Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Singapore, 2012

Champions disagree over Hamilton’s Mercedes switch

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Singapore, 2012In the round-up: Three-times champion Niki Lauda says he understands Lewis Hamilton’s desire to change teams but fellow thrice-champion Jackie Stewart says he would not have made the same move.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Lewis Hamilton needed a new challenge, says Mercedes’s Niki Lauda (The Guardian)

“I understand him because if you drive six years for same the team and for the same people you get used to each other. It works for him because he won one championship and he is winning races, but nevertheless a new challenge with new people … you learn different things and different approaches ?ǣ it’s something that for a competitive guy like Lewis was very interesting.”

Sir Jackie Stewart: Lewis Hamilton is a Merc berk (Daily Star)

“McLaren have the resources, the money, the long-term commitment and huge experience. If I were Lewis I would have stayed with them. He would not be where he is today without them ?ǣ and there is a degree of loyalty which you should always have.”

Is this the final lap for Nurburgring? (The Independent)

“Concern for the Nurburgring?s future is not limited to the locals. In motoring history, this is a place of international importance, scene of some of the most historic Formula One races.”

Prost tests modern Red Bull F1 car (Autosport)

“I’ve had many opportunities with other teams in the past and I never wanted to do it. But recently I thought maybe it would not be too bad to know what modern Formula 1 is like.”

Kimi can be champion – Grosjean (ESPN)

“We were very evenly matched on pace but he is fighting to be world champion, and has a very good chance of achieving that. He is still a very, very good driver.”

McLaren still backing Lewis (Sky)

“We have a competitive car at the minute and we have six races left. We can win all of those six races and in my view we can win the championship. So starting next week in Japan we will be focussing on that.”

Bianchi wins at Paul Ricard and is back in the lead (Ferrari)

“Jules Bianchi?s pursuit of the top slot in the World Series 3.5 was given a boost today when he took a great win in the second race at Paul Ricard. This result, along with a fourth place in Race 1 sees the Frenchman leap to the top of the leaderboard, five points ahead of second placed Robin Frijns.”


Comment of the day

Bernie Ecclestone expects the 2014 engine change to be scrapped but @Bosyber isn’t so sure it will be:

It is not as if changing plans (delaying?) now would be cheaper, the engines are already designed and on the test banks since at least a month we have heard.

If they scrap them now the engine guys have spent a lot of the required money already, and for nothing. They will ask for compensation, or just change plans to leave (Renault if they can?t get the smaller turbo they really want?)

From the forum

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today.

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

After 108 laps of Watkins Glen Jim Clark came home first to win the United States Grand Prix 45 years ago today.

The only other driver on the lead lap was team mate Graham Hill, making it a one-two finish for Lotus. Denny Hulme moved closer to clinching the title with third place.

Image ?? McLaren/Hoch Zwei

124 comments on “Champions disagree over Hamilton’s Mercedes switch”

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  1. Didn’t read the comments to see if this was pointed out already or not but it was only 2 weeks ago when Bernie said he loved the sound of the Ferrari V6.

    1. Wondered about same thing, might have been a month ago though.

  2. It`s time for Hamilton to move on and take on a challenge. McLaren was always a safe bet as it is one of if not the most consistent team for the last 30 years. They have not won too many championships the last decade, but then again what team except Ferrari, Renault and Red Bull has. These three teams have won 8 of the last 10 seasons. But McLaren has always been in contention except for a couple of bad seasons.

    Hamilton is leaving a top team to join a team aspiring to be a top team. If he and Mercedes can pull it off credit should be given to both parties.

    But if they don`t succeed I suspect Hamilton is in for a rough ride, both with his new team and his ego. McLaren has taken very good care of Hamilton and protected him from a lot of adversity. Probably because he`s been with them for so long and he really was their favourite son of whom much was ecpected. He grew up in that organisation and everyone wished the best for Hamilton.
    When Hamilton arrives at Mercedes now it`s in a totally different context. He`s been drafted in as a proven driver of whom much is expected from the get-go. He will not be their favourite son, he`s a hired driver expected to bring World Championships to Mercedes. He`ll have to bring with him a Schumacher-esque work ethic to boot. If he starts bad-mouthing his team and then go on holiday with his girlfriend I suspect the boffins at Mercedes will have a word or two for him.

    For years now I`ve been told that Hamilton is one of the greatest drivers that ever lived. In my opinion the jury`s still out on that one. Taking into consideration the opportunities he`s been given I think he should have been a three time Champion now if he really was one of the greatest drivers that ever lived. He should have won i 2007, he should have won in 2008 (easy) and he should have won in 2010 when he pretty much crashed himself out of contention while having a pretty decent car at his disposal. I think for instant Vettel, Perez, diResta, Hulkenberg and Rosberg would have won at least one world title if they had been driving for McLaren since 2007.

    To be honest I think Hamilton is very talented, and he could be the best of his generation if he`s able to get it right. I do doubt his work ethic and attention to detail can rival Michael Schumacher, and he really has to show those qualities if Mercedes is struggling in 2013. Otherwise he will not be able to build the team around him that he needs to win WC`s.
    Futhermore I always doubted Hamiltons mental strenght when the pressure is on. He cracked in 2007, he almost cracked in 2008 (was saved by the bell) and came unhinged when he was in with a shot in 2010. Every time Hamilton is in with a chance of winning the Championship either something strange happens or he seems to shut down and barge into somebody. I don`t know why this happens but it seems like his will to win relegates common sense to the back seat from time to time.
    For the last couple of years I think his ego has played a part in this as well. Hamilton`s ego could never really cope with Vettel coming along in that Red Bull. Here`s a younger driver that comes along and wins more races and championships than Hamilton. For a man used to being told by everybody around him that he`s the greatest and most promising ever that must be hard, and it might trigger some desperation on his part.

    I think Hamiltons move to Mercedes might come from some desparation on his part. He wants to be one of the greatest drivers of all time, and to be able to be seen as such he really needs to win several championships soon. But he also needs to beat Vettel, if Vettel is a three time World Champion at this year it will be very difficult for Hamilton to be considered as “the greatest of his generation”. And if Alonso wins his third Championship this year, Hamilton will struggle to match him as well. That`s not what either Hamilton or his fans were expecting back in 2007, of course he feels the pressure..

  3. I see no reason why McLaren would not support Hamilton in his bid to be champion this year, although that bid’s chances of success are slim. The irony here is that, if rumours are to be believed, if McLaren had supported Hamilton more often recently maybe he would not be leaving for pastures new. The bottom line is that only a select few know the real reasons for what has happened, and I doubt that includes Jackie Stewart.

    1. “if rumours are to be believed, if McLaren had supported Hamilton more often recently maybe he would not be leaving for pastures new”

      Can’t help once again pointing out what came out last year…LH admitted that he let off-track distractions hurt his racing on Sundays. I have said it several times since that admission by LH, and will repeat my opinion again…that must have been terrible for the team and it’s sponsors to hear…all that time and money and resources and he was squandering it for reasons that should not have been brought to the race weekend by LH. ie. in terms of your comment I can only think there are two sides to every street and I wouldn’t be surprised if Mac was questioning LH’s dedication to the team going back to last year. In other words, I’m not convinced there has ever been a time when Mac wasn’t supporting LH. It has been up to LH all this time as to what to do with this support.

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