Hamilton joins Mercedes for 2013 after McLaren exit

2013 F1 season

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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208 comments on Hamilton joins Mercedes for 2013 after McLaren exit

  1. Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 28th September 2012, 10:25

    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.

    • mosbourne1122 (@mosbourne1122) said on 28th September 2012, 13:47

      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..!

    • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 28th September 2012, 15:18

      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.

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

  3. 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…

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

  5. djdaveyp85 (@djdaveyp87) said on 28th September 2012, 10:34

    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!

  6. Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 28th September 2012, 10:42

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

    • 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.

  7. Switchbacker (@switchbacker) said on 28th September 2012, 10:43

    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.

    • @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.

      • Switchbacker (@switchbacker) said on 28th September 2012, 11:41

        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.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 28th September 2012, 12:39

          @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?

          • Switchbacker (@switchbacker) said on 28th September 2012, 13:01

            (@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.

          • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 28th September 2012, 15:52

            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?

      • OOliver said on 28th September 2012, 12:40

        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.

  8. 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..

  9. Dafffid (@dafffid) said on 28th September 2012, 10:59

    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

  10. hamster said on 28th September 2012, 10:59

    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!

    • £££££££££££££££££££££££££.that is all

      • 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.

  11. Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 28th September 2012, 11:01

    Eddie Jordan chapeauuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

  12. perez world champ next year!!!

  13. 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.

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

  15. 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!

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