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”

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

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

  3. 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

  4. 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……………………………………………………………………..

  5. 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.

  6. 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!!!!!!

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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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