Is Mercedes the right move for Hamilton?

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Lewis Hamilton has shaken up the F1 driver market by announcing he will drive for Mercedes from 2013.

The 2008 world champion has ended an association with McLaren which lasts beyond the six years he has driven for them in Formula One. He first introduced himself to Ron Dennis in 1995, aged nine.

Hamilton made several costly errors on the track last year. Having got back on top of his game this year, has he just made an even bigger mistake off the track?

For

Three years after their return to F1 as a full manufacturer team, Mercedes show the potential to become a competitive force in Formula One. They scored their first win earlier this year in China with Nico Rosberg, and probably should have had another in Monaco where Michael Schumacher would have been on pole position but for a penalty.

Last year Ross Brawn assembled a highly experienced technical team including Bob Bell, Geoff Willis and Aldo Costa, who have had time to gel over the course of 2012 in preparation for Hamilton’s first year with the team.

Leaving McLaren at a time when they have the most competitive car in F1 is a calculated gamble. Mercedes’ arrival in F1 in 2010 relegated McLaren to the status of engine customer having previously been the focus of Mercedes’ efforts. With a major change in engine rules coming in 2014, Hamilton’s move could turn out to be very well-timed.

His new team mate, Nico Rosberg, is a known quantity as the pair raced together in karts at Team MBM (ironically, standing for Mercedes-Benz McLaren) in 2000. Rosberg, who has won once in 122 starts, is likely to be a less challenging team mate than Jenson Button.

On top of that, Hamilton’s Mercedes deal is reported to be more lucrative, with greater opportunities for him to increase his earnings through personal endorsements, which are tightly restricted by McLaren.

Against

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Hockenheimring, 2008McLaren have given Hamilton a race-winning car in every season he has driven for them, and a potentially championship-winning car more often than not.

Switching from them to Mercedes, who have won one race out of the last 52, invites comparisons with other world champions who made ill-fated moves: Emerson Fittipaldi to Copersucar in 1976, Niki Lauda to Brabham in 1978, and Jacques Villeneuve to BAR in 1999.

The potential of Mercedes’ technical team has not yet been reflected in their car, which has fluctuated in performance and suffered more reliability problems that most.

In the short-term, Hamilton’s impending departure from McLaren is not going to help his flagging championship hopes. The team will have to keep him out of the loop on any developments that relate to their 2013 car, which is only going to make it harder to maintain their current level of performance.

And he can kiss goodbye to that McLaren F1 LM he was promised if he won three drivers’ titles with McLaren.

I say

On the surface it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that Hamilton has switched to a less competitive team because they are offering him more money. There is obviously more to it than that. Asked at Monza what was his priority when choosing a team Hamilton responded simply: “I want to win.”

But moving to Mercedes is a considerable risk. This is a coming-of-age moment for Hamilton – a severing of the McLaren umbilical cord. The question is whether it makes or breaks him.

Mercedes’ performances suggest there is untapped potential along with their enviable resources and manpower. But they’ll have to raise their game considerably if Hamilton is to overcome the combined might of Vettel at Red Bull, and Alonso at Ferrari – not to mention Hamilton’s old team.

You say

Will Lewis Hamilton’s move to Mercedes bring him another world championship by 2015? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Will Hamilton win the drivers' championship with Mercedes in the next three years?

  • Yes (39%)
  • No (61%)

Total Voters: 657

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273 comments on Is Mercedes the right move for Hamilton?

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  1. Maverick232 said on 28th September 2012, 12:37

    Honestly? No..

    • sdtaylor91 (@sdtaylor91) said on 28th September 2012, 12:51

      I felt a real sense of dread hearing the first reports of this on twitter last night, but now, I’ve calmed down about it and I feel this could be good, a fresh start.

      Mercedes do have a very good design team assembled now, enough to rival that of any other team. 2014 is coming and they are pretty drastic changes … narrower front wing, single exhaust pipes, new engines, brand new and much larger kers systems. All that will reset the pecking order. Also, and no disrespect to Jenson, but its largely Lewis who has made the McLaren look so good this year, so the gulf in performance between McLaren and Mercedes is not as large as it first appears.

      Development can swing around for next year … look where ferrari were, mercedes caught right up at the start of the year, red bull caught McLaren, a lot can change. Ross Brawn must see this as 1996 at Ferrari again …

      I honestly dont believe this is about money. Lewis is a racer, through and through.

      • will ross put up with his tantrums?? when nico beats, nico is quicker qualifier than button, and lewis tantrums all came from being out qualified from jenson(which wasnt often), so how will he react when it happens more often??

        Put a child lock on his phone in china ross, nico goes well there.

        • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 28th September 2012, 13:53

          But maybe the team player Button, older and wiser in the world of F1, fresh from his WDC title win, proved to be a more troublesome and less cooperative team mate than Hamilton thought; He knows Nico, is of similar age, and knows that Mercedes got him as a replacement to mighty MSC (okay, who’s lustre has been waning a bit, but still). Maybe with a different team those tantrums also go away because he’ll feel more appreciated?

        • he was ill-treated. button has never beaten hamilton on the ‘same’ equipment. a couple of races or so ago button got a new wing which translated into 0.8 advantage in Q thus the tantrum by lewis on twiitter. ferrari would have given alonso the advantage because he was so far ahead than massa in the points. if mclaren had done the same plus the blunders at the beginning of the season, the pecking order at the top would have certainly been different.

          • Mark (@mwardf1) said on 28th September 2012, 16:41

            Last season Button finished 2nd in the Championship with 270 points. Hamilton finished fifth with 227 points with the same equipment.

          • HeX (@) said on 28th September 2012, 16:57

            @boss

            Mclaren didn’t force Hamilton to use the old wing, he himself opted to use it.

            http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2012/09/02/f1-fanatic-roundup-029/

            There wasn’t any need for Hamilton to whine about it on Twitter, it just makes him look stupid in the process

            At least Button takes it like a proper gentleman whenever he’s being beaten.

          • F1fanNL (@) said on 29th September 2012, 11:11

            a couple of races or so ago button got a new wing which translated into 0.8 advantage in Q

            In Practice they both ran the same wing. Hamilton couldn’t do the times Button was doing then either. The wing absolutely did not translate into the 0.8 seconds gap between Button and Hamilton. That’s just an excuse. Button just had the upper hand from Saturday to Sunday.

        • GeordiePorker (@geordieporker) said on 28th September 2012, 19:57

          85q – do you think that perhaps *some* of the tantrums were caused by his increasing frustration with the team…perhaps there will be less if he feels more in control?

          I’m not trying to suggest that Hamilton is an angel – he’s made at least as many mistakes as most drivers have, probably more. I hope that from now on, he feels the right level of control both on and off the track to not make so many, because when he’s in the mood he is blindingly quick. The idea of Alonso, Button/Perez, Vettel and Hamilton all in fairly evenly matched cars in 2014 is one that I would relish!

        • zicasso (@zicasso) said on 28th September 2012, 22:46

          @85q
          Hamilton is no different than any other driver… Vettel, Jenson, Alonso can be quite peculiar but no one pays much attention to that. He will have a great team 100% behind him. Otherwise why would Mercedes pay for him to leave McClaren? Pathetic but very common the comments you have made! The year before was he is breading too hard, last year lost the plot, this year he is blinking his eyes… Any normal person sees him as just a guy trying his best. Terrible persecution! Please don’t say he doesn’t think before he acts because that’s just nonsense that would include most of the other drivers. I am glad he finally moved on.

          • jumping the gun pal, i think he is a great great driver.

            just sadly influenced by people who arent really interested in the future of his career. and he has fallen for the glitz.

            but doesnt he say stupid things on tv about his team when things dont go his way. yes. sorry its a fact.

            alonso made errors. but very very quickly stopped doing so. lewis should of stopped also by now.

            in the long run, this might be a good development for him as a person. he doesnt have mclaren to fall back on anymore.

            He must and has to be more patient than he ever has been in his career before. any errors by his team he has to taken on chin, like michael and fernando do. so far in his career he has never done so. Hopefully he does.

    • Nick (@nick101) said on 28th September 2012, 12:59

      I wonder how long till all the Hamilton fanboys start telling us that Ross Brawn is sabotaging Hamilton’s car because he doesn’t like him and prefers Rosberg?

      Good luck to Hamilton, but we all know what’s coming!

      • ********. brawn is a respected gentleman and has been long in the business. to accuse him of gross misconduct is just obscene.

        • GeordiePorker (@geordieporker) said on 28th September 2012, 19:52

          @boss – I think @nick101 was having a go at the legion of Hamilton fans who seem to believe that McLaren are trying to ruin Hamilton’s chances in favour of Button…perhaps a tongue in cheek suggestion that if he gets beaten by Rosberg then fans will never accept it was Hamilton’s fault.

          As a Hamilton fan this is one of the most annoying things I read on forums such as this – Hamilton doesn’t always get it right (the rear wing, the subsequent tweet, last season as a whole), but to suggest that this is anyone but his own fault is usually ‘misplaced’ at best.

          I agree with your point @boss – Brawn won’t do this to him, any more than Dennis or Whitmarsh have done….

      • Ginola14 (@ginola14) said on 28th September 2012, 20:52

        Both Button and Hamilton had been let down by McLaren’s unreliability in equal measure it has to be said. We all know McLaren has no problems producing a fast car (even though it might not be the class of the field in a particular season; it’s enough to pose a serious threat at the front end and score wins).

        In the last 10 years, it has problems producing a fast AND reliable car though. A team of McLaren’s resources with only 1 driver’s and 0 constructor’s title in the last 10 years needs to do some soul-searching over the dismal title drought. I think that’s why Lewis got fed up (and likewise Kimi earlier on) with always having a title challenge undermined by unreliability. Jenson will feel the same if the trend carries on in 2013.

        Lewis has had his tantrums and might strike some fans as immature but you can’t argue against his raw pace and natural talent and over the course of 3 years, he was definitely the faster of the 2 drivers at McLaren (please don’t flame me and quote 2011, sometimes Jenson wins blah blah blah; the yardstick i mentioned is over the course of 3 years).

        It will be interesting to see the Lewis vs Nico battle. Is Nico up there with there with Lewis in terms of raw speed? As for Jenson vs Sergio, not sure how to call on that. It could go the same way as David vs Kimi in 2002 where David was outranked in qualifying but scored heavily compared to his new inexperience team-mate.

        • dkpioe said on 29th September 2012, 7:17

          Most of hamiltons title challenge misses were results of his driving. this years unreliability? How bout vettels unreliability or alonsos inferior car. in 2010 hamilton could have won but crashed out in vital races at the end.

          • in 2010 hamilton could have won but crashed out in vital races at the end

            He didn’t make any more driving mistakes than Vettel that year though. What cost him the championship was a combination of his own errors and the teams, but what kept him in touch in the first place was a combination of Vettel’s mistakes and those of Red Bull.

        • Nick (@nick101) said on 29th September 2012, 8:37

          @ginola14

          over the course of 3 years, he was definitely the faster of the 2 drivers at McLaren (please don’t flame me and quote 2011, sometimes Jenson wins blah blah blah; the yardstick i mentioned is over the course of 3 years

          What you and most of the Hamilton fans don’t understand, is that when you look at it over the course of 3 years, this statement is a contradiction in itself. Looking at their time together of the course of 3 years shows PRECISELY the opposite!

          Please, tell me how championships are won?

          Please, tell me what most Hamilton fanboys accuse McLaren of costing Hamilton so many of?

          Ummm….Championship points – ring any bells?

          The simple fact of the matter is – over the period that they have been team mates, they have scored the same number of points – remember, the little thing by which ALL F1 drivers are measured – and ultimately rewarded by.

          Yet we get the continual diatribe that Hamilton is faster – because he just is!

          When reminded of the points, the usual Hamilton fan then goes on to tell us that the points don’t mean anything – until, of course, they all start accusing McLaren of costing Lewis so many, then they matter – apparently.

          But one of the funniest things I hear, is their justification for claiming that Hamilton is the best is because he usually out qualifies Button.

          Right. So it’s the Formula 1 World Qualifying Championship is it? Last time I checked a F1 GP was anything from about 45 or more. Please enlighten me as to when the last 1 or 2 lap GP was?

          How anyone’s pace over 1 lap can be used as a yard stick when talking about F1 GP’s is beyond me.

          It’s like saying that the Boxer with the hardest punch is the best boxer in the world simply because he can throw the hardest punch 2 or 3 times – it’s utterly ridiculous.

          But like I said, Button is continually bashed and put down by the Hamilton fans about how slow and useless he is, but what they don’t realise is that they are actually slagging off Hamilton every time they do.

          If Hamilton is SO AMAZING, why the hell is he not MILES ahead of Button when measured by that thing that all GP drivers are measured – points?

          And what about race wins? Since they have been team mates Ham has 9 and Button 7. The most epic driver in the history of F1 with ‘the most raw pace and natural talent’ has only managed to score 2 more wins than an average, over rated, slow, at best midfield driver. How’s that?

          And before you even go there, forget it – Button has had more mechanical and non fault DNF’s that Hamilton – so find another excuse.

          In fact, Hamilton has had the BEST reliability of any F1 driver in history – check the stats – so stop bloody moaning about his poor reliability!

          Oh, I know why he hasn’t destroyed Button, it’s because – he’s had personal problems, hasn’t had the bubble around him, the team are useless, the pit crew are too slow, Whitmarsh hates him and has been sabotaging him, the team make the wrong decisions, the team give him the wrong wing, other drivers are ‘fricken ridiculous’, the stewards pick on him, the team make the wrong strategy calls, the car isn’t fast enough….the list goes on.

          Poor Hamilton – truly denied by his ridiculous team!

          • Maverick232 said on 29th September 2012, 11:37

            Im a Lewis fan and I’m very open to hearing what people think of the general opinion of us Lewis fans.

            Unfortunately, I got incredibly bored by your rant.

            The bottom line is very simple. Regardless of excuses you believe you hear from Lewis fans. If you built a car and wanted someone to get the absolute most out of it then you’d pick Lewis – every time!

          • nickfrog (@nickfrog) said on 29th September 2012, 14:18

            Nick. I couldn’t agree with you more. And I am a big Hamilton fan. I just happen to like Button just as much.

          • The simple fact of the matter is – over the period that they have been team mates, they have scored the same number of points – remember, the little thing by which ALL F1 drivers are measured – and ultimately rewarded by.

            Similar, but not the same. Hamilton has slightly more. More importantly than the number of points is the number per season though- THAT is what is important to F1 drivers, and in this respect Hamilton is ahead in 2 out of the 3 seasons together.

      • Mark (@marlarkey) said on 29th September 2012, 11:45

        Would be ironic if HAM goes to Merc and ROS beats him…. shades of ALO/HAM at McLaren

        • Ginola14 (@ginola14) said on 29th September 2012, 12:14

          @Mark
          i think although Nico has slipped off the radar a fair bit (which is not always a bad thing as this means either means he is rubbish and deserves little attention OR he is doing his job well enough to warrant very little speculation about his seat or invite complaints about his abilities; in Nico’s case, it is the latter), Lewis would underestimate him at his peril at Mercedes next year. I don’t think anyone believes they have seen the best of Nico so far and if he gets a front-running car, it will be interesting to see whether he becomes a monster driver (like Alonso 05) or struggle to cope with the pressure (like Fisichella 05).

          That said, both Nico and Lewis are buddies aren’t they? This move then works well for both pretty boys as they know the atmosphere will be relatively animosity-free and they can work in harmony and with little jealousy. Unless one of them starts becoming Machiavellian overnight of course.

    • I also think No.

      Partly because Merc has spent the last 2 of 3 years quitting the season early to “spend the time on next years car” (wait for it at Suzuka) and still they lag way behind the top teams. Yes, I said that, Top Teams. As it stands Mercedes are NOT a top team. Sorry.
      The other reason I said no is Hamilton himself. Im a Lewis fan, he has undoubted speed and overtaking ability, no doubts there. But he’s something of a bottler too (2007, almost 2008), and a moaner and has moments of bad luck (either his or someone elses making). Basically, things do tend to go against him, and he struggles to shake it off like Alonso does. And that is the mark of a true multiple champion.

      • Ginola14 (@ginola14) said on 28th September 2012, 21:06

        2007 he choked at the penultimate race in China but was impeccable throughout.
        Might be harsh to say he choked when no-one even expected him to be leading the championship over Alonso at the final round.

        2008 he was up against Massa who had the benefit of FIA (Ferrari-in-Aid) awarding him a Belgian GP win after Lewis did all the hard work. I watched the penultimate China race where Lewis drove a flawless race and put his demons from the 2007 race behind him.

        Yes, he is a moaner but a bottler? Don’t think so. I am not a Lewis fanboy by the way.

        “Alonso shakes it off like a true multiple champion”. Have you seen the Abu Dhabi 10 race then where he had a go at Petrov afterwards for daring to stick his Renault ahead fair and square and impede his glorious charge to glory?

        • davidnotcoulthard said on 29th September 2012, 1:17

          “Alonso shakes it off like a true multiple champion”. Have you seen the Abu Dhabi 10 race then where he had a go at Petrov afterwards for daring to stick his Renault ahead fair and square and impede his glorious charge to glory?

          Tilke might be to blame for Abu Dhabi 2010. It seems somewhat fair, though, after what happened at the Tilkelised Hockenheim earlier that year…

        • “2007 he choked at the penultimate race in China but was impeccable throughout.
          Might be harsh to say he choked”

          It is harsh to say he choked, because he never.

          He stayed out on severely worn tyres in the changable weather, on the adivce of his team, who thought they saw the bigger picture unfolding on the weather maps. Lewis, on tyres literaly down to the canvas, slid off track. Thats not a driver choking under pressure, thats a driver who is not superhuman and able to dift an F1 car around a damp circuit on dangerously bald tyres.

          • Still his fault he ended up in the gravel, because he had done a few laps on heavily worn tires so he would have had the knowledge of how much grip they had.

    • Bernard (@bernard) said on 28th September 2012, 18:22

      Hamilton wants to win championships. McLaren hasn’t got a clue how championships are won, they are an operational shambles propped up by world class engineering.

      Ross Brawn has won as many constructors titles as McLaren have – what does that tell you?

      Add in Mike Elliot, Aldo Costa, Bob Bell, Geoff Willis and of course not forgetting the Brixworth team and the imminent switch to V6 turbos…

      Suddently it’s not such a bad package and ‘Singtel McLaren Mercedes’ looks like the stale choice. Time will tell.

      • Bernard (@bernard) said on 28th September 2012, 18:25

        singtel? Telmex even! lol

      • I agree with Bernard. McLaren absolutely suck at winning championships. Amazing engineering & driving talent continuously let down by awful management. That’s what lost them Newey, JPM, Kimi, Alonso & now Hamilton. I’m surprised that so many people have this delusion that McLaren is always a wonderful place to work at. If it were so, they wouldn’t have lost so many great talents one after the other under tense (& sometimes downright acrimonious) circumstances.

        • Jayfreese (@) said on 28th September 2012, 20:35

          @Aldoid. Summed it up well. Sadly, I’m Vodafone (Telmex) McLaren Mercedes fan and a Lewis Hamilton fan aswell. As a team, we’ve lost too many championships and too many world-class drivers, Hamilton is the next (or previous now) but what can he do out of home? As for Perez, it was the best choice out of the big names, I think.

          • I’m an ardent Mclaren fan… have been since I was about 6 & I’m now 33, & I can tell you McLaren has been a very frustrating team to support. So technically brilliant, but woefully inept at getting the most out of any given situation or season. McLaren beats themselves much more than they get beaten by other teams.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 29th September 2012, 2:59

      Honestly, maybe, there are 12 teams and six of them have built a championship winning car.

  2. Ryan Williams (@ryanwilliams) said on 28th September 2012, 12:41

    No, especially if Ferrari get their act together in 2014 (The year that Vettel will arrive at Maranello)

  3. james2488 (@james2488) said on 28th September 2012, 12:41

    I honestly cant see hamilton winning the title again, the only hope is mercedes get it right when the rules change 2014

  4. F1Sidewinda (@f1sidewinda) said on 28th September 2012, 12:42

    Why not? Stranger things have happened.

    • Exactly… as if leaving Mclaren is an automatic career killing move. McLaren has a habit of losing their best talent, & a lot of said talent has certainly gone on to better things post McLaren. Kimi left & won his WDC with Ferrari after years of watching the title slip through his fingers (a typical thing with McLaren, unfortunately). Alonso left & claimed it to be the best move of his career (and with him poised to win another WDC, not to mention the unwavering support of team Ferrari behind him when it matters most, I’m inclined to agree with him). Adrian Newey (not a driver, but I don’t have to explain his worth) left & is happier than ever @ Red Bull, and has said publicly more than once that he’s never go back… Alonso & Kimi have said so as well. 10 years between Halkkinen & Hamilton’s WDC & no constructors championship since then isn’t a stellar track record… especially when you take into consideration what team McLaren can actually do vs. what they usually do. And after watching them throw away two (almost certain, IMO) championships for Hamilton, I’d say Lewis doesn’t stand any worse chance anywhere else on the grid to be honest. He’d win races if he stayed… no doubt, but world championships are important to him… & McLaren has had SERIOUS TROUBLE winning those.

      • zippyone (@zippyone) said on 28th September 2012, 18:14

        And he will get to keep his original trophies with Merc of course, I don’t see why he can’t a win a championship with Merc, stranger things have happened and they have a good team – look at Red Bull’s fairly quick rise to the top

        • Heck… Ross Brawn turned a dog of a Honda into a Championship winning car (on what could probably be likened to a shoestring budget, no less). He’s had a hand in many more championship wins than McLaren over the same time period. Not that big a gamble on Lewis’ part IMO. Besides, so what if it takes Hamilton a while to win with Mercedes… how long has Alonso been without a championship again? He went back to Renault, switched to Ferrari & 6 years later he’s just getting ready to lift his third, & while it certainly looks probable it’s still not a certainty.

          • dkpioe said on 29th September 2012, 7:21

            No he didnt. honda built that great car. if anything brawn failed to develop it throughout the year. same thing has happened with the mercedes cars since then

          • gabal (@gabal) said on 29th September 2012, 9:12

            @Aldoid A shoestring budget? You are kidding, right? Brawn car was built with Honda money and it is estimated that it had one of the most expensive developments in history of F1 (full year of full team resources commited to development, simultaneous use of multiple wind tunnels…)

      • Jason (@jason12) said on 28th September 2012, 19:07

        Very well said Aldoid…

  5. Ben (@benchuiii) said on 28th September 2012, 12:43

    Even if he does win the title, don’t think it will be within the next 3 years.

    • Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 28th September 2012, 14:19

      I think Hamilton could very well win the championship during the next three seasons. But I don’t think Hamilton is realistic about Mercedes’ potential and he hasn’t fully realised how good team McLaren actually is.

      McLaren has delivered a potential championship winning car on 4 out of 6 seasons Hamilton has been there. Which teams have a record that is as good? Ferrari and Red Bull have both had a car that is able to win the championship on four seasons, Honda/Brawn/Mercedes only once. Other teams haven’t had a potential championship winning car even once during last six years.

      On those six years, only McLaren and Ferrari have won a race on every season. Red Bull has won on four seasons and Honda/Brawn/Mercedes on two seasons. Other teams have won only on one season at best.

      Over last six seasons, McLaren has won 32 races, whereas Ferrari has won 27 races and Red Bull 31 races. Other teams won’t even compare.

      So if Hamilton thinks that McLaren has failed him, he’s deluded. Only Red Bull has given their drivers constantly as competent cars as McLaren. It’s impossible to predict which teams will win the championship in the future, but it’s most likely that McLaren will deliver better cars on average than Mercedes.

      I wonder how Hamilton deals with the situation, if and when Mercedes ends up being a midfield team. He’s always complaining when his car isn’t fast enough to win a race and on Mercedes that could be often the case.

      • he did say he was excited to join mercedes who share the same vision and ambition as his. he couldn’t care less what happen to mclaren beyong this year I guess.

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 29th September 2012, 3:24

        @hotbottoms, either Maldonado is an exceptional driver the equal of Vettel, Hamilton and Alonso or Williams have once again built a car capable of winning the championship this year. Which is it ?

      • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 29th September 2012, 13:39

        and he hasn’t fully realised how good team McLaren actually is.

        I agree with that. There will be lots of learning for Hamilton. Perhaps he is yet to realize what it means to have a slow car. Overall, I still believe this was the best move for his career. If Hamilton goes on to win the WDC or two, with this slow team, he will surely be remembered as one of the greats. Regarding decisions: Well, lets be frank; The decision to stay or leave Mclaren wasn’t Hamilton’s alone to make. I believe Ron Dennis already made majority of that decision number of weeks ago when there was a little heated clash between Ham and the team. And, who knows what else happened that we don’t know about. Maybe it was Hamilton’s immaturity with number of things. But presenting Hamilton with an unattractive offer was another way of saying, “hey this is all you are worth to us, take it or leave it”.

        If McLaren go on to win the championship with say “Perez”, I am sure there will be some hard rocks for Hamilton to swallow, but I do not think there will be anything for him to regret. It is time for Hamilton to move on.

  6. MahavirShah (@mahavirshah) said on 28th September 2012, 12:44

    Very tough to say. I voted No. If he has switched due to financial reasons it would be the wrong reason to move. 3 seasons have shown how poor Mercedes have been in relation to McLaren. Suppose nest years W04 isn’t that great a car. Would Lewis like it? Would he accept it his decision and race on? Ross Brawn may deliver a car that is superbly in tune with the engine regulations. That would be the only chance LH has of winning a WDC.

  7. yes, it is. Like Vettel/RedBull duo few years ago. A new team improving like Mercedes, with money and a project.

  8. Charlie boy said on 28th September 2012, 12:45

    The only that guaranteed is that half of us will be wrong in 3 years time

    • chaplinez said on 28th September 2012, 13:22

      +1
      Agreed.

    • +1.

      It’s not tennis. Because we lack information we tend to formulate predictions based on past but it’s far from ideal in F1.

    • Indeed! I voted no, because based on their efforts so far in the past 3 years (and as a team before that) I am very sceptical of them becoming consistently fast and able to challenge for a championship.

      But it would be nice if they did make it, so lets wait and see what the future brings.

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 29th September 2012, 3:34

        @bascb, and what would you have voted had the team in question been McLaren ? No also I think, at least that would be the safer answer, both historically and mathematically , we needed a “maybe” or “don’t know” option.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 29th September 2012, 7:52

          Ha, yeah it might well have been the same @hohum, as McLaren have been miraculously good at squandering their championship chances lately through lackluster cars, in-fighting drivers, failed team strategy or mess ups.

          That is why I think this move might be really good for the fans. We can see Hamilton having a shot at having to really push the car (and learn to push the team?), we could see Button showing if he can lead a team, McLaren will be a bit shaken up and will have to rethink some of their issues and Perez might really rock the boat.

          Also this opens up a place at Sauber, and that could give us some fresh names on the grid.

  9. Rosberg, who has won once in 122 starts, is likely to be a less challenging team mate than Jenson Button.

    Button got his first victory in his 113th start, and he had had better cars than Rosberg has before it. Unless Rosberg will be clearly confined to a secondary status, I don’t see it being that easy for Hamilton.

    • Drop Valencia! said on 28th September 2012, 12:52

      I agree and think Rosberg may be an equal challenge to Button, a little slower and not as exciting as Lewis, but will keep Hamilton honest like Button has.

    • graham228221 (@graham228221) said on 28th September 2012, 13:19

      I’ve personally always rated Rosberg, I think he’s one of the most underrated drivers on the grids. And, dare I say it, I think Button might be one of the most underrated.

      I predict that Hamilton will have a hard time from Rosberg, while Perez will have the measure of Button. It’s going to be another awesome season though!

      • F1Sidewinda (@f1sidewinda) said on 28th September 2012, 13:31

        Did you mean Button is overrated?

      • very exciting season next year with the regulations unchanged and we will be abble to do direct comparisons in quali and in races.
        If Rosberg is better than Hamilton in quali, it means that Rosberg is the real number 1, cause Hamilton was better than button and Alonso (in 2007 for his first year in F1). And Shumi who beats Rosberg this year (8-6 in quali) was very good and underrated.
        Then it is better than Hamilton crushes Rosberg as everybody expects, at least we will not have to think. The results of Perrez/Button will complete the picture of what is the most important, who is the real best driver (Vettel cannot be connected unfortunately).

    • There is being a good driver, and being a winning driver.

      Rosberg is fast, clever, and gutsy. But if you look at Button, he became a much better driver after he had good results in 2004. After his championship year, he was a much better driver. Rosberg hasn’t achieved that – yet. With Hamilton in the team, he’s less likely to have achieved it.

      I don’t think Button would have fared as well against Lewis if he’d moved there before his WDC win (yes I know an offer wasn’t on the table before then).

      • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 28th September 2012, 13:59

        I agree with that @hairs, Button clearly improved with experience, so that he as ready to take the change that Brawn car gave him in 2009, and he grew during that year too, to become better than he had been. Though this year he has had a poor middle season (but that was also the car not being great, as you can see from HAM also lagging a bit), he clearly is a strong racer right now.

        I think he’s a bi too eager to show up HAM, to the detriment of HAM and the team, but I guess that’s what McLaren got for bringing him in and he certainly wasn’t a bad choice looking at his results.

      • David BR2 said on 28th September 2012, 14:27

        On the contrary, I think Rosberg is more likely to achieve good results with Hamilton on the team. I expect Hamilton to be faster and achieve better, but that doesn’t mean Rosberg won’t be helped by the increases expectations and investments in the Mercedes team. No reflection on Schumacher who has achieved all a F1 driver could wish for, but there’s just not the same urgency about Rosberg and the second-phase Schumacher needing a winning car. Whereas the pressure on Mercedes to perform at a level that matches their name and resources will be huge now.

      • I agree with that as well @hairs, Button grew from winning and then from his WDC year and I think he took another step regularly beating Hamilton, something I am not sure either he or Hamilton were really counting on.

        And sure enough, with Hamilton now being Mercedes star driver, this will knock off Rosberg who signed on to the team to be the guy taking over from Button, only to be first confronted with Schumacher and now with Hamilton.
        He will really have to step up if he wants to be a championship worthy driver, while at the same time he must feel that he has not been able to convince Brawn he has it (why else sign on Hamilton to take over Schumacher’s mantle).

    • coefficient (@coefficient) said on 28th September 2012, 14:01

      Thats nonesense. Jenson never had a car capable of winning on merit until 2009. The BARs were generally solid midfield cars with the exception of the 2004 car which was best of the rest behind the ultra dominant Ferrari’s of that year which is why Jenson finished 3rd in the WDC that year. Also, Mclaren and Williams were having a bad year that year which flattered the BAR somewhat. In 2006 Jenson dragged his disappointing Honda from 14th on the grid to the win but the car was not a genuine contender under normal running. Every other car he has had in F1 has been Mid Field at best and no more.

      Rosberg couldv’e won in Singapore in 2009 I think it was but threw it away by crossing the white line on the pit exit. Rosberg has squandered good opportunities whereas Button has tended to make the most of them. That said, China this year was class all the way, hats off an all that.

    • Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 28th September 2012, 15:45

      Rosberg has always had poor team mates (Wurz, Nakajima, Schumacher after his comeback), so it’s hard to say how good he is. Webber beat him however, but to be fair it was Rosberg’s rookie season and the car was extremely unreliable, so there were few races where they both classified.

      But apart from couple of races, I don’t think Rosberg has ever shown anything special. I believe Button is a lot better driver than Rosberg is. To say that Button had a car that was competent enough to race for victories before Brawn is complete nonsense. And even if that was true, it’s in the past and we have seen that on McLaren Button has been able to challenge Hamilton quite well.

    • carl craven said on 28th September 2012, 15:57

      that’s a tad unfair, it’s been a wierd season in which Maldonado in a Williams won and Rosberg won from Pole. Button’s first win came from p14 and he’s not a stranger to winning from difficult positions.

      I also think it’s unfair to compare Rosberg’s and Button’s careers. Rosberg has driven for Williams and Mercedes. Williams may not have been a force when he drove for them but their is no denying their pedigree or that of Mercedes, also a manufacturer with a lot of funds, compared to Button at BAR and the pathetic Honda legacy I don’t know how you could say Button had much better drives until he reached Mclaren.

    • jameshuntleydavidson said on 28th September 2012, 21:34

      BAR, Honda, Brawn, Mercedes – whatever they’re called it appears the stats are against them. Guess Lewis had no choice though. http://wp.me/p2HWOP-5q.

      Why couldn’t McLaren backed by the middle eastern fund that has advanced them $500m cough up a couple of million more to keep him?

      • I really don’t this was much about money and I am pretty certain that it was Lewis choice to go (McLaren was widely reported to have upped their offer this week). Sure enough, Hamilton thinks he can have more success with Mercedes, and he might fancy having more freedom as well to develop (having bad relations would make it hard to be successfull together anyway).

        And its only logical for the team to have been working on an alternative as soon as it was clear that keeping Hamilton would not be easy, something McLaren must have known for about a month now.

  10. I think this is the best move from Hamilton since 2007 Melbourne first corner. for sure Mercedes doesn’t give him competitive car as often as Mclaren, but he’s now leading role and his own team. Mclaren might be his 2nd home but you can’t do anything you want at home because of parents. even with less winning change, I believe it’s good for him. Now it’s Mercedes’ turn to give him proper car to compete.

    • JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III said on 28th September 2012, 13:06

      “Now it’s Mercedes’ turn to give him proper car to compete.”

      Like they did for msc? Also if lewis has been upset by mclarens reliability I wonder has he been watching whats happened to schumachers car this year? Chances are he will have more reliability problems and he will be further down the race order when they happen this is going to really hurt his statistics compared to vettel.

      • at least Hamilton now can blame his team. Did you ever hear Hamilton saying bad thing about Mclaren even in bad weekend? I’m sure he have been furious about it but can’t say because Mclaren is his parents.

      • David BR2 said on 28th September 2012, 14:33

        I think Schumacher pulled Mercedes back though. Remember their first year as Mercedes when Rosberg was proving competitive and Schumacher some way off him? They redesigned the car and the two were much closer in performance, only achieving considerably less than Rosberg at the start. Mercedes denied adapting the car to Schumacher, and away from Rosberg, but the impression has never left me since that they focused on the wrong driver, the past rather than the future.

  11. Estesark (@estesark) said on 28th September 2012, 12:49

    My gut feeling was “no”, but after thinking about it further, there’s no reason why he couldn’t. I think 2013 is going to be a huge test of his patience as Mercedes still won’t be at the front, but after that, it’s impossible to predict what will happen. We’ve seen before that rule changes can shake up the pecking order. It’s also worth remembering that it took Red Bull six years to win their first championship, and that in the first four of those six, very few people saw their meteoric rise coming. Mercedes have only been in the sport in their current guise for three years, and 2014 will be a perfect opportunity for their impressive technical team to steal a march on their rivals.

    Of course, saying that it could happen is not the same as predicting that it will happen, which is what this poll is actually asking, but I’ll take a punt and say that it will.

  12. I can’t help but think he’ll quickly regret this choice, Hamilton doesn’t have the patience for the mid-field team. It’s great to see Perez move so far up the order so quickly though, I’ve come greatly respect his abilities this season.

    • JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III said on 28th September 2012, 13:17

      Yeah re lewis expect the sunglasses alot next year even in the pouring rain.

    • David BR2 said on 28th September 2012, 14:39

      You forget McLaren’s car had the performance level of a mid-field team at various points during Hamilton’s time there, and he was often the one dragging the car upfield until the engineering caught up later in the season.

      The brute fact is that he, Alonso and Vettel are the currently the best drivers out there. They can all ‘be patient’ but none like it and all want to be winning. The question is whether Mercedes can jump up a level to match Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull over the next 8 years (which is what the team has now signed up for). I’m fairly certain they can.

  13. Yes, it’s the right move. Mclaren is a top team who give talent the chance of a WDC. But their incapable of winning consecutive titles once the driver has established himself. Raikkonen in a Lotus is ahead of both Mclaren drivers right now who are disappointingly 6th and 4th. Hamilton won’t win a WDC in a merc next year but he might manage 2nd and joins Raikkonen and Alonso in the ranks of those who have left Mclaren for the right reasons.

  14. Scottie (@scottie) said on 28th September 2012, 12:52

    Anything is possible. The team Ross Braun has built there is pretty good, and Mercedes are pushing verry hard for results.

    Combine that with Leiws’ performances in the car this year, taking into account the other shortcomings of the car or team, and I think they can do it.

    It’ll more depend on how Ferrari find their mojo, or Adrian re-interprets the design of his non-ebd chassis. let alone McLaren milking their current strong development direction.

  15. F1antics (@f1antics) said on 28th September 2012, 12:54

    “Will Lewis Hamilton’s move to Mercedes bring him another world championship by 2015? ”

    Does it matter? Winning in F1 is down to so many arbitrary things that it’s hardly a sport, it’s an entertainment, albeit a very skilled one. Entertainment-wise, the move is a great one for the fans and for the entire F1 business. And it seems to be what Lewis wants right now, so I’m happy for him and for Mercedes, and for all the other people who benefit from it (Button, Perez, etc).

    Can we predict if it’ll give him the WDC? Of course not. None of us can, however much we debate it here. But that question will keep bums on seats, and it’ll keep the F1 circus rolling along. You’ve got to give it to Mercedes – they’re great showmen. First Schumi, now Lewis. Yay :)

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