with Mercedes.
And the rest as they say, is history.
A while ago, TJ13 published an article that could herald the beginning of the end of big global manufacturer participation in Formula 1 – In it we described a set of circumstances recently occurring which are making the current F1 teams sit up and take notice.
For your information, the article in question can be found via this link here, but in summary, we describe the announcement from the VW Group declaring that VW will not participate in any motorsport involving internal combustion engines, as possibly the most seismic event in…. READ MORE