FIA F1 - Hamilton Moves To Mercedes In 2013
London, Sep. 29, 2012: Mercedes have announced their 2013 driver line-up, with Nico Rosberg being joined by Lewis Hamilton, who moves to the team from McLaren on a three-year contract, leaving Michael Schumacher without a confirmed drive for next season.
“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,” said Hamilton, who exits McLaren after six seasons. “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.”
Hamilton’s career has been supported by Mercedes-Benz since its earliest days. In 2000, he and Rosberg were team-mates at TeamMBM.com in Formula A karting. He drove with Mercedes-Benz engines during his two seasons in the Formula Three Euroseries, winning the 2005 championship, and all of his 104 F1 starts - and his 2008 drivers’ title - have been powered by Mercedes-Benz.
“I am delighted to welcome Lewis Hamilton,” said team principal Ross Brawn. “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.”
Hamilton’s arrival leaves Schumacher’s future uncertain, the seven-time champion having enjoyed less success than expected after making his Formula One comeback with Mercedes at the start of 2010. Third place in this year’s Valencia race has been his only podium finish for the team.
“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,” said the German. “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.”
Schumacher losing his Mercedes drive marks the end of special relationship with Brawn, one that dates back to their championship-winning days together at Benetton and Ferrari.
“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,” said Brawn in thanking Schumacher for his ‘important contribution to the team. “As always, it has been a pleasure to work with Michael.”Norbert Haug, Vice President of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, added: “Over the past three years, Michael has been a great driver and an exemplary ambassador for Mercedes AMG Petronas. His experience has been an important factor in guiding the development of our team in Brackley and we extend our sincere thanks to Michael for his loyalty, team play and commitment.”
Hamilton’s wasn’t the only signing announced by Mercedes on Friday. It was also revealed that three-time world champion Niki Lauda will join in the near future in the role of non-executive chairman of the team’s board of directors.