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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209 comments on Hamilton joins Mercedes for 2013 after McLaren exit

  1. bad news for Nico Rosberg

  2. Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 28th September 2012, 11:30

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

  3. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 28th September 2012, 11:37

    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.

    • James (@goodyear92) said on 28th September 2012, 13:05

      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.

  4. 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.

    • @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

      • panache (@panache) said on 29th September 2012, 2:36

        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.

    • Charlie boy said on 28th September 2012, 12:21

      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.

      • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 28th September 2012, 16:05

        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?

        • Charlie boy said on 28th September 2012, 20:39

          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

  5. Steven Baker said on 28th September 2012, 11:49

    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!

  6. 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.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 29th September 2012, 17:46

      @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.

  7. Charlie boy said on 28th September 2012, 12:10

    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.

  8. Drop Valencia! said on 28th September 2012, 12:10

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

  9. Ben (@benchuiii) said on 28th September 2012, 12:18

    Hamilton’s either the next MSC or the next JV

  10. james2488 (@james2488) said on 28th September 2012, 12:20

    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

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

  12. iWASaLEWIShamiltonFANonce said on 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

  13. Traverse Mark Senior (@) said on 28th September 2012, 12:28

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

  14. 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.

    • iWASaLEWIShamiltonFANonce said on 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

  15. cpeterip (@cpeterip) said on 28th September 2012, 12:45

    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!!

    • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 28th September 2012, 16:10

      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?

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