Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Monza, 2012

Hamilton joins Mercedes for 2013 after McLaren exit

2013 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Monza, 2012Lewis Hamilton has confirmed his move to Mercedes in 2013.

Hamilton has signed a three-year deal with the team and will take the place of Michael Schumacher, whose future plans are yet to be announced.

Hamilton said: “It is now time for me to take on a fresh challenge and I am very excited to begin a new chapter racing for the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team. Mercedes-Benz has such an incredible heritage in motorsport, along with a passion for winning which I share.

“Together, we can grow and rise to this new challenge. I believe that I can help steer the Silver Arrows to the top and achieve our joint ambitions of winning the world championships.”

Team principal Ross Brawn said: “The arrival of a driver of Lewis’ calibre is a testament to the standing of Mercedes-Benz in Formula One and I am proud that Lewis shares our vision and ambition for the success of the Silver Arrows.

“I believe that the combination of Lewis and Nico will be the most dynamic and exciting pairing on the grid next year, and I am looking forward to what we can achieve together.

“Over the past three years, we have been putting in place the foundations and building blocks that are needed to compete regularly for the world championship. Behind the scenes, we have assembled a team that is technically stronger, more experienced and better resourced, thanks to the support of Petronas and all of our loyal team partners.

“The potential is now there to match any other team on the grid, which is the minimum standard for a Mercedes-Benz works team. Our task is now to translate that potential into on-track performance for next season and beyond.”

Brawn thanks Schumacher for “important contribution”

Brawn praised his departing driver, saying: “On behalf of Mercedes AMG Petronas, I would first of all like to thank Michael Schumacher for the important contribution he has made to the growth of our team over the past three seasons.

“His energy and commitment have never wavered, even when results have not matched our own expectations, and we are determined to finish the 2012 season together on a high. As always, it has been a pleasure to work with Michael.”

Schumacher added: “I have had three nice years with the team which unfortunately did not go as well as we all would have wanted on the sporting side.

“I wish Lewis well and for the team to achieve the success we worked so hard for in the build-up. I would like to thank the team for their trust and all the guys for their unconditional commitment. I will now concentrate on the next races.”

Mercedes also announced three-times world champion Niki Lauda would join them as a non-executive chairman of the team’s board of directors.

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Image © McLaren/Hoch Zwei

211 comments on “Hamilton joins Mercedes for 2013 after McLaren exit”

  1. This is a game of musical chairs!

    1. Only issue now is whether Massa leaves Ferrari. What do we think?

      1. I think is either Massa or Schumacher to be Alonso’s teammate,if Massa leaves, most likely he would join Sauber and Schumacher would take his place. Really an awkward season for next year

      2. Massa won’t go, in my opinion, as he doesn’t take points off Alonso because he knows he is the number 2 driver. Ferrari have made a BIG mistake though, letting Perez slip through their fingers, such a great talent. Is Massa the stop-gap solution before Vettel comes in a few years time?

        1. Ugh… Massa is not a good number 2 driver. Why do people keep saying that Fernando is happy with him as a number 2??? There aren’t a lot of drivers on the grid who will take points off Fernando anyways.. so what Fernando needs is a driver who can consistently finish right behind him and take points off rivals.

          How many points has Massa taken off Vettel, Webber, Kimi, Lewis and Jenson this year?

          1. absolutely… agree with you…
            and for that matter, how many times have Perez, Webber, Jenson taken points off Alonso?

          2. You should replace Luca di Montezomolo.

            Spot on.

          3. The 2 questions are…

            Who is gonna replace Massa: Schumacher? Haikkonen?
            Who is gonna replace Perez: Massa? Alguersuari?

          4. Haikkonen!? Sounds like a fantastic hybrid.

      3. Why we all think that MSC will go to Ferrari or retire? It is possible to go for his last year to McLaren to try and win his 8th championship! 2013 rules are pretty similar to 2012 so McLaren is most likely to be the fastest car, so why not?

        1. Oh, Perez took that empty seat….. So Sergio will win his first WC in 2013…..interesting!

          1. So word in the streets is “Perez will outpace Jenson Button”?

        2. “McLaren is most likely to be the fastest car, so why not?”

          Maybe because Perez has signed for McLaren?

        3. LOL !! Haikkonen?!?!?

          Who’s that Heiki Kovalainen, Kimi Raikkonen or Mika Hakkinen

          I’d love to see any of them in the Ferrari next year…. Especially Mika ;)

      4. That is what has me thinking. Ferrari and Luca missed their chance with Perez so I don’t know what Ferrari are going to do. I’d be really surprised if Michael took Massa’s seat. I’m thinking that Heikki may fit the bill. Race winner, experienced, and quick but not too quick.

        1. I wouldn’t count out a move for Perez to Ferrari in the future, it wouldn’t be the first time a driver has moved from McLaren to Ferrari after a short period, plus Perez’s great drives this year could be more to do with his/ his cars tire management than overall speed. A few years at a top team will be the thing that proves beyond all doubt he is as good as everyone thinks he is. If he is consistently battling with and beating JB it will prove it and Ferrari can then go calling.

          If Ferrari don’t slip to 4th in the constructors I think they will give Massa another year, if the results still don’t come they will look elsewhere maybe to a Force India driver or to Webber for a short term contract by which time Perez will have proved himself and can challenge Alonso at Ferrari

        2. It is ironic that anyone would suggest Heikki as a replacement for Felipe. Heikki is only a race winner because Massa’s engine let go with three laps to go in that race.

          Heikki has done wonders in that Caterham and fully deserves a higher place on the grid, but give him Perez’s vacant Sauber seat before handing him a top car again. Last time he was in a top car Hamilton made him look rather silly.

          That said, I do miss the Finnish era for McLaren.

      5. @mhop – personally I think Ferrari will keep him for another year then he’ll be kicked out to allow Vettel in. Ferrari have lost a great talent in Perez though; they’ll look really stupid if Perez wins the championship next year!

        1. Massa sadly brings in too little points over a season to even justify him staying on for one more year before the rumoured Vettel to Ferrari 2014 move takes place.

          I’m glad though the current Ferrari team has not adopted the cheapshot tactics engineered by Jean Todt in the late 90s to have Irvine basically drive around as a mobile chicane and block the McLarens.

          Most people would be fine if a driver out of contention or who was clearly slower lets his faster team-mate through’ but to hire him just to impede the progress of rival contenders and deliberately slow them down to the point they almost touch the way Irvine was tasked by Todt in the late 90s was an embarrassment to a team of Ferrari’s stature. I don’t remember Irvine doing much racing in 1997 and 1998; he was just to slow the McLarens right from the start and let Schumacher build a mega gap. In comparison, at least the likes of Barrichello and Massa later on were allowed to race in decorum though they knew they had to cede their place to the team leader if they were ahead.

          Anyway, a driver of Alonso’s class does not need to win titles by having Massa act as a mobile chicane. It kind of devalues any title won really. I’m glad that this year if Alonso does win it, it will be down to him driving the life out of the F2012 and not some Machiavellian, no make that Todtish tactics, engineered by the team to have Massa block other drivers.

    2. Elliot Horwood .
      28th September 2012, 14:11

      5 years i have supported @LewisHamilton and McLaren, its has been very good! It has had its Ups (2007 + 2008) and also 2010 where the dream Brit combination of Button and Hamilton at McLaren! the Last 2 years have been the best seasons at McLaren and the best viewing for F1 for me, i have loved every second of it and because Hamilton got me into F1 i will follow him throughout his career, So although i am very sad the he is leaving McLaren to join another team :( I will always support Hamilton over anyone else he is the best racing driver, i love his style of racing and i hope Mercedes + Brawn can do him good! Of course i will still support Button + McLaren but Lewis Hamilton will always be the one that i support!

  2. Was just a formality now, really excited about the news. Alonso said leaving McLaren to join another team (which he built around him) was the best thing he ever did and now Lewis has his shot. I’m expecting Mercedes to be able to produce that race-winning car they’ve been after.

    Here’s hoping Schumacher’s going to return to Ferrari for another year, now that would be exciting. Don’t want Schumacher to be kicked out instead of bowing out gracefully himself.

    1. You think going to Ferrari as Alonso’s no.2 and being soundly beaten would be graceful?

      1. Not sure about being soundly beaten, but there would be no disgrace in that. Especially if he would be able to help Alonso win another championship, it’d be like he paid back Ferrari for all he owes them. I’d definitely call that gracefulll, yes.

        1. I agree @Roald. It would simply be really nice to see him help Ferrari, because no offence to Massa but he’s not really doing a great job at the moment.

        2. He owes Ferrari nothing.

          1. @matt90

            I couldn’t agree more, if anything Ferrari owes MSC.
            Not the other way around.

          2. Exactly. Ferrari owe Schumacher a lot for their current competitiveness.

    2. I think he needs a good car not a bunch or nurses. I would respect him less the day he becomes a Prima Donna demanding preferential treatment.

    3. I have a feeling Schumacher is not yet ready to retire again. Around the time Eddie Jordan speculated Hamilton would move to Mercedes, Schumacher made a statement saying it would be a pity for him to leave F1 without a win in his comeback. Ofcourse he was hoping to continue for another year with Mercedes but now that Lewis has taken his seat, I’m sure he has given a thought to racing at Sauber – Sauber’s C31 is a pretty good car actually..

      When Ross Brawn was asked about Schumi’s future (before Hamilton’s announcement), he hinted Schumacher would take on an ambassadorial role at Mercedes. However, in today’s announcement, Mercedes have openly “thanked” Schumacher for his contribution. The kind of “thank you” you say when someone is leaving. Neither have they announced Schumacher is retiring nor are they making him an ambassador (atleast for now)..and although Jaime Alguersuari is set to take 1 seat at Sauber next year, there is no guarantee Kobayashi will continue in the second.. And if not Sauber, there’s the Senna seat at Williams still up for grabs..Heres hoping

      1. ambassasor next to non-exec Lauda? Hmmmmm…

      2. I think Brawn would have found it very difficult telling Schumacher that he wasn’t wanted, especially as they had been together when Schumacher was at his peak.

        1. Very true, that is the most significant part of the story to me. I am honestly surprised Brawn did it. Just shows he is super serious about this young Mercedes team.

          Looking back at all he and Schumacher achieved together highlights just how sad an ending to that alliance this is. Everyone is excited by what F1 is gaining with Hamilton at a new team, but unless he lights the world on fire like he did when he first came on the scene, the F1 world is loosing a lot more than it’s gaining.

    4. Maybe Schumi will go to Sauber…they do have a free seat ;)

      1. and Sauber himself said few days ago that he would be happy to offer Michael a seat. The question is, will Michael accept $5m a year like when he was a consultant to Ferrari?

  3. And next year…..he will be slamming the team in the press “the car cannot win races, I am a driver who wants to win races”, it will be his fault, he will regret this.
    Or maybe Mercedes have a fantastic car potentially for next year and that is why Lewis has gone there, although I doubt it.

    1. Well, in the four years he’s been in with a shot of the championship (not including this year) he’s only won once, which you can hardly say is his fault. 2007 was plain unlucky – he had a gearbox problem in the final race. 2008 he won the championship – just. 2009 he had a dog of a car which he dragged round the track way quicker than it should have been able to, before having a mighty second half of the season to claim “best of the rest” behind the RBR and Brawns. 2010 he made a few mistakes, but also had his fair share of mechanical failures. His only real bad season from a driving point of view was 2011, when he didn’t have a hope of the championship anyway thanks to Vettel. Going into this year, he has had some amazing performances, driving probably the best season of his career, and should be leading this championship. However, he lies a distant fourth, with very little chance of winning the WDC, SOLELY because of his team. They have cost him countless points, from ruined pit stops to underfuelling the car in qualifying. Hamilton has also had his fair share of car problems to, like in singapore, which, as they are the people who manufactured the car, the blame will obviously lie with McLaren more than Hamilton. I may be wrong, but his only ruined races that were NOT McLarens fault were Spa and Germany – both of which Hamilton can not be blamed for.

      So, I’m not sure Hamilton will be any worse off with Mercedes. Anyway, I wish him the best of luck for the latter half of 2012 and his new career with Mercedes.

      1. I think the only problem might be if the Mercedes isn’t the fastest car out of the box next season, the pressure will mount straight away if Jenson & Sergio get a good car.

      2. Interesting point, but I think a great driver (and i am a Ham fan) can do a lot to motivate his team to do a much better job. A driver should be a leader and an inspiration to his team through his actions on and off the track. Sadly Lewis IMO has failed in the latter. One only needs to look to Ferrari to see what a true leader can do to a team. That to me is why the car and pit stops have been the problem, certainly last year and to some extent this year.
        I think Lewis has to bear the burden of the teams failures as his own (if he doesn’t already) and perhaps this move will re-invigorate both Ham and McLaren.

        1. i think the driver cannot motivate his team. the genius of engineers and managers are the key to find the tiny loopholes in regulations, the precise movement of everybody (each little piece at the right place everytime), the rehaursal of everybody, the feedback of the driver, all of this makes a reliable good car. Crashing all the time did not hamper Williams to continue improvements. The driver is one among 400 to 700 people, we know him because he is the most exposed. All people are working to the limit, the margin to move a very precise big boat because one single delivers or not looks very tiny, it’s more a fantasy that we would like to happen.

          1. But what decides weather or not the individual is working to the limit. I think not money, but rather the motivation of knowing their driver will do the most for them on and off the track. Not flying to the US, not acting like a primadonna, but setting the example of hard work

        2. So you’re blaming Lewis for bad pit stops? Really?

        3. you certainly sound like a Ham fan..but anyway..are you advocating he changes the tyres himself??!!

          I think the problems at mclaren are more deep rooted..IE since Martin Whitmarsh’s promotion to be team boss!! This is where the problems lie..These issues were far less rare under the guidance of Ron Dennis..

          1. You’re right. Under Dennis teammates didn’t drove each other of the road. The car was always super-reliable, they always made championship winning cars and the strategie was always better then their rivals. They didn’t do any stupid things at all..

  4. I’d be slumped and miserable like that too if I was in Lewis’s shoes…
    Very sad to see the Ham-Mcl era end, and I don’t think it’s on particularly good terms either.

    1. Well many people had been saying there was friction between Hamilton and Withmarsh for over 2years now, but it wasn’t taken seriously. One can only imagine what could have made Hamilton jump from a certain guarantee of wins, to the uncertainty of even finishing a race.

    2. I don’t really think you mean that.
      How could anyone be ‘slumped and miserable’ with *that* much money in one back pocket and a three year contract in the other?

      1. Maybe it is about satisfaction and not about money. Like I’m unsatisfied with my work because I’m #2 although I’ve been paid well. I want to be #1 and want that promotion. I took my chance to go somewhere else after 15years.

  5. Bye bye Real Madrid,
    hello LA Galaxy!

    Seriously, though, I hope the Mercedes will turn out to be a more competitive car next year (after all, they started 2012 well enough). As a Hamilton fan, I’m a little disappointed, especially after the rumours this week seemed to indicate he would stay at McLaren, that is currently enjoying its most competitve spell since 2007-2008.

    When I manage to take the broader view of an F1 fan, the Hamilton-Mercedes and Perez-McLaren moves are incredibly exciting, and good news for F1.

    1. Bye bye Real Madrid,
      hello LA Galaxy!

      *** does that mean?

      1. I think Adrian is comparing Hamilton to David Beckham, who left Real Madrid to join L.A. Galaxy a number of years ago. Real Madrid were and are one of the best teams in the world, while L.A. Galaxy… aren’t. Though they did give Beckham a ridiculously lucrative contract and the chance to extend his brand/image. Sound familiar?

        He hasn’t admitted it, but I think Beckham came to regret leaving the footballing elite as soon as he did, which is why he came back for loan spells with Milan. He seems happy enough with his decision to go to the USA, but I think he realises that he could have spent a few more years in Europe before going there. He just left Real Madrid in difficult circumstances. I wouldn’t be surprised if Hamilton feels the same way about his decision to leave in a few years’ time.

        1. beckham nd hamilton have the same manager too

          1. both date pop stars :)

      2. I hate foorball, and even I get that ;) Reference to Beckham switching clubs

        1. @melkurion, @estesark, @munter.

          You’re right, it’s a reference to Beckham and its management, but also to Paul Simon:

          Bye bye love,
          bye bye sweet caress
          Hello emptiness,
          I feel like I could die
          Bye bye my love, goodbye

          1. @adrianmorse It’s an Everly Brothers song, which was covered by Simon & Garfunkel :)

        2. I really did not understand. I’ve heard of Real Madrid (is there an Unreal Madrid somewhere?) but not of LA Galaxy. I’d no idea that David Beckham has played for either team. I thought he once played for Manchester United and England.
          So Real Madrid are the McLaren of the F1 world? Do they not win much then?

          1. Actually, they have won suprisingly little in the past few years, even though they have one of the best teams in the world.

          2. Actually,

            ‘real’ = ‘royal’ in spanish

            I dont think the comparison to Beckham really works. I mean, Beckham was getting well past his prime, whereas Lewis could still be at his best if he sorted out his mindset.

            This whole thing is extremely exciting though.

    2. I second your coments – rumours have played havoc with my support of Lewis in a Mclaren, but i think your right in saying it will be an exciting era in F1 in the coming years with Lewis in a Silver Arrows x

  6. 2014 in mind? or just going for the money?

    have mercedes started early development of their 2013 car?

  7. I strongly believe it’s a good thing for F1 and I believe that Mercedes did the right thing by replacing Schumacher with a driver of Hamilton’s calibre. I also feel that Hamilton might finally find his ‘happy bubble’ at the new team. As for how many championships and / or wins this new partnership will bring, there’s no earthly way of knowing.

    1. I’m with you mate, I hope he finds his happy place with Mercedes. He hasn’t been in that happy place with McLaren for a while now.

      As risky as the move is for his racing career, I’m actually quite excited about it. Also, adding to the excitement is Perez moving to one of the top teams, Ferrari have really missed out there I think.

  8. Damn, that makes my post on the Checo story sound a bit dumb. Anyway, GO CHECO!

  9. How do you all like Eddie Jordan now? ;-)

    But seriously — I remained totally skeptical up until last night, and I’m still really surprised on some level. Mercedes is a team with a lot going for it, but I hope Lewis doesn’t end up regretting this decision…

    1. Anyone remembers British grand prix 2010 ?
      It’s all about getting even with ron dennis …

      1. Sorry I don’t, what happened?

        1. Didn’t Dennis cut his earphone or mic cable or something and he launched into an off-camera rant?

    2. @aka_robyn Well he was the one to predict Michael Schumacher’s return. As skeptical as I was, it happened. I can’t discount EJ’s words with a clear conscience anymore.

  10. Anybody else think McLaren stole Hamilton’s thunder by announcing Perez would join them before Hamilton could confirm his move to Mercedes?

    1. Definitely.

    2. I think it’s unimportant, Hamilton & Mercedes are now in the centre of attention anyway.

    3. Yep, that was my post on the Perez story. I still think it was beautifully spiteful PR. I love that sort of stuff.

      1. As well as that I think they knew that the real story will be the Ham-Merc partnership and they knew that as soon as that is announced the media will jump and they will get little publicity from the whole thing. By confirming Perez to Macca first they got a fair share of the publicity as it also confirmed Ham move from Macca but the main emphasis still remained on Checco.

    4. Not sure why you think Hamilton would be bothered. It’s not as though he lacks media attention. McLaren though need to protect their team image from the damage of losing a driver placed by most in the top three currently in Formula 1. Perez is a fine choice. I think it works well for all sides involved, except Schumacher maybe, depending on what he wanted for next year.

    5. I’ve said it before, that the end decision wasn’t for Hamilton to make but instead it was McLaren and Ron Dennis to make. Meaning, McLaren were never going to give in to demands. To them, every driver is replaceable asset. It turned out just as I predicted.

      On the end of the day, this is the best move for Hamilton and his career. I expect him to struggle with Mercedes initially (since Mercedes aren’t the fastest team at the moment), but if he sticks to his guns and helps the team grow (which will be a major test of driver strength and character) , then there is no doubt he could win the WDC with Mercedes. If he achieves this, he will certainly go on to join the legendary list of drivers ( at least in my book).

      1. Quite a good reading these comments now. I guess Hamilton did do the right thing after all. Who would have thought Alonso at McLaren as well!

  11. It looks like Schumacher has been pushed out as he hasn’t announced his retirement and it’s unlikely that he has signed a better deal with another team.

    1. meybe he’ll go to Sauber ;)

      1. @lawfish why Sauber would take Schumacher while there are drivers like Sutil, Alguersuari and Kovalainen available?

        1. Because Peter Sauber said he would definatly sign him if he had a chance?

        2. Because Schumacher is still arguably a better driver than the three listed? Yes, he’s long in the tooth, but the past still speaks somewhat and his performance issues (crashing into Senna/Verne aside) have mostly been down to car reliability.

          Alguersuari has some worth, being the current Pirelli driver, but Schumacher to Sauber would definitely be a ‘coming home’ scenario.

          1. Yeah after all, he used to race for them in WSCC in 1990 and 1991.

  12. Lewis has taken a big gamble here, dropping McLaren for a team which has won one race before slipping back into the midfield, you just know money (and related trappings) was a motivator.

    The other reasoning I can think of, though, is that at Mercedes he will be the unquestioned number 1 driver, supported by his friend Rosberg. I’m not sure how much that played on his thinking, I suspect not much, but it’s probably his best hope of winning at Mercedes.

    I hope he hasn’t made a big mistake, I fear he has.

    1. “you just know money (and related trappings) was a motivator.”

      I hate this money nonsense.

      You honestly think someone with tens of millions in the bank really cares about another digit? Hes spent his entire life working towards being multiple world champion, you can bet you last penny that he would prefer to be multiple champion than have an extra coupole of digits in his bank account.

      1. Mclaren were going to pay him more money even.
        He just wanted a clear career path, not just driving around in circles with no apparent aim.

        1. He just wanted a clear career path, not just driving around in circles with no apparent aim.

          It’s a good thing he didn’t go to Nascar then!! ;)

      2. And yet the only thing that people with lots of money seem to want is even more of the stuff. I’m not saying that it was only money but to say that earning twice as much at Merc as he would have at Macca did not influence his decision seems naive.

        1. Who said hes earning twice as much?

          Anyway, im pretty sure if you could sell the idea of giving a championship winnin car to any driver, they’d take it over whatever money is wafted under their nose. Money can be made in time, but world champion winning opportunities are few n far between.

          I cant see a driver like Lewis who has been winning all sorts since he was a kid, would chose better earnings, over world titles.

          Im sure in Lewis’ head its a win-win, hes joinin a team that has the potential to be great, and at the same time, has better earning opportunities.

      3. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
        28th September 2012, 13:41

        “You honestly think someone with tens of millions in the bank really cares about another digit?”


        “Hes spent his entire life working towards being multiple world champion”

        and he hasn’t achieved it got bored and now wants to be a rapper more than anything.

  13. Only time will say whether Hamilton did a good thing or a bad thing.

    1. Excellent comment.

      And in the vein of yesterdays COTD, I’d add best of luck to everyone – Lewis, Checo, Ross, Michael… I think this could be good for the sport.

    2. You’re right.

    3. In terms of how many wins and championships he may get, you’re right, time will tell. But I think this is a good move whatever the result. Hamilton has to prove himself outside the McLaren nest and develop some other life skills. If he’s not distracted, he can do it. I think with Brawn and Lauda around, he should be focusing on Formula 1 – as he has been so far this season, to be fair. Also he probably did need to leave behind whatever had gone sour at McLaren.

    4. He needed change, he was not super happy at Mc, He can now help develop a new car, an entire new experience is bound to make him grow up (like someone mentioned about Alonso), He gets on well with Rosberg, he will be mentored by Lauda, so it IS a good decision!!!!! even if he does not win races straight away sometimes you need to go back 1 step to jump 2.
      Lewis is ready to be mature and Mc seemed to slow that down.
      With Mercedes’ money, even if their commitment fades, they will sooner than later find a superior package to what they ve offered.
      Yes if he stayed at Mc he would have had good chances to win 2013 as they are strong contenders of late.
      I enjoyed the all british/ all german team line ups but it is exciting to break that mould.

      1. From past interviews Lewis has mentioned many time that he’d love to be Rosberg’s teammate again.

        1. I think that is the most underrated aspect of the story thus far. Hamilton and Rosberg will push each other and being close friends it could bring a whole attitude of good will and positivity to the Mercedes garage.

          If you think close friends on a team can’t work and can’t bring success, just look at Berger and Senna or better yet Stewart and Cevert!

      2. Have You seen and listened to Lauda on RTL – German TV transmitting F1 races? Lauda’s team commentator has to correct him painfully, when Lauda doesn’t know the rules or anything. Lauda comes up with totally unrealistic predictions for the races – (clearly biased towards German drivers to address the German viewers, but clearly untrustworthy). He was an impressive driver, but to see a TV station allowing him to humiliate himself in that way is a disgrace. He will be of absolutely no benefit to Mercedes, other than if they can relieve him of some excess weight carried in his back pocket. I sincerely hope Hamilton knows something about decisive Merc improvements for next season, or he knows he is able to make them understand F1 tyres, because the last 3 years have sadly shown that Mercedes clearly doesn’t have what it takes to push one of the 3 teams in front of them aside – and trust me: Lauda will not do the difference.
        Maybe Mercedes should hire Keith instead?

  14. I’m expecting around a 50/50 split of opinions here saying this is a good thing in the long term, the team have got top men such as Ross Brawn/he shouldn’t be leaving for a team with another one with a car that isn’t as good. I’m with the former.

    I think Hamilton had to leave McLaren just because the team have let him down too often. He’s won a championship already but he could have already been a two, maybe three time championship already but for mistakes made by the team. 2007 is the obvious one, the team left him out too long in China on tyres which were ruined and as a result, he slid into the pit lane gravel trap. That team error cost him a world championship. He could have also won in 2010 but this is more debatable because it was so close at the front.

    Remember Schumacher when left Benetton for Ferrari at the end of 1995? He left a world championship winning team for a car which wasn’t a match for the Benetton, and look where that got him, five world championships in a row with the team. I’m not suggesting Hamilton is going to dominate the next five years but he could build the team into something great like Schumacher did.

    1. My impression is the Hamilton-McLaren relationship was permanently thrown off kilter at Australia 2009, where team management damaged his reputation by persuading him into a really stupid course of action with the stewards. I think the incident must have thrown a spanner in the works right at the start of the Whitmarsh era, the trust between (team) Hamilton and McLaren perhaps never really recovered.

    2. You cannot ‘simply’ place the blame at McLarens door. Respect is a two-way street.

  15. Great news. Now Hamilton would do leading role in the team. It’s Hamilton’s team now. While Mclaren usually called Hamilton’s team but actually it wasn’t. It might be his home but you can’t do anything you want if there’re parents at home.

    I think Alonso would be happy enough even if he can’t win title with Ferrari because he did many things and everyone know it. Now Hamilton would be in same situation. We will see he can repeat what Schumacher did last century.

    1. I think this could be the making of the man. His two big rivals, Alonso & Vettel are the kings of their teams and if Hamilton wants to compete with them on an equal footing he will need a team ready to back him as opposed to one seemingly more concerned in appearing ‘fair’. We will see once and for all just how good/bad Rosberg is too. 2013 may be difficult for him but I’m sure Brawn will have something up his sleeve for 2014. I predict Hamilton will win his next Championship before McLaren.

      I believe McLaren have the best car this year but Button rarely has got the very best out of it like Hamilton has. Perez has been good but he strikes me as a Fisichella more than an Alonso. Very good at making the most of tyres & strategy but of course never making it into Q3 allows you to be creative with strategy.

      1. You bring up a very very important and interesting aspect! If Hamilton can mold Mercedes around him the way Vettel has RedBull and Alonso has Ferrari, we could indeed be in store for some fireworks.

        I hope and imagine that Lewis has thought of just that and that it is his aim. It may be necessary in order for him to continue to compete with Vettel and Alonso in the future.

        1. I don’t think Vettel has RBR. Its Newey’s team and Vettel is his lead driver.
          The Schuey era with Ferrari was a combination of Michael, Brawn and a focus on quality – to make the car last to finish the races. “To finish first, first You have to finish!” And maybe McLaren need “a Finish driver to finish first!”:-)

          1. except Ham is English.. :D

            sorry .. had to do it .

    2. It is not Hamilton’s team now, it is just a team that is focused on succeeding, not doing Public Relations via the media.

      1. It’s Hamilton’s team as far as he do proper job. Hamilton would do what he should. Mercedes would offer him what they should. That’s it.

      2. This has to be good for Hamilton. With Mercedes focused on racing rather than sponsors, Hamilton can separate these areas better – do his own sponsorship stuff but concentrate on Formula 1 when his with the team. At least that’s what should happen.

  16. Too bad it had to come to this, but the combination Whitmarsh and Hamilton never really worked.

    Actually I wonder if Whitmarsh and McLaren ever really worked. It feels like the team started to blunder a lot more since he took over. Even when they do (on rare occasion) have the fastest car they seem to throw it away on strategy, pit stop failures or fitting the wrong aero parts.

    Perhaps Lewis is gambling on being in the right spot for the new 2014 engine. Like Brawn said, being in a works team for that season could be key to winning the title.

    1. here here Patrick..finally some sense!! Lets see how long both Jensen and soon to be Sergio can tolerate a baffoon like Whitmarsh..seriously how can it be so obvious to us and not to anyone else??!! Amazing..!

    2. Strategy = Yes, he has a hand in this. Not sure there’s been many actual strategy failures, although that’s subjective. If you want Lewis to win, he doesn’t and you look for a reason why, it’s easy to blame a ‘strategy failure’.
      Pit Stop Failures = these have almost always been equipment or live operational failures that, well, happen. Nothing you can directly attribute to Whitmarsh, although he (along with Sam Michael) has taken the blame as management are wont to do.
      Fitting the Wrong Parts = As openly discussed by the entire team, this was a team-wide debate and both sides of the garage went their own way on setup following a wash-out in two practices. Neither side could make an educated guess, so they went both ways to cover all eventualities. They could have both taken Lewis’s setup and would have both floundered. That’s racing.

      I don’t specifically like Whitmarsh – he seems too much a smarmy corporate to be running the team – but he’s been there for over twenty years.

  17. So what announcement comes next, one from Michael (of retirement) or from Sauber (of his signing)?

    1. I’m trying to start the Sauber discussion in the Silly Season topic in the forum ;)

  18. It’s funny how everyone is predicting this that or the other. Time will tell, there’s no other way to know what will happen. It’s an exciting development whichever way.

    Mercedes are one of the worlds leading motor manufacturers. A company with the richest history in all of motoring – they invented ‘The Car’, as we know it, after all.

    This is a golden opportunity for Mercedes to grab an undoubted leading F1 driver to propel their brand even further into the ‘global consciousness’. With Audi and BMW scrabbling away in other less prominent motorsports this will help the Mercedes/AMG brand outshine them in so many ways. A company with massive resources at their disposal – the years since Brawn with Schuey onboard have been nothing but development for this moment. I get a feeling two teams will dominate the new engine era, Renault and Mercedes. And if I had a Mercedes engine I’d want to be in the factory team and not a customer team such as McLaren…

    Anyone also considered the fact that in effect, Lewis has now taken Jenson’s seat that was once with BAR/Honda/Brawn :)

    Oh how the circle completes…

  19. One small step to next garage, but giant leep to the unknown.

    1. Hello Neil. Great to see in your next life you have shifted from space rockets to earth ones :)

  20. This might not look like a clever move, but I think Lewis needed a change of scenery for sure. Meanwhile, Checo gets the move to a big team that he deserves.

    Lewis might not have a winning car straight away, but in a Ross Brawn team it is likely he will get a championship winning car at some point!

    I am personally quite happy for both Lewis & Checo. Lewis can really show what he is made of if Merc aren’t quite there next season, and it’s an opportunity for Nico Rosberg to tested against a top shelf driver.

    Checo will probably get his first race win next season (if he doesn’t get it this season!) and also gets to be tested against one of the best drivers in F1 too.

    I think both drivers can take big wins out of this situation. Checo is the biggest winner, but remember there is more to this than the short term! Jenson will certainly be looking over his shoulder!

  21. Congratulation$ to Lewi$ in taking thi$ deci$ion, for $porting rea$on$ only, of cour$e.

    1. And you would always turn down a multi-million pound increase in your income, of course. On your righteous high-horse and your moral crusade.

      Lol, I’d like to see what kind of job you’d be offered at Mercedes Benz and how much of an increase in salary you’d be offered…

      I do not begrudge any driver (or sportsperson or anyone come to that) taking a massive paycheck as and when it arrives. Their reasons for doing so may be questionable, if at all that is. But it’s got nothing to do with anyone else. Just like your salary (and why or why not you get it) has nothing to do with me.

  22. Lewis is obviously not happy at McLaren, that is surely the real reason, not just the mney. Although reducing his deal when he is at the peak of his career (perso I think he’s far and away the best driver, even acknowledging Alonso’s huge talent).

    McLaren have consistently mismanaged Lewis on and off track, and they dont deserve to have him. With Dennis it worked, with Whitmarsh it doesnt.

    Just hope Mercedes deliver a great car in 2014 and on so Lewis can get his career back on track.

    1. @switchbacker It honestly feels like a lose-lose situation right now. Mclaren have let go the best driver they have had since Senna, and Lewis has left a top notch team for a team that is more likely to struggle than succeed.

      1. Yep I agree, just hope Lewis gets a break and Mercedes deliver a car.

        Its been tough to watch Lewis talent being wasted, would be great to see him smiling and full of confidence again, with a team mate that he is happy with, and a boss that doesnt undermine him.

        1. @switchbacker

          Its been tough to watch Lewis talent being wasted

          McLaren certainly screwed up earlier this year with all manner of mistakes in the pits.

          But it’s not all on them. Hamilton did a perfectly good job of wasting his own talent last year.

          a boss that doesnt undermine him.

          When did Whitmarsh “undermine” Hamilton?

          1. (@keithcollantine

            But it’s not all on them. Hamilton did a perfectly good job of wasting his own talent last year.

            I maybe worded it too strongly, but I dont see how Lewis can be seen as anything but a huge asset to any team, and of all the factors involved in not achievening success its surely lack of a good car and significant strategy or operational effectiveness that are the main ones, not any on track tangles or post race commenst Lewis may have had.

            When did Whitmarsh “undermine” Hamilton?

            Telling him to lie to stewards in an incredibly disingenuous scam is pretty serious in my book, and an approach towards him that to me doesnt seem commensurate with his status as imho the best in the world by a distance.

            To see him buzzing again in a strong Merc, with none of this baggage, would be great for F1 thats for sure.

          2. Is there any proof that Martin Whitmarsh told Hamilton to lie to the stewards?

            Surely that was between the driver and his race engineer, hence said race engineer being sacked shortly afterwards?

      2. Yes it really is sad that it came to this. But the handwriting was on the wall a long time ago that Hamilton was slowly being edged out of Mclaren, but no one wanted to believe it.
        You can’t drive for a team when the team boss really doesn’t want you in there.

        1. Interesting, why get rid of the best driver?

  23. This is a great move for Hamilton! I can see himself and Britney having long chats in the motorhome about man bags, skinny jeans and ear rings :P I can see Nicole getting jealous :)
    Seriously though, I’m more excited to see Checo in McLaren, he definitely should be competing for the championship next year..

    I wonder if he’ll score more points than Hamilton?? That’d really make Hamilton think about his decision..

    1. @MW Lewis & Nico(le) = the new Beckhams!

  24. So, with Ferrari confirmed as a one driver team for the foreseeable future and Sauber with a space for next year…
    Happy People: Alonso, Massa, Vettel
    Unhappy People: Rosberg, Di Resta, Hulkenberg… Schumacher obviously
    Nervous People: Button, Hamilton
    Hopeful People: Sutil, Alguersauri, Buemi
    Deluded People: Heidfeld (sorry Nick, you can’t have the seat for a third time), Villeneuve (probably)

    Unless Massa gets the boot in which case, Di Resta and Hulkenberg might still be hopeful

    1. Add to that:
      Delighted people: Perez

      1. Yeah, pretty quick rise to the top for Checo.

        Can see him and Button clashing.

      2. Good point JohnH, I forgot about that ;p

    2. Truli to ferrari

  25. I hope LH has moved for the challenge of building Mercedes, its an obvious thing to tick off a list once you’ve got into F1 and won a championship enablin gyou to win more championships along the way.

    Equally he may have done it for the money (as the less than aerodite comment above note$), we won’t know for a few years yet.

    In the end if its the money then I’d be disappointed but LH doesn’t know me, doesn’t owe me anything and doesn’t have to justify his choices to me; same as its my choice who I support or don’t support.

    It will be great to see what happens next!

    1. £££££££££££££££££££££££££.that is all

      1. Yeah, im sure when Lewis is 50 years old he’ll be more pleased with having an extra couple of mill in the bank and being just a single WDC winner…

        You people are delusional if you think hes moved on the basis of more money.

        F1 drivers spend their waking minute working towards and hoping to become a legend of the sport, not about moving up the sunday-times rich list.

  26. Eddie Jordan chapeauuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

    1. he is my new hero

  27. perez world champ next year!!!

    1. and Valtteri Bottas the following year :)

  28. I guess that all this means is that Mercedes has to build a race winning car in the next few years.

    I cannot see the bosses in Stutgart continuing to pay for an F1 team if they don’t.

  29. were is algusuari at next year he was saying on twitter that he had a drive

    1. Rumour is Sauber but we’re waiting to here…

  30. On the business side, this is a brilliant move. At the moment in my college we’re studying how a football player can generate revenue/sponsorship by moving clubs, and I think the same applies here. Bernie surely does as well. Mercedes is one of the biggest car brands in the world, and Hamilton already one of the sport’s most recognisable drivers. With XIX management behind him, this is an opportunity for him to be turned into a global superstar.
    On the sporting side… I’m not sure. McLaren are consistently able to create frontrunning cars, and moving to Mercedes puts Lewis at risk of being thrown into the midfield, and we know how much he hates that. Still, overall I think the move is a good thing, because we’ll be going into the 2013 season not having a clue how one of the best drivers on the grid is going to perform!

  31. bad news for Nico Rosberg

  32. Does this mean that Button is confirmed as ‘Number 1 driver’?

    1. Well …Mclaren doesn’t have a number 1 driver policy

      1. in documents.

        1. @eggry Why would they need a #1 driver? Their preference for any driver should only be decided when it comes to a mathematical championship fight. Any team would be foolish to overlook a team mate who is able to deliver just because of some petty driver requirements.

  33. I’m stunned at the number of people who think Hamilton is only moving for the money. Sure, Mercedes are struggling right now, and Hamilton would have to be acutely aware of that. It stands to reason that convincing him that 2013 will be bigger ans better would be the first thing the team did.

    1. I agree, it really is shocking what some people choose to believe. It’s even more so when you consider that McLaren actually matched his offer from Mercedes, but it still wasn’t enough to retain his services. His decision obviously stems from a desire to start anew; to see if a fresh enviroment will improve his chances and his performance (although, that has been great this year). I’m sceptical myself, but will continue to support him regardless. I hope Mercedes can at least deliver a car within shouting distance of the guys towards the front, and that this new challenge will succeed in motivating him further; drive him to more success.

  34. Perez not a pace setter in my opinion and the biggest loser in all of these is McLaren. To compete against Vettel and Alonso in terms of raw speed and race craft you need Hamilton. Mercedes is biggest winner if only the luxury brand remains in F1 as long as it’s required. The Brackley team has got now all the ingredients that need to win championships.

    1. @sainaa . I think both Lewis and Mclaren have lost out by ending the partnership. Mclaren lost the world class driver that can deliver championships and compete with the other 2 big dogs (Vettel and Alonso). Lewis lost out on the team that has the fastest car on the grid currently, and which will most probably have the fastest car next year as well.

      As an Alonso fan I have to be happy with this news, as it seems that Alonso’s fiercest rival wont be challenging him next year for the title. Beating Jenson should be a walk in the park for Alonso.

      Checo is yet an unknown variable

      1. You are one of Buttons biggest detractors on this site and give no credence to his achievements. I don’t understand why.

        Why should beating Button be a walk in the park for Alonso considering that in his only season at Mclaren, he tied on points with a rookie Hamilton whilst Button managed to come close in 2010 then beat him in 2011?

        Over the entire duration of their partnership at Mclaren, Hamilton has 1 more win, literally a handful more points to his name and it’s currently 1-1 in terms of which driver ends each season with more points.

        The only statistic where Hamilton dominates is qualifying, which actually suggests that he is worse in races than Button considering how closely matched they are on points and wins.

    2. I agree Button and Perez line up does not excite me as a McLaren fan. It going to be that oh we have race pace but no qually pace thing allover again. Whitmarsh is taking McLaren backwards and I dont see a WDC coming out of McLaren without a huge car advantage. WCC looks more likely.Then again I have never seen Perez of Button really overtake without a huge tire or car advantage.

      1. What the hell?

        Surely race pace is where the points are won – who cares if a driver can get on the front of the grid if they’re just going to end up at the back?

        1. What’s point in looking after tires and having decent pace if you stuck in middle of grid,

          As I said without a significant Ada antage I’ve not seen either driver pull off overtakes.

          Point won on Sunday but to say qually not important is a bit short sighted

  35. All Lewis did was trade one team that couldn’t win a championship for another for more $. As a McLaren and Lewis fan, I have to say both have not lived up to potential the last few years, maybe it was a time for a change. Go Sergio!

    1. Agree! +1

  36. I don’t understand why Perez has been praised as an absolute proven winner. He’s good at managing the tires but that does not mean he’s the pace setter. Hamilton is the one who takes on Vettel and Alonso. McLaren is no longer title contender after Lewis.

    1. @sainaa Rubbish. How do you expect Perez could have done battle with those guys consistently in a car that isn’t as good as them? When Perez had the chance he took the fight to Alonso and beat him at Monza and came very close in Malaysia too. Likelihood is that in a more competitive car he will be able to do that more often than he does now.

  37. I think Hammy joining Mercedes may have just kept them in the sport. Maybe some more fans will respect him now he has joined a midfield team. Hope he along with Brawn can make this team a real contender and get Hamilton so well deserved respect from people that hate him for being ‘gifted’ his McLaren drive and world championship.

    1. Yes, I hope he’s given everything he needs to feel comfortable and perform at his thrilling peerless best.

  38. Mclaren will go the way of Williams…………..

    1. Yes, because their multitude of Wins & Championships weren’t earned before signing Lewis…

  39. Hamilton’s either the next MSC or the next JV

    1. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
      28th September 2012, 12:31

      Hamilton won’t be the next MSC or JV, he will be the first Hamilton. :P

  40. Im not saying that this is the perfect move for lewis but he does get what he really wants and that is more money, Mercedes have gone backwards in the past two years and i would say they are the 6th best team this year, therefore i really doubt they can win races next season, unless ross brawn has something we dont know which i doubt, at the end of the day lewis will be in a midfield team finishing at best around 3rd which hopefully he wont moan about to much, however this move has seen potentially one of the most exicting moves in years, perez has the potential to be world champion and lets hope he has a go next year, i normally support the british drivers but perez may get my support next year

  41. I am very excited and very disappointed at the same time.

  42. iWASaLEWIShamiltonFANonce
    28th September 2012, 12:27

    Lewis who…?

    Hamilton you say ay, oh yer, I remember him…didn’t he play cricket?

    Oh motor racing…F1…Mclaren? And he left? Of his own choice?

    Guess he doesn’t want to be famous then

  43. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
    28th September 2012, 12:28

    The question is, will McLaren sabotage lewis’s title run? We all now how spiteful Ron Dennis can be.

    1. Probably not – they sill want to win the Constructors and the only way to do that is to beat Red Bull with both cars.

  44. Lewis moves to Mercedes, who are already looking competitive for 2014 onwards, whilst Mclaren have screwed up his recent championship hopes? Yep, totally about the money.
    Frankly, this is brilliant news for merc. LH will bring renewed interest from sponsors, who might have begun to lose it after Schumacher had somewhat disappointing results. Nothing personal against Mclaren, but Button isn’t looking viable to compete with Alonso next year.

    1. iWASaLEWIShamiltonFANonce
      28th September 2012, 16:03

      How are mercedes looking good for 2014?

      Building an F1 car takes a firm understanding of f1 science, only Redbull and Mclaren design teams show that, with the exception of doubledeck diffuser no other team shows any potential to successfully invent anything for past 6 years, they simply copy and imitate, and if that’s all a team can do then they will never win, unless teflonso drives for you!

      Quite frankly I welcome the perez era, and there’s also mr reliable and inconsistant to bring up the rear

      1. Out of all the things everybody got wrong back then, this is the funniest comment in hindsight overall.

  45. Now it will be up to Hamilton to show maturity and judgement in his role with Merc from the start – which is now! Really all Merc need is a strong hand tactically and technically to assist Ross Brawn – as he had at Ferrari. Would be great if Schuy stayed on as a tactical adviser but he seems unable to resist the thrill of driving, which is more the shame that he did not achieve more at Merc–but still 6 races to prove something! On the Mercedes front- the timing and manner of their press release says a lot of the way Whitmarsh has run Mclaren- spiteful and petty! Personally I now see his blue eyed Button going backwards!!

    1. How can they be called ‘spiteful and petty’ when they’ve steadfastly ensured both drivers are fairly treated and team orders are not being enforced, despite their rivals happily using them?

  46. Its obvious that Mclaren are in financial troubles which is why they signed Perez now who will bring many many millions from Mexico. If they had the money they’d sign Kimi.

    1. This. As much as we talk about Hamilton and money. McLaren Group is an outstanding business operation.

  47. Massive, Massive mistake. Leave an F1 team with a history of championships to join a car manufacturer who’ll leave F1 as soon as money becomes tight. Bad move Lewis. I used to love him, now he seems surly, miserable and someone who wants a whole team to love him and do everything for him at the expense of his team-mate.

  48. Whatever the reason, it was time for a change…..Hammy Whitmarsh didnt seem to gel, Dennis said during the summer he should remember he is an employee AND strangely McLaren for whatever reason dont deliver!! GP wins yes, but no WCC since 1998 except the one they were stripped of in 2007, and only one WDC in the noughties. `Knocking on the door a lot and even the fastest car a lot, but not delivering!!………..it is time for a change.
    Britney should be worried, he will at last be shown for what he is. McLaren should be glad of the Telmex money in these tough economic times with Merc engines to pay for …….and anybody can suddenly become a “good” driver or team, just look at the performances of Vettel and RBR up until the end of 2008, or BAR Honda Brawn until 2009……..so Merc could come good, and Perez could prove to be a star in a half decent car!!…………..roll on 2013, i am excited already.

  49. Ten quid on Jenson for next season, Get Perez signed up now !!!!

  50. well well, i am flabberghasted, that its happened,i have been on thee edge of my seat now foe three weeks!, yes Mclaren, have not looked after Lewis, since Button joined them, they allways praise Button whatever he does !!,and whitmarsh kind of [ho hums ]LEWIS,yet he drives his guts out for them !,the last three years they have let him down with never ending stupidity, [slow changes,fuel,break downs,and some very bad calls ] without any thought for his feelings, yet he has ploughed on relentless, doggedly hunting down car after car. what a guy !myself my family and freinds wish him well good hunting, and stay safe ,bless you Lewis, you have given us all some fantastic sundays we hope you will for many more years x

    1. Amen, my sentiments exactly!

  51. Ok ok, just seen the news on Perez ;-)

  52. As a Hamilton fan I’m disappointed and apprehensive with the move. Since 2009 McLaren has been starting the season with an average car and then improving it through the season. This year’s car, right from start, has been very competitive. But this season they’ve lost out due to inconsistencies and numerous errors. I hope Lewis finishes his McLaren stay with a win. About building up a new team and car, it’ll be the toughest challenge Lewis has ever faced. One thing I’m sure of, Ross & Norbert will manage Lewis (race strategy & off track) really well.

    I’m also excited to watch Lewis compete in a non-top 3 car, no expectations & the resulting tension. Fingers crossed… :)

  53. I can only pray Schumacher doesn’t announce his retirement. Logically speaking, Sauber and Williams are the best bets…then there is an outside chance for Ferrari and Lotus.

    I think the Williams is faster than the Sauber. Sauber mainly been top because of Perez’s brilliant tyre management. Williams on the other hand has been around the top on pure pace as evidenced by Maldonado on a few occasions this year.

    I’d love for Schumacher to move to Lotus. With Kimi, he’d form a good partnership. I think Lotus will be the team to beat next season. Ferrari would be good for nostalgia sake, but with Alonso there, no point of MSC going there really.

    Here’s to hoping MSC continues racing in F1 for another year.

    PS: I hated this man in his previous F1 incarnation, but now I want him to win a race (better still WDC) before he lives. Just for the sake of fairy tales.

  54. As a lifelong McLaren fan, I am so pleased ! I have been wanting this for 2 or 3 years ! Take your travelling pantomime, your freakish hangers on, your crazy blinkered fanboys and your pathetic comments with you, and goodbye and good riddance. Hope Checo does well too, pleased with that too.

  55. So who gets the yellow helmet at Mercedes?
    Rosberg has been using yellow for some time, and Hamilton has always had yellow (although his Singapore helmet didn’t, was this a sign?).

    1. @johnh I think the designs and even the colour are far enough apart to still be discernable. Perhaps there will be some minor tweaks but I don’t see it being an issue to be honest. There is still the coloured roll hoop/camera housing remember.

      1. @andrewtanner I’ve never managed to cotton on to the roll hoop colours, always just going off the helmet.
        But I agree, Rosberg’s helmet is a rather lurid yellow, and Hamilton’s is a daffodil yellow, so they should be discernible.

  56. Well, I’ll be honest, I’m a little shocked. The only way I could rationalise all this in my head was that Hamilton would have the confidence in Mercedes and their brand spanking new engines from 2014 onwards. I guess they will be in a better position than McLaren will be come the time but they seem to do a terrific job of being their own worst enemy when it comes to car design or race execution. I can’t see him or Mercedes doing anything spectacular next year but 2014 will really be a test, where hopefully Mercedes will have refined their race craft a little more.

  57. Bittersweet is the best way for me to describe this day. However, it has come to past and everyone is relieved and going on about their lives, Lewis, McLaren, Mercedes and of course us fans.
    As a fan and a father, I am glad that Lewis is leaving. I think it is time for him to experience life beyond McLaren. Whether it leads to an immediate championship or not is not important, adding to his life experience is critical.
    No other driver in any race series has had the kind of experience with a team that Lewis had with McLaren. And for those of us who are his and McLaren fans this is particularly difficult for us to take. We don’t know how we are going form allegiances next year because for the past six years all we had to do was enjoy the thrill of him driving for our team win or lose. We have seen their ups and downs their fights and their love for one another. But I suppose most of us have seen this coming for the past couple of years but were in denial, hoping that it was not true.
    But now that it has happened let’s see where it leads to for both parties. My thoughts are that it will be the best thing to happen to formula one in years. If Mercedes can provide Lewis a competitive car and McLaren, Red Bull and Ferrari cars are competitive next year we will all be the better for it.

  58. Very happy! It’s about time he changed environment!!

    Now I can go along and order the ML63 AMG I have been withholding for long ;)

    BTW, people seem not to realise that MSC has a certain sickness that does not allow him use the brand new wind tunnel at Mercedes. And who said Mercedes is a 3rd class car without seeing Mr. Hamilton drive it? And now that JB does not have any fast driver to beat, McLaren might become that 3rd class car we are talking about today. Just my 2cts.

  59. I have a suspicion Mercedes started working on their 2013 car earlier than their competitors.
    Wouldn’t be suprized if they sneak up with really good car rite from the beginning of the seaon.

  60. well done, it was time to leave mommy macca!

  61. I hope Checco doesn’t out perform Button…my take, he will!

  62. Have to say i’m gutted, as a McLaren fan for25 years, to see him go. I’m not sure there is an upside for them for this. They get rid of a difficult driver, but one of the few drivers who can transcend the car. What do they keep in return? Control over Perez’s branding? Yes they save a bundle of money on salary and get some Slim money in the bargain. But trading down in talent in favor of money is a road to mediocrety.

    As a Hamilton fan, it’s also room for hope. Upside for Hamilton is reasonable. He gets to keep his branding and thus achieve the kind of income of a Federer; he gets to build a team around him, from scratch with the new 2014 rules. I suppose he imagines that having the team build him a car suited to his own special skills in late braking and other areas, instead of spending time tending to some other driver’s “no grip,” will help him.

    I’m expecting lean years for McLaren again. I think the roster of engineering talent at Mercedes is, on paper, better. They will be a customer in a new engine formula. Button does not out-drive a poor car. Perez is a question mark.

    And a word for Schumacher. I’m no fan, but it’s really ignominious for him to leave the sport by being dispossessed by Hamilton. It puts a piont on the conclusion that he failed to measure up to the new generation of talent, and thus failed to defend his legacy against claims he only prospered because he drove in the gap beween Senna/Prost/Mansell and the current stars.

    1. +1 Very well said.

    2. This turned out to be a great prediction. Hats off @dmw

  63. When Michael Schumacher moved from Benetton to Ferrari in 1995, people were surprised and ridiculed Schumacher’s decision, especially in early ’96, when despite Schumi’s best performances, the car failed in many races, and Irvine was nowhere. But Schumi’s superhuman abilities and the team-building skills of him and the so-called “Circle of Fear” thrust them into unprecedented domination.
    Can Hamilton emulate Michael? In abilities maybe(he has to raise his game significantly for that as well), but I don’t think he can ever come up to Schumi’s level of a teeam-builder. Both were born to families that were not well off, but unlike Lewis, Schumacher never had a father-figure. He was his own man. Lewis has had Anthony and Ron and a host of others. Of course, one should never say never and if anything, Lewis should improve with this move. After all, change is the spice of life. And yet, it is also true, that if a crocodile leaves his swamp, even a dog can chase him away(not comparing a certain son of a world champion to a dog).
    Only time will tell. But one thing is sure-Lewis’s bold move will be a win or bust one. If it turns out to be successful, Lewis will have proved a different side of him. But if it doesn’t, and Lewis turns out to be another Villeneuve(Jacques, I mean) then he will lose all his credibility. So it is either Hail!!! or R.I.P…..
    Let us see……………………………………………………………………..

  64. When they could not even hide the tensions in the team, it’s over and better make his own way. A lot of uncertainties may await but that’s how things going and learning. So it seems very wise decision to Lewis assuming he was not too much influenced by the XIX. Without adversities or challenges, no progress will be made.

  65. Well, if Lewis can build up a team around him (not in a year of course, but in 3 or 4 if he is wise enough to understand he won’t pobably win the championship right away) we will see a real battle betwen the champions:
    Ferrari has King Alonso and that’s all to say
    Red Bull have Darh Marko and Vettel is no1, no more to say here
    Kimi will stay in renault and after this year show i can’t imagine “fair and equal” things for Romain anymore. Kimi no1 there
    Button MUST build the team and hold it on his shoulders if he wants a second shot at the championship. A plus can be that the team will adapt the car to his driving style and Perez driving is very similar.
    Finally there’s Lewis. i can see him beating Rosberg over and over again but let’s see if he can beat the rival teams.
    Next year will be even better than this!!!!!!

  66. I heard the news from some friends today during school. I won’t hide I was disappointed with this: Hamilton has the record for most races with one only team, and both him and the team showed a lot of devotion to one another, and it was great to see them both fighting so often for wins.
    On the other hand, Hamilton’s career has been backed by Mercedes for a long time, and now he joins them pretty much like Schumacher did in 2010. Even so, Schumacher had obtained much more success with his previous team and therefore changing sides was perhaps harder to accept. However, Schumacher had retired from the sport and therefore his change of team was forced if he wanted to return in a competitive car, whilst McLaren have very often provided Hamilton with a great car.
    However I hoped that this move was going to trigger other ones, such as Massa to McLaren and Schumacher to Ferrari, in which case I’d’ve been happy. It’s some years now that I imagine Massa at McLaren and I like the idea (it’s more me imagining his helmet and the car’s livery together). Perez to McLaren has been this unexpected move I was waiting for, although I must admit I “knew” that McLaren would have stolen him from Ferrari. The Scuderia have lost a young talent because they thought he was too unexperienced to start his career with them one year before the plans and instead consider keeping an “aging” Massa who has failed to perform for almost two years now. Massa was going to leave Ferrari soon anyway, why not anticipate it by one year to help what could have been their future champion to get experience? As I say, I always saw Perez driving a McLaren more than a Ferrari, and I think his driving and mentality suit them more than Ferrari. I am happy to see, after some years, a growing talent finally step up to a championship-winning team where he can fully perform to his potential. Perez-Button should be a very strong line-up for 2013.
    Despite this, I’m sorry for my second-favourite team, Sauber, having lost their best driver who had brought them the best results for years. I hope they can find another strong driver, hopefully Gutierrez, who I rate highly, and that he can bring them the same great results as they have been achieving this year.
    It’d nice to see Perez, who I think will battle for championships in the future, already taking his place with a top team. In some years we should see the next generation of young drivers also step up, like di Resta or Hulkenberg. Perhaps we can have a GP2-style battle for the title between Maldonado and Perez!
    I think Perez’s move is the first move of what I call the next-generation of F1. Vettel will be in this group for a long time still, while I think Mercedes won’t improve their car enough to battle with RBR, McLaren or Ferrari. I can’t wait to see the future F1 shaping up!

  67. Given that Perez was announced as replacement for Hamilton almost simultaneously today, you can clearly see that the deals have been done for a while now.

    I’m just in utter despair that Hamilton has opted for Mercedes, little did I know… but of course as a major fan I’m embroiled in a similar decision to Lewis in the sense that, do I go with him to Mercedes or do I remain as a full McLaren fan? Of course this question also goes to other Lewis-McLaren fans but like myself, I’m making no choice & sticking with both.

    One point to raise is the indelible feeling McLaren now have of not being able to replace someone of Lewis Hamilton’s enviable quality, Button hasn’t got the capability of working with ‘whatever you’ve got’ in terms of performance, which is vitally needed if you’re going to be a driver consistently challenging & subsequently, challenging for the title to some extent. I think Perez is a great addition but can potentially take up to a part of the season, as experienced with Montoya in 2005, to get fully comfortably with McLaren, which is something I fear most with Hamilton also.

    Another question mark for Perez is whether the relative experience in F1 so far even if he gets fully comfortable, will be enough for him to challenge or compete at the front If McLaren produce a strong, title-contending package? So many questions appearing & will be answered as time goes on.

  68. I’m happy to see Hamilton join Mercedes. I think he will do the team a lot of good. But my main concern is what is going to to happen to Schumi? Is Massa still leaving Ferrari? Because I think that would be a great position for him. I really don’t want to see Schumi go back into retirement, so I am a little upset that Hamilton is taking his place on the team. Maybe he would do well racing McLaren. I don’t know, I just have way to many questions and concerns about this entire thing!

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