Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 2012

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?


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.


McLaren 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?

  • No (61%)
  • Yes (39%)

Total Voters: 657

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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280 comments on “Is Mercedes the right move for Hamilton?”

  1. Honestly? No..

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. 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?

          1. nonsense! he was never intimidated by a sub-classed button

          2. @boss How do you know that Hamilton was never intimidated? Is he your personal acquaintance? Please tell us more

        2. 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.

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

          2. @boss

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


            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.

          3. 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.

        3. 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!

        4. @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.

          1. 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.

    2. 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!

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

        1. @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….

      2. 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.

        1. 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.

          1. 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.

        2. @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!

          1. 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!

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

          3. 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.

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

        1. @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.

    3. 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.

      1. 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?

        1. davidnotcoulthard
          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…

        2. “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.

          1. Michael Brown (@)
            29th September 2012, 13:32

            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.

    4. 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.

      1. singtel? Telmex even! lol

      2. 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.

        1. @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.

          1. 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.

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

    6. Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

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

    1. Dream on, well unless Alonso retires.

      1. Will Buxton says the deal has been on for months. Ferrari will keep Massa for one more year before Vettel comes in. This is also why they didn’t sign Perez, why sign a young promising driver for just one year before dropping him?

        1. Did you already forgot that Vettel has a contract with redbull untill 2015?

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

    1. Maybe not, he won’t be a champion. BUT will not be such a drama like today is , when he has the best car and he is 4’th!!! Mclaren, in my opinion, is such a looser.

      1. How is getting into the 5th best car going to increase the chances of winning? Going backwards down the grid is going to get Lewis more money but wins? I doubt it

      2. totally agreed with sorin. mercedes will be there or about there at the front next year..insyallah

        1. Vettel is coming. Accept it.

  4. Why not? Stranger things have happened.

    1. 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.

      1. 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

        1. 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.

          1. 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

          2. @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…)

      2. Very well said Aldoid…

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

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. But the debate is about whether Hamilton made a good decision or not. Hamilton’s interest (or lack of interest) on McLaren’s success in the future is somewhat irrelevant.

      2. @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 ?

      3. 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. 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.

    1. I agree. The money has gone to Lewis’ head.

      1. I think less his head, and more his agent’s. His agent is not an F1 agent, but a celebrity agent they don’t care what car he drives, just what commission they get.

      2. @kingshark Witmarsh suggested that McLaren offered him more money than Mercedes…

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

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

    1. +1

    2. +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.

    3. 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.

      1. @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.

        1. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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!

      1. Did you mean Button is overrated?

      2. 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).

    3. 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).

      1. 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.

      2. 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.

      3. 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).

    4. 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.

    5. 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.

    6. 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.

    7. jameshuntleydavidson
      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?

      1. 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.

    1. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
      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.

      1. 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.

        1. ‘did you ever hear Hamilton saying bad thing about Mclaren even in bad weekend?’


          1. australia 2010 seems the obvious one. spa few weeks ago also. the times he has knocked the strategies are endless.

            there have been a few!

      2. 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.

        1. Rosberg has enjoyed a win in the clearly best car so far from Mercedes. A car that however sees him consistently been beaten by Schumacher in qualifying and races. I think yours is just that, an impression.

          1. Rosberg been beaten by Schumacher?…really?

  11. 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.

    1. The most sensible and broad sighted comment I’ve read so far on this topic.

    2. and that in the first four of those six, very few people saw their meteoric rise coming

      Time to be plausible, let’s not forget that Red Bull benefited immensely from the aerodynamic changes ( no one rarely points this out), who knows but had the rules & regulations from pre-2009 remain static?(even though the overhaul was decided years prior to 2008)…

      1. Yes, they were well placed to take advantage of changes to the rules covering aerodynamics, but that’s what I was referring to with “rule changes can shake up the pecking order”. Who do you think would be the best-placed team to take advantage of changes to the rules covering engines? Mercedes aren’t a sure bet, but they are a good one.

  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.

    1. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
      28th September 2012, 13:17

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

    2. 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. 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. “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 :)

    1. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
      28th September 2012, 13:19

      well he either will or he won’t and people have voted for both answers so someone is right.

    2. I agree with you entirely. It IS an entertainment.

    3. yessssssssssss

    4. There is no sport that isn’t “entertainment”. It’s almost entertainment by definition.

  16. I just hope this doesn’t affect any late title charge this year. I suspect it’s a good choice, Mclaren rarely follow up a great car with another. It’s usually a good, but not good enough car. Mercedes on the other hand will probably switch all focus to 2013 and with the new technical team they should be able to start just as competitively as the did this year (I reckon Hamilton would have done just as well in a Mercedes in the first few races as he did in the Mclaren. With all the teams understanding the tyres by next year, Mercedes will be far less likely to lose there way mid-season.

    Another key question is…what does this move mean for Mclaren’s near future. I have a feeling next season will be a weak one for them. Whilst Button has been there or thereabouts the last few years, he has never really looked like winning the championship, and I doubt that will change. I think Perez will probably struggle against Button at least in his first year; let’s not forget he has often been outqualified by Kobayashi this year.

    1. “Mclaren rarely follow up a great car with another. It’s usually a good, but not good enough car.”

      I would argue that since Hamilton joined Mclaren he has had a great car every year except for approximately a half season lull following a major shake up of the technical regulations heading into the 2009 season. Hardly a level of performance deserving of criticism.

      2007-2008 Mclaren progression was good and both cars were front running title contenders with practically bullet proof reliability.
      2009 Mclaren was generally extremely poor for the first half a season but came on strong from Hungary onwards. At the final race in Abu Dhabi Hamilton outqualified Vettel by 6 tenths of a second for pole position. Incidentally this race marked Hamiltons first retirement caused by a reliability issue on the car, 52 races into his F1 career.
      2010-2011-2012 Mclarens were/are all very competitive cars, each one comparatively better than the previous when measuring against the competition. The 2010 Mclaren contended 2nd/3rd fastest car throughout the season with Ferrari, the 2011 Mclaren was the 2nd fastest car by a comfortable margin and probably at least equally matched with Red Bull in the final stages of the season and the 2012 Mclaren is the fastest car in the field.

      There has been an obvious upward trend ever since the major overhaul of technical regulations for 2009. As such it could be said that Mclaren do follow up a great car with another in recent times. The problem is Red Bull have had two truly exceptional cars during this same period so Mclaren have had to settle for best of the rest until they finally overcame the defecit this season.

      I think that perhaps Hamilton himself doesn’t fully appreciate just how competitive Mclaren have been since he started racing for the team in 2007. In at least half of his seasons with the team he has had the fastest, joint fastest or close 2nd fastest car at his disposal to contend the drivers championship (2007, 2008, 2012). In 2010 he came very close to winning the drivers championship despite Red Bull having their most dominant pace advantage to date as Red Bull blundered operationally. Hamilton could perhaps have won the championship in 2010 if not for his own costly errors (Monza first lap and Singapore vs Webber come to mind). In 2011 he had the 2nd fastest car at his disposal but finished 5th in the championship and behind his teammate who finished 2nd.

      All told, Mclaren have provided highly competitive race cars for Hamilton since he entered the sport and have won more Grand Prix wins than any other team on the grid since he joined in 2007. Going forward, Mclaren are likely to produce another front running car next season considering the current stability of technical regulations and incremental performance improvements since 2009.

  17. Hamilton probably wants to be No.1 driver to any of the strong teams. He will have one or two years to show them the way to improve enough to win the title.

  18. Pop quiz, who was the last driver (other than Kimi Raikkonen) to become an F1 World Champion after leaving McLaren?

    1. That’s Montoya, Alonso, and Kovalainen…no one, if that’s your point?

      1. Montoya was f1 world champion with McLaren, Alonso has yet to win an F1 title after leaving McLaren, though I think he will be champion this year. My point is who did better in F1 after leaving McLaren?

        1. When did Montoya clinch an F1 world title? Did I miss something?

        2. Fernando Alonso

    2. Prost perhaps?

      1. Good shout. Prost in 1993 with Williams.

        1. Prost in 1990 was not bat at all either. Actually he was the title contender until Senna ran into his gearbox.

        2. @firebits We had to go pretty far back. Another good quesiton, has anybody defended a world title with Williams?

          1. Jones, Rosberg, Piquet, Mansell, Prost, Hill, Villeneuve, don’t think I’ve missed anyone so no, in answer to your question.

          2. yes JV did in 98

          3. as did rosberg.

  19. Not if the car looks like that ^

    Honestly though, if I had to put money on it, I’d say he’d take the team forward this year, results wise – and then there’d be a chance in the or two after that. 2013 WDC? Not sure. 2014-2015 double? Perhaps.

  20. This will turn out to be bad for Hamilton AND Rosberg.He will definitely become a Number 2 driver.

  21. All depends on Hamilton’s ability to synchronize with the Brackley squad. If he manages it well, a la Schumacher, we probably will get performance a la Schumacher. Even if it gets a bit bumpy along the way, the Mercedes design team surely wont let him down.

    And I have to agree on your words Keith, on this being a coming of age move for Hamilton.

  22. Come on, everybody. Give me your predictions for Hamilton’s prospects for 2013 WDC. It’s got to be one of these three finishing positions: 8th, 9th or 10th.

    I’m leaning towards 9th!

    Perez 2nd or 3rd.

    What do you think?

    1. Hamilton will not be 9th… he will win races not the championship…perez will finish lower than button. Button will not fight for the championship. Vettel and Alonso will fight for WDC next year

      1. If Schumacher goes to Sauber, he will be higher up the driver championship in 2013 than Hamilton. Perez will be higher than Hamilton. Schumacher was brought to Mercedes to help develop it. Hamilton has never been good at developing a car. Very good at driving anything that is given to him, but not in developing one. With Britney and Hamilton tougher who are going to develop the car since with no regulation changes to this year and still more than 1 second off the pace were will they find it?

    2. In the next 3 years Perez will win a WDC Hamilton will not!

  23. Actually no one can know performance of Mercedes and their f1 cars we will see by time, but one thing is sure that this was a blow for Mclaren as they lost one of the best f1 driver while other two under long contracts. As a talented human being, performance you will get from Hamilton is almost under guarantee, he will not forget how to race suddenly when he sits in a different car but no team including Ferrari and Mclaren can guarantee a championship winning car for the coming seasons.
    Overall Hamilton may be good or not at Mercedes but Mclaren is sure a loser in this case.

  24. I’m not sure it’s the right move for Hamilton, he may be taking the longer view for success after 2014. However I also think it’s great move for the fans of F1, next year is going to be very interesting.

  25. I’m afraid that it’s not hamilton who has made a mistake,It’s Mercedes. Because it was obvious that Schu wanted to continue,and many of us believe that ,altought there was no success in this 3years time, he just was about to bring them on the top. He was the one for the team.
    I believe they won’t be able to handle Hamilton if some of those Merc made promises in the contract fails.

  26. Hamilton’s chances of being better off without Maclaren = 50-50
    Mclaren’s chances of being better off without Hamilton = 0%

    1. This is so true…

      1. disagree. mclaren were ok before and will be after.

        Perez is a great talent.

        1. I think they are better off. They can develop a car for similar driving style and don’t cater for two opposing driving styles. Perez is more humble and does not need to be “managed” the whole time. As a team they will be more focused.

    2. @jleigh Yes. The team McLaren, founded by Bruce McLaren, was an unknown in the F1 world until Hamilton arrived.

      1. @caci99 irrelevant. I said they won’t be better off without him, not that they will go to pot. It’s pretty hard to argue a team can be better without arguably the fastest driver on the grid then they would be with him.

      2. davidnotcoulthard
        29th September 2012, 1:18


        Seriously? Which team did James Hunt, Lauda, Prost, Senna, Hakkinen all won at least a title each with?

        No, you were probably not that serious about that…

    3. this is true for the next 3-4 years …but Mclaren is Mclaren they will find another world chapionship driver like Hamilton again.
      P.S Button and Perez are not enough to win WDC…sure they can win but only if they have a considerable car advantage

      1. McLaren will find plenty of world championship drivers… but will any of those drivers win world championships at McLaren? And will McLaren ever win another constructors championship, when they’ve continually struggled to do so despite always having the very best drivers at their disposal? …………………………………….

  27. This says it all

    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.

    + (I assume) Mercedes AMG will let him keep winner’s trophy.

    Regarding Mercedes performance, I’ll quote Alonso regarding Hamilton

    the one who’s able to clinch a championship with a car that’s not the best

    So don’t count him out even with average performing Mercedes, this guy is absolute brilliant (and I think he’ll be multiple WDC).

    1. Alonso can’t speak for himself, but the best person to win without the best car is Alonso. if you ask me Hamilton can win or not without the best car?? my answer is YES Ham also can win but he need a strong team behind. In 2008 Ferrari was the best car and Mclaren second but Mclaren is a very experciend team in fighting for title Merceds not… look what happend to MCS

    2. +1 Well said! Sadly people let personal animosity mist their eyesight. I dont like Alonso’s persona…but he’s 1 heck of a driver and 1 of the best I’ve seen in my long 25 year life

  28. There needs to be a “No opinion” option on the poll. 2013 is certainly a right off for Hamilton, but the big changes in the rules and regs next year will allow teams to start afresh once more. It’s a silly poll in my mind. In 2006, if a poll were to have been carried out asking if Jenson Button could win a title in the next three years, there will have been a massive belly laugh accross the interwebs and a resounding no.

  29. Maybe he even brings nr 1 along. And clinches it immediately in 2013. But 2014 will be it, I think

  30. I voted NO. Reviewing what Mercedes have done as a Team and to their car, it would just be a susprise.

  31. This is going to be interesting, especially reading Hamilton’s comments, and given who the dancing players are.

    Hamilton is looking for more freedom, and a better environment to win. It’s clear he has been decreasingly happy in McLaren since 2009 when he was forced to drive his first uncompetitive car. He’s an emotional guy, and clearly when things aren’t happy around him, he gets affected by that, with his performances suffering. Moving to a fresh team allows him a clean emotional slate with no history or baggage.

    Mercedes are getting one of the 3 best drivers on the grid, so they must be over the moon. Hamilton is one of the few who will drag a rubbish car further up the grid than it belongs. He’ll do things that the BAR/Brawn/Merc crew haven’t seen a driver do, and may well inspire them. But is he a leader? Can he build a team around him, and grow them? There’s plenty of evidence to the contrary. Unlike Schumacher, Lewis is a driver who has to ask the team what to do more often than not. Schumacher is probably the greatest “team builder” ever, and even in a diminished state I don’t think Lewis has the natural capability he has in that area. It requires a different skill set to working out how to drive the car quickly, and what is making the car slow. It requires determination, long term vision and political diplomacy. None of those are Lewis’s strong points (and it doesn’t mean he should be judged negatively because of it).

    There’s also the echos of coincidence in this. Mercedes is the team Button left because he said “I want to win another championship”. He left Brawn late in the day, so he knew Mercedes/Brawn/Haug and the Petronas investment was coming. He knew that the elements were coming in place to make a frontrunning team, he knew the team personnel knew how to build a winning car, and to win races and championships. But he still left, because he thought McLaren was a more likely prospect for wins. It said a lot when Brawn turned up for Jenson’s 200th race celebrations and said “I wish he was still driving for us”. He’s a clever boy, and he’s learned from bad career decisions in the past. I think he may well smile a wry smile watching Lewis leave.

    What about McLaren? They’ve lost a star asset, they know that. Button is a phenomenal driver, but only under the right circumstances. He’s the only teammate to beat Lewis, and that says a lot. But he’s not going to put that car on the front row every possible time. He’s not going to fight his way up in the first 5 laps every time when he’s down the grid. They’ve got Perez, and I think they’ve made the right decision there. He’s good enough to have been given the chance, and I don’t think he’ll crumple under the pressure like Heikki did. He can win races, and he can win unexpectedly. But for the next few years, McLaren are going to worry about Saturday afternoons.

    I think McLaren might actually be in a very strong position next year for the constructors. Two fast, reliable drivers who will always bring home the points and aren’t likely to stick it in the wall, or have a fit. For the drivers’, they’re more precarious.

    Mercedes? Well, Mercedes are going to be very dependant on how fast and reliable the car is next few years. Unlike today’s flurry of action, they’re going to be reliant on one man for that. Ross Brawn. Lewis Hamilton is not the man to bring together a large team of people and get them working together as a unit with an eye on tedious details.

    1. @hairs great analysis! I’m not sure Lewis will need the leadership skills of Schumacher, I think that can come from Brawn. That and the motivation that will come from seeing Lewis get more out of a car than they have ever seen before will be enough I think. I personally am incredibly excited about the prospect of a Brawn-Hamilton tie up. Brawn has always had the greatest of respect for Hamilton (comparing his performances to those of Schumi in his hay-day), and I believe the two of them together could achieve great things.

      Even if they don’t however, and the car isn’t quite up to it, I still believe Hamilton’s reputation as a driver will be advanced from a move to fresh ground.

    2. I’m not sure Perez is reliable driver to bring home the points regularly.

      1. ??
        Have you been watching this year?

        1. @mw I assume @eggry has been watching this year. Perez has been stunning at times, but hasn’t yet scored points in 3 consecutive races. So while I (and obviously you) can see him producing on a regular basis, @eggry has every right to be unsure. Perez will no longer be in the sort of environment where a few great performances would be more than enough.

    3. very good post, i agree with this:

      Mercedes are getting one of the 3 best drivers on the grid, so they must be over the moon. Hamilton is one of the few who will drag a rubbish car further up the grid than it belongs. He’ll do things that the BAR/Brawn/Merc crew haven’t seen a driver do, and may well inspire them. But is he a leader? Can he build a team around him, and grow them? There’s plenty of evidence to the contrary. Unlike Schumacher, Lewis is a driver who has to ask the team what to do more often than not. Schumacher is probably the greatest “team builder” ever, and even in a diminished state I don’t think Lewis has the natural capability he has in that area. It requires a different skill set to working out how to drive the car quickly, and what is making the car slow. It requires determination, long term vision and political diplomacy. None of those are Lewis’s strong points (and it doesn’t mean he should be judged negatively because of it).

      Lewis will have to work on these elements. So this will be a true test of his strength and character as a driver. Lets see if he’s got what it takes, if he “is” the real deal or will this bring out his true colours to the surface (and i don’t mean that physically ).

  32. I think quite a few people will be surprised by the results Nico achieves if he gets a car of the calibre Lewis currently drives. Saying that he won’t be as challenging as Button teammate wise is a big call. Personally I hope you eat your words on that comment. Britney will hit it one more time at least :)

  33. A WDC within the next three years? Impossible to say definitively either way, but stranger things have happened and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise…

    Part of it depends on Mercedes – is the parent company really committed to F1 for the longer term and can the team make better use of its resources than it has done so far? In 2010 Mercedes could at least point to having to recover from the huge staffing cuts imposed during the team’s season as Brawn. But, by any stretch of the imagination, the team has under-performed in the last two years. It has a decent budget and good facilities, (but so did Toyota) and it has some very good people (as do Caterham) but those don’t guarantee success. Regardless of the length of Hamilton’s deal, we’ve seen major manufacturers fail to run the course before – will Mercedes’ board really tolerate further years in the midfield if that’s what transpires?

    But a big part of this depends on Lewis himself. There has been a step change in his driving in 2012 following from the careless errors in 2011. He needs to step up to the mark at Mercedes and prove he can provide leadership to the whole team, as well as driving very quickly. He needs to look at Michael Schumacher’s time at Ferrari for his model – not just in terms of the results achieved, but the part Schumacher played in achieving them. He was relentless in giving Ferrari everything he had, and Ferrari responded in kind. I struggle to think of a single occasion where Schumacher blamed Ferrari for problems or poor performance and that won him a lot of respect. For all his faults, Schumacher was such an effective leader at Ferrari that the team looked utterly directionless in the years after he left – at least until they signed Fernando Alonso.

    Even then, Schumacher failed to win a WDC for Ferrari until his fifth attempt although Alonso has a reasonable chance of doing so on his third chance. Hamilton needs to take this as a chance to reinvent himself, form new, more effective relationships with his new team and gives it everything he’s got – on and off track.

  34. “Rosberg, who has won once in 122 starts, is likely to be a less challenging team mate than Jenson Button.” – now thats funny, cheers.

  35. It’s possible but will he? Who knows. Impossible to see in to the future

  36. “Will Lewis Hamilton’s move to Mercedes bring him another world championship by 2015?” – hopefully this is not going to be Hamilton’s approach after three years, as we see, more experienced drivers more concerned with getting maximum points from every race and that is reflected in their standings.

  37. This is a very very brave decision by Hamilton and he needs to be applauded for it. Not only is he cutting his umbilical cord, he is going to an under-performing team. If he wins the championship in any of the three years, it is going to be a great victory and definitely more deserved than his 2008 title.

    But does Hamilton have the mental make-up to build a team around him and then take it to the top up? I haven’t seen too much of evidence apart from the 2009 season for this. When Michael moved to Ferrari in 1996, he took a lot of technical staff with him and built the team around him. Not once in 11 years did he launch an attack on his own team. Even when Alonso moved to Ferrari in 2010, he had some staff move with him and he was able to get the Scuderia to love him and make him no.1. Hamilton probably has no one move with him to Mercedes and I am not sure if he has the human element in him to make him a darling of the team.

    I have always thought Hamilton to be someone who thinks that F1 is just turning up on a Sunday and driving fast. Mercedes will make him realize that it is not so. I am not sure what Hamilton will do once he realizes that though. Either he will start working hard to make Mercedes better or he will jump ship to NASCAR (like Montoya).

    1. Not only is he cutting his umbilical cord,

      haha.. good one.

      Not once in 11 years did he launch an attack on his own team.

      That is excellent observation, not one that I have seen many people do here. And it is actually 100% correct.

      I agree with rest of your your comment, very good analysis. This is why (as I also posted above), I think this move will be a massive test for Hamilton. Given that he is regarded as one of the best by many, well in that case, if he wants to be remembered as such (or a legend – to which he is nowhere even close yet), then he must do something exceptional. And funny enough that you compare him to Montoya, I was actually thinking about that exact same thing a few weeks ago. There is a very high chance of this happening considering his personality. Maybe Hamilton gets sick of the hard work and decides to follow his celebrity lifestyle. Either way, this will certainly separate good from the best.

  38. I voted yes, though I’d have taken a “why not” option.

    It is hard to tell; in the end. But asking the same question about HAM had he stayed at McLaren, my answer would tend to be: Maybe, but if he/they can’t do it this year, what will change in the future to make that happen, because it doesn’t look much like it so far; there has always been something weird, even in 2008.

    At least HAM now changed something, it might not work for him, or it might, I think on the whole it is probably good to take a different step. And maybe either or both of the parties will profit from that chance and we’ll see a 2014 WDC fight between Perez and HAM.

  39. I really don’t know what to say, after all Lewis is the master of his own destiny , but in my personal point of view i don’t think that Lewis Hamilton would win the WDC with Mercedes in the next three years ,Mercedes isn’t a winner team i feel that Lewis is the victim of his own management , that was clear that the money was behind this move & as for the “2014 engine regulations ” most people forget that Ferrari another Manufacturer maybe the best in the business of engine building is now clearly ahead of Mercedes there’s no guaranty that they will be the Benchmark in 2014

    1. by the way why Mercedes announced that Niki lauda will join them , the last week Lauda said that Hamilton will stay at Mclaren !!!!!!!!!!
      It’s rumored that Niki Lauda & Bernie Ecclestone played a role in this operation

      1. I heard Lauda said Hamilton would come to Mercedes a little bit more ago. It might be bluffing.

  40. Not with Alonso, Vettel, Raikkonen already established in their teams..

    This move has left other teams in the dark, with the spotlight firmly stuck on Lewis and Mclaren and Mercedes.. Sponsors won’t like that..

    We might see Massa leaving Ferrari yet :)

  41. i wish people would stop with this ‘And he can kiss goodbye to that McLaren F1 LM he was promised if he won three drivers’ titles with McLaren’ – right, big deal, as if THAT’S WHY Hamilton would want to win 3 WDC’s.

  42. i wish people would stop with this ‘And he can kiss goodbye to that McLaren F1 LM he was promised if he won three drivers’ titles with McLaren’ – right, big deal, as if THAT’S WHY Hamilton would want to win 3 WDC’s or stay at McLaren for that matter.

  43. I think based on the last three season Mercedes will not develop a car allowing Hamilton to fight at the front. They have to get over their tire issues that has plagued them for the past three years.

    That said Rosberg Vs Schumi this season has been closer. Rosberg made his points advantage in the two races Mercedes were strong and Schumacher retired in both. China and Monaco he got 43 points over Schumi and leads him now by 50 points. Schumi regrettably for him in the races he has beaten Rosberg the Mercedes has only been good enough to get 7th and that is only with a few retirements upfront.

    I really doubt Mercedes and I would be frightened of having a moody, dare I say arrogant Hamilton. He is a very good driver but you also need a very good car. My prediction is this will turn to tears for both parties including a very tense, public and bitter rivalry between Hamilton and Rosberg Who has has beaten Schumi on points for pretty much 3 seasons.

    Hamilton gets moody when beaten by his team mate and can start resorting to backhanded insults as he does with Jenson. Recently he stated he does not feel he has learned from Jenson This after Witmarsh said they both learn from each other. He is going to need patience and it will be so hard for him to see Vettel, Alonso possibly Kimi amd worse yet Button fighting it out for the championship and he is not in that fight.

    This is a real big gamble and I don’t care what Brawn and Lauda say their job is to sell it to Hamilton whether they believe what they say or not.

    1. “Hamilton gets moody when beaten by his team mate and can start resorting to backhanded insults as he does with Jenson. Recently he stated he does not feel he has learned from Jenson This after Witmarsh said they both learn from each other.”

      When was this? Did I miss that? Surely the Journalists would have whipped that up into a storm and created the impression Jenson and Lewis were going to have a bare knuckle boxing match in the paddock, fenced in by a ring of tires, if Lewis had said that??

  44. My eyes bugged when I saw the news. I did not expect this at all. Though I’m psyched as the past year has made me a big Perez fan.

    But man… why can’t we have an “I don’t know” option in the voting? This is such a tough call! It could easily teeter either way.

  45. Might as well toss a coin on it……
    Looking at the result at the moment we all did that.
    F1 is getting very competitive and Mercedes and McLaren both have had issues, but McLaren always seem to pull the performance out the bag in the end.
    Could that be down to Hamilton maxing the car, like Alonso does? Well I firmly believe Hamilton will have the upper hand over Rosberg and that he always gets the most out the car. So, going by that I reckon that Hamilton would have a decent chance at a title with Mercedes.
    But then that could just break the Mercedes more…
    Oh, it’s just too hard to say. Where’s that coin?

    1. Now at least the argument if “Hamilton is as good as Alonso of dragging a 3rd or 4th best car up the grid” will be settled. I don’t think he will be consistent at all. Both in car reliability or in driver consistency. Outstanding performance here an there, but that will be it.

  46. I said ‘yes’, he will win a championship by 2015. I believe he could get one in 2014 or 2015. But if he stayed with McLaren I believe he could get 2 championships- next year and maybe 2014 or 2015. So overall I think this move might not be a good one, but that wasn’t the actual question. However, if he is more comfortable there and they eventually become competitive perhaps it will be best in the long run. Time will tell.

  47. Has everyone forgotten what Ferrari were like when Schumacher joined

    1. Well, Merc is not Ferrari and Lewis is not Schumacher! Lewis winning with Merc is entirely possible but comparing the two scenarios is not the wisest of things.

      1. Lewis has the talent and is completely capable of leading Mercedes to the Championship. If Ross has worked his magic again and everything is in place for the next few years then why not. And no maybe not the wisest of things to say Lewis actually has some competition. You really don’t know what you are talking about

    2. @Paulipedia Has everyone forgotten what BAR were like when Villeneuve joined?

  48. He certainly has the talent, we know that. As for the car… I don’t really know. Let’s see what happens, that’s all I can say.

  49. 50/50 split at the mo on whether Lewis will win WDC in next 3 years,and it unlikely to change much.
    that made me smile. perfect disagreement.
    i voted yes coz he has proven himself able to win WDC and the team backing him up is strengthening and composed of proven engineers/ designers/ managers…..

  50. Hamilton leaving McLaren – My first reaction was surprise and shock. It’s like your first-born child leaving home.
    On the other hand, Hamilton isn’t daft. He knows that the engine manufacturers will have a pivotal role in the changes coming to F1 soon. He knows Ross Brawn’s track record. I’m sure that being brought in to replace a 7-time WDC feels pretty sweet, too. Hamilton is known to get on well with Rosberg. Moving to Mercedes has got a lot of positives.
    Also, had McLaren made fewer botched calls and pitstops, Hamilton would have been close to the top of the WDC standings right now. He wouldn’t have risked losing focus in the team by moving out, under those circumstances. McLaren lost Hamilton by not being as good as they promised.

  51. He is a very overrated driver. Simple. But it’s a shame about someone like Gary Paffett, who has been waiting for an F1 drive and will now have to continue to wait. If Lewis had vacated his seat earlier, then time and money wasted on LH would not have been in vain and Gary could have managed to get serious results with McLaren. In fact Mercedes would be better going with Paffett (and a lot, lot cheaper).

    1. You mention Paffett, so it can’t be that You don’t know what sport You’re talking about. Overrated? Surely You jest? Wow, it takes all types I guess…

  52. Reminds me of when Rossi left Honda, everybody thought it was a baffling move and look at how that turned out. Lewis is better off. Merc aren’t better than Mclaren right now, but now he has no.1 status and the opportunity to build a team around him to his liking I can’t see him doing badly especially with the 2014 rule changes. Switching to a struggling team didn’t hurt Michael in ’96

  53. Good Decision from Lewis. I think it is important to come out of the cocoon and go out in open . Well, Lewis is young, it is a small world. When will he take chances if not now ? For him he has the talent and speed on his side. That is is what matters the most. If you have the talent teams come to you. It is very simple. Who knows Lewis could be the Silver Bullet for the Silver Arrows and the next chapter in History that he is going to write together with Ross Brawn.

    Not to mention, Michael Left Benetton , Fernando Renault and Button Brawn GP after winning a world championship and had not done all that bad at all.

  54. Hamilton has his career back to front, he started in a top drive back in 2007, has had one difficult season car wise in 2009 – which to his credit he turned around, I wonder if this move will be the part that most drivers get out of the way early on i.e. struggling in a uncompettive car. Of course Brawn is a genius and the team (Merc) seems to be getting more professional every year so anything is possible… I believe 2013 will be a write off for hamilton and perhaps he can be back up there in 2014.
    either that or he’s finished…

  55. I believe Lewis is a rarity in that his natural talent is in the same bracket as Senna and Jim Clark, I don’t feel he will be able to show this at Mercedes.

  56. If I were to choose between Ross Brawn and Whitmarsh; and the future prospects of Mercedes vs Mclaren’s looming financial woes. I think the choice is obvious.
    Well done Lewis!

    1. thatscienceguy
      29th September 2012, 6:15

      Instead you have the very real risk of Mercedes pulling the plug on the team entirely. McLaren aren’t going to go backwards financially that much, this isn’t a Williams situation I don’t believe.

  57. One point of analysis Keith did not put in is the prospect of continued Mercedes commitment. It’s a rich company. It’s not a Peugeot or GM. But the world auto industry is not stable now. Europe obviously is in bad shape. Mercedes is a niche/luxury brand in the U.S. The only major growth market is China, and that is one scary tiger to ride now. Probaby the key to Hamilton’s fortune now is commercial real estate prices in Beijing. If things start looking tight for Mercedes, and if the car looks poor out of the box in 2014, they could do a Toyota.

    Which brings up another nuance here for Hamilton. He doesn not have to stay at Mercedes. That’s obvious but a key point here is the branding. If he is able to roll up a lucrative personal portfolio of sponsors, he could walk back into McLaren or anywhere with 8 figures of personal sponsorship if things go sour at Mercedes. He won’t need to be quibbling about 20m or 30m in contract sallary. He’ll have 100m in personal income to play with.

  58. Was expecting Lewis to stay at Mclaren so this was surprising for me but i don’t think it is a bad move. Mercedes have recruited some leading engineers and off course have a great team leader in Ross Brawn. Mercedes have 2 opportunities to do better first in 2013 and again in 2014.
    2013 Opportunity:
    (i) so many new top engineers will show their effect
    (ii) struggling for 3 years must have taught them important lessons and identified new directions
    (iii) stabilized regulations for 3 years now, so teams will naturally get closer performance wise as we have also seen this year with many teams winning and achieving podiums.
    (iv) stabilized Pirelli tyres.

    2014 Opportunity:
    (i) All New Engine
    (ii) Significant changes in regulations.

    Being a Lewis fan i hope Lewis and Mercedes win big at least once in the next 2 years. Best of luck to Lewis and Mercedes.

  59. No. Because of Rosberg :P

  60. why would he do this, Mclaren have backed him since he was 10 and have given him a world championship. He has a career in that team. also at the moment he can win in the Mclaren but not in the Mercedes although Mercedes should have a good car when the rules change. THIS IS FOOLISH LEWIS!
    good luck to Perez ( world champion of the future)

  61. If Lewis should want to stand at an elevated position following a race next year he’ll most likely have to do so by sitting on Ross Brawn’s shoulders.

  62. Despite all the speculation part of me felt that Hamilton would stay at McLaren, or at the very least the decision would drag on for a few weeks, so reading the headline when I logged this morning was bit of a surprise.

    Having said that I can see why Hamilton decided to sign for Mercedes. And I don’t think money was the main factor.

    While it hasn’t gone as far as Alonso and McLaren it seemed that Hamilton was not on as good terms with McLaren as he used to be, and the Spa tweets wouldn’t have helped.

    Also on the performance side of things I don’t think it as big a gamble as some make out. He probably would only have been offered a multi year contract. So he couldn’t have signed a one year deal at McLaren and waited to see if Vettel goes to Ferrari in 2014 as some have suggested.

    Although McLaren challenge for victories almost every season in the last decade they have only won one WDC and no WCC, they have to start paying for engines from next year so that means less money on the rest of the car and then there is the big rule changes in 2014.

    I would have thought this deal should silence those rumours suggesting Mercedes may quit F1, and considering some of the people at the team, mainly Ross Brawn, in the medium term Mercedes could be the better bet.

    2012 has been the first season while Hamilton has been at McLaren that they have had the overall fastest car, for me 2007 and 2008 Ferrari and McLaren were about the same and if I had to pick I would have said Ferrari, yet through various operational mistakes and reliability problems it looks as though they won’t win the WDC and if they win the WCC a large part of it will be down to Red Bull’s reliability problems.

    I think Hamilton has almost as good a chance of winning a title in the next three years at Mercedes as he does at McLaren, whether he does win one or not will be hard to say as I think it will be hard to predict which drivers and teams will be on top in the next three years.

  63. I believe it is the right move for Lewis and I dont believe the nonsense that protrays him as immature or greedy or the rest. I accept that McLaren and some fans will be ****** off and will want to believe the worst but the fact is that Lewis is a rare and exceptional talent and I am a Schumacher/Ferrari fan. Before people jump to let me know that Schumi drives for Mercedes I would like to point out that I like both whether or not they are together. Lewis as a McLaren driver was my “natural enemy” in sporting terms and I watched him very closely in the early years to find weaknesses and criticisms but all that happened was that I became a huge fan of Lewis too. McLaren are a great team, the history and results attest to that but trying to play hardball with Lewis over his contract extension was not the smartest move they have ever made. Lewis did his talking on the track and that has meant that he has a better deal and a new start. Mercedes seem very serious about the future and all the if’s and buts are just that. F1 history is too short and has gone through too many technical changes both good and bad to come to any conclusions from percieved patterns in the past as suggested by some blogs. Right now most fans can judge for themselves what any given situation in f1 can bring without the extra padding that certain commentators and writers feel is necessary to add in to show their “inside knowledge”. One thing is clear, the only one that seems to have his finger on the button in that respect is Eddie Jordan, he got it right while the rest were still muddling about right up to the announcement from Mercedes this morning and even then it was the Daily Mail and not the F1 news sites that broke the story. I believe it will be a good fresh start for both Lewis and McLaren and even better for the fans in the long run. And of course Checo. Roll on the next race.

  64. Love the pure conceit on the part of “fans” implying that they have a genuine right to pass judgment on whether or not Hamilton’s move was a “good one” for him. Obviously he believes it’s the best move – or else he wouldn’t have made it. Will he win a WDC in the next 3 years? Sure, why not? But if he doesn’t – oh well, at least he had the guts to radically-alter his situation when it became clear that things were broken for him w/ McLaren. Good luck to Lewis, I say!

    1. @joepa

      the pure conceit on the part of “fans” implying that they have a genuine right to pass judgment

      Lighten up, people are just wondering whether this is going to work out for him, we’re not condemning him to death for daring to leave to leave the silver team for the other silver team.

      things were broken for him w/ McLaren

      In six seasons with McLaren Hamilton has won at least two races per year plus a world championship.

      Was being at McLaren really that badly “broken” for Hamilton? Has any other driver had more consistently competitive machinery over the same period?

      1. It’s disappointing on one hand to see Hamilton leave a team that he’s synonymous with, but on the other, we have to accept that the relationship was broken, or else he wouldn’t have left.

        What I would be interested to know is for whom the relationship was “more” broken. Obviously yes McLaren tried to keep him by offering to renew his contract, but how badly did they want to keep him? One hears claims that Whitmarsh favors Button over Hamilton and that Dennis’s departure from role of principle altered the team’s “viibe” such that it somehow impacted Hamilton’s sense of “comfort” there.

        Perhaps a more interesting question would’ve been along the lines of “Did McLaren need Hamilton more than Hamilton needed McLaren, or vice versa?” ??

        Not implying that everyone is conceited in commenting on this, since you’re obviously not and have it in perspective. But the folks “judging,” attacking, or mocking Hamilton or otherwise pronouncing this to be themselves need to lighten up and keep it in perspective.

        It must be scary/troubling to some degree to commit to a team whose car would appear to not be the equal of McLaren’s, to put it mildly. But… “Ordinary men avoid trouble. Extraordinary men turn it to their advantage.”

  65. AT LEAST Lewis will get to keep all his trophies now.

    1. He’ll have to win them first!

      1. Comment of the MONTH, right there! XD

  66. A difficult day for this blog and Keith…

    The poll does not reflect the title of the article. Lewis might win this year at McLAren…. and any of the following 3 ones with at least the same chance he will have at Mercedes so even if you answer yes, it might be a wrong move. Freudian slip?

    Don’t really know if it is good or bad move for Lewis, but it is for McLaren. They have not capitalised (at least, fully capitalised) on their last most strategic investment: Mr Hamilton. An extremely talented driver they lose before he has reached his peak performance.

    I don’t see fireworks out of Woking for outsmarting Ferrarii “snatching Perez under their nose”. Without going into how much you can dis/like Ferrari, this is a bit of an overstatement.

    I don’t know if it exists in English, but in Spanish, my mother tongue, there is a saying that goes : “if you kill by the sword, you die by the sword”

    I think it applies to McLAren, the only, Perez permitting, only clear loser so far.

    1. @astonished

      A difficult day for this blog and Keith…


      For what it’s worth, two big driver moves in one day is great for me, I’m a pig in muck*.

      The poll does not reflect the title of the article. Lewis might win this year at McLaren…. and any of the following 3 ones with at least the same chance he will have at Mercedes so even if you answer yes, it might be a wrong move. Freudian slip?

      I think you’re over-analysing it to a considerable degree. Hamilton wants to win championships. The ultimate measure of whether his move to Mercedes is successful is whether he wins championships. He’s signed a three-year contract. Hence the poll question.

      *If you don’t have that one in Spain, we say ‘as happy as a pig in muck’ to mean you’re pleased.

      1. it is just an opinion, do not over-analyse it.

        *más feliz que un cochino en el barro”, apparently we are pleased from time to time

  67. Michael Brown (@)
    28th September 2012, 18:34

    I didn’t answer the poll. We’ll see if 2014 puts Mercedes forward, or if Hamilton becomes the next Jacques Villeneuve.

  68. I’m sorry for both of them but Mercedes have failed to significantly improve thir car in three years. With the rule changesthey could do like Red Bull in 2009, i.e. jump to the front, but I personall doubt it.

  69. I don’t think Hameilton can win the championship with Mercedes.
    Mercedes has a long way until they can fight for title let’s bee honest.
    Let’s see!!!
    But Perez at McLaren no way man no way, bad move.

    1. @billadama-2

      I don’t think Hameilton can win the championship with Mercedes.
      Mercedes has a long way until they can fight for title let’s bee honest.

      How do you figure that??? Mercedes is Brawn which was a dominant team… they now have money coming in from Mercedes which is not a small time car dealer… and just to add a little bit…. It didn´t take long for the “beverage” team to win championships…. so if a “beverage” team can make it fairly quickly, why can´t an automotive giant, that will probably have the best engine on the grid, be able to accomplish it soon?? Not to mention that it has a team of exceptional people covering all different aspects of the sport onboard? They don´t have Newey but he´s been beaten before…

      But Perez at McLaren no way man no way, bad move.

      I totally agree with you on that one…. that was a bad move… I hope i get proven wrong though.

  70. I said yes, for 3 reasons
    a) I wondered what Bernie would want ?….hmmm….maybe a LH as champ would convince Merc’s to stay in F1 ?? Bernie needs Mercs and known LH generate more interest than any of drivers.
    b) Fixed rules ! Next years cars will be similar in terms of performance, so the Merc’s won’t be too far behind McLaren…etc anyway…. Championship will be won by one of the faster drivers.
    c) 2014 rules changes will place Merc drivers in box seat.

  71. I’m not as knowledgeable as most of you lot, but to me it seems more of a decision made by Lewis’s management company, than his will to win. Which is odd to me and more the sort of move an older driver might make to build himself up for retirement. I like the move though, Perez will do good i’m sure and with Button beside him, better.

  72. Is Mercedes the right move for Hamilton? We can agree or not. Mercedes may have a future project.
    Is for McLaren the right move to change hamilton by Checo? OBVIOUSLY NOT
    Why McLaren can let him??? For a young driver like Pérez
    Can McLaren win the championship in 2013 , 2014 OBVIOUSLY NOT

    1. I think that the Checko and Button line up have a good chance for the constructor championship. Good racer and point scores. Bad on Saturday, good on Sunday.

      1. +1
        WDC ? can’t see it ;with 2 drivers racking up the points like alonso is doing this year ? if they can sort out reliability the car is liable to be good enough and the constructors championship would be a real possibility !

  73. Well there is guy who won 7 WDC and couldn’t make it work, hope this pop star with 1 WDC by a mere point can show them how is done….

    On the other side 20 million a year, heck I drive HRT !

    One thing for sure don’t need to worry about thropies anymore, sometimes money is not enough to win, ask Redbull ….

  74. Hardbrakingmike
    28th September 2012, 20:22

    I just wonder how well Mclaren would have done if Lewis was already out of the team before the start of this season, leaving Button as their ‘main’ hopes of a WDC. It wouldnt look too great i reckon. I’m sure Perez will do well at the team, who knows, he may very well give Button a run for his money. But in terms of their chances of a WDC (let alone WCC), I’d say it would have been dramatically lowered than it already is.

    I dont know if Lewis going to Mercedes is the right choice, but Mclaren losing Lewis is certainly the wrong one

    1. Nick Jarvis (@)
      28th September 2012, 20:35

      I’m sure Perez is the third best driver in the world, after Alonso and Hamilton, and will acclimatise very well in the car which is an all rounder, and fast in qualifying, and in all conditions.

  75. Nick Jarvis (@)
    28th September 2012, 20:28

    If Kovalainen moves to Sauber i will become a huge Sauber fan. i love the Caterham team, but the Sauber team just seems so uber-cool and fresh, and with Kovalainen and a crazy Japanese i would become a real fan.

    1. thatscienceguy
      29th September 2012, 6:34

      I seem to remember Alguersuari was saying a few weeks ago he had exciting news about next year, I’m guessing it’s a contract with a silver S at the top.

  76. First happiness is having my laptop back…. But my head hurst with all this…

    Reason say Hamilton/ XIX Enterteinment/ Simon Fuller (the beggining of every that if wrong with the sport) took back decision based on money… Mercedes have had the “super” engineiring team and neither driver is still in championship… neither constructor… Mclaren for all their faults has create winning cars in recent years, and Hamilton has always have a chance at the championship…

    I don´t know how Perez will do at Mclaren, everyones is talking about how he manages tyres, but I think a big part of this is due to Sauber car…

    What do I knoe anyway, this is gonna be interesting next year… and starting to get the porn corn ready for the 2013- 2014 silly season and Vettel to Ferrari saga… cheers …

    1. @celeste

      starting to get the porn corn ready

      Please tell me you meant to write ‘popcorn’. The alternative is deeply worrying…

      1. @keithcollantine Yes, I was… I´m sorry… now I will go hide in a hole…

        I really need a edit button here

        1. porn-corn and hiding it in a hole, “blush”

    2. Another strong contender for comment of the day surely…

  77. Seems to be the same people who criticized Hamilton for coming into F1 with a good car (as if that means anything – Michael Andretti went to Mclaren in 1993, 2nd in constructors Championship that year, look how that panned out.) are criticizing him for leaving the team that “Nurtured him”

    My take on it is:

    He wants a new challenge, it just seems stagnant at Mclaren to me since Whitmarsh took over. Lewis goes to Merc with a clean slate and the chance to build the team around his considerable talent. Thy have some brilliant technical staff now and if they get it right will be hard to beat!

    At the same time…if it doesnt work out….he’s won 20 gps so far in his career, I doubt he’d go 3 years at Mercedes without winning a couple more….he’ll end up in the top 10 of all time in terms of wins…hardly a bad career aye??

    What I’d love is to see him in a championship winning capable car against Alonso in a season long battle for the Honours!

    If he never wins another championship, he will and many other people will feel he’s under achieved with the amount of talent he has. But hats off for taking the risk…and I dont think its as big a risk as some people want to make out…

  78. And (with this) F-1 is becoming motorsport fortune of NBA.

  79. Of course he made the right move. Whitmarsh is a Button guy and LH is Ron’s guy. If you want to get rid of someone what would you do? A – offer him half what he is worth and pretend it’s the economy… Then really upset him by offering a serious package only when the board says to MW “what are you playing at?”
    The Mac board should ask themselves some searching questions about the management, or perhaps ask their computer which works out their race strategy to tell them what they should have done! Ooops too late, sounds like a few of their races…

    1. half what he is worth

      What makes you think they offered him half?

  80. Will Hamilton’s move bring him another title? Only time will tell
    Is Hamilton moving to MErc the best move? I’d say yes. He seems to be very much dissilussioned with Mclaren, and I think that mentally he needs a new environment to work in.

  81. Well once we get to Melbourne and the whole world sees that the Mercedes will be a second off the pace, and Button dominates Perez, then it’ll be evident that it was the wrong decision…

  82. Between Hamilton, Perez, and Rosberg who will score the most points in each 2013, 2014, and 2015?
    1. Perez 2. Rosberg 3. Hamilton
    1. Perez 2. Hamilton 3. Rosberg
    1. Perez 2. Hamilton 3. Rosberg

    That being said, Hamilton will most likely be in more photo shoots.

  83. Now with more information flowing in from Ross and Martin, it seems clear that Lewis chose Merc to take a further challenge, well, at the cost of money. McLaren offered Lewis more than GBP 25mil while Merc was offering around GBP 15mil, and Lewis chose Merc? This is interesting and definitely shows he wants to make jump in his career in a more wholesome way.
    It may go either way. But one thing for sure is that, the result will be his making too. Really big bet.

    1. ” 25 mil GBP from mclaren”
      mate where you did you got that figure any source

      1. @smokinjoe, That’s what MW said in a recent interview, saying McLaren offered him the highest pay in current grid. Current top is 25mil Alonso of course.

  84. Too many interesting AND long comments, I can’t read them all. So in short I answered YES. Hamilton needs to breath new air. I could elaborate on the latter, but I guess most people get the idea.

  85. Today is the day that every F1 forum goes into thermonuclear meltdown.

    1. Today is the day that McLaren begins development of new Tooned character.

      1. hahaha, for sure, I bet the guys already got some sketches of a tooned Perez.

        1. Maybe this character can give them some inspiration

  86. I voted no because I don’t believe he’ll win a title with them in the next 3 years. However I think he made the right move. He is clearly not entirely happy at McLaren, many journalists are talking about him growing up with the team and l think that does have an impact on your relationship and your mentality of your position.
    I think we’ll now see what Lewis it’s really capable of, can he lead and inspire a team to constantly improve and ultimately win?

  87. I also think his decision is wrong in the short term – meaning at least 2013- but maybe good in long term.
    But it is a decision that sooner or later had to be made. Hamilton was not happy anymore there and Mclaren couldn’t operate as the would. So in the end i think its better this way for both parties.
    As for Mercedes they seem to have a dream team of engineers so the next years would be for sure much better.
    Beside that, i don’t think that this last 3 years with Schumacher’s developing help would go for nothing.

  88. nicole scherzinger, has ruined hamilton, I don’t know what their dynamics are but ever since she’s been in the picture its been a struggle (mentally) to focus for hamilton. I am not a big mclaren fan, but I know hamilton has immense speed. I hope this is a fresh start for him, although I have a feeling beating nico is not going to be easy.

    1. Lol, they should never have let her opperate the wheel gun in the pitstops eh. Nicole is part of Lewis’s adventure and based on his recent performances a few of the other drivers could do with a “Nicole” in their lives. :)

      1. I am obviously referring to the turmoil of 2011. When Jenson outscored Hamilton, and where by Hamilton’s own admittance was facing personal issues.

  89. I would have stayed at mclaren, they have a long long history of being competitive and winning. Also its home for hamilton, he knows the place inside out and at mercedes there is no promise that their car is going to be as quick as mclarens. Nico will have to up his game andif he does there could be sparks flying in the mercs garage with those two driving quick.

    1. Mercedes have a longer history of competitive winning, remember Alfred Neubauer and his team in the 30s and 40s.

  90. Still wonder why Red Bull didn’t sign Lewis earlier, would have thoroughly enjoyed the Lewis/Vettel pairing.

  91. “I think for Lewis, the attraction was being part of that building structure – the creation of the team. Not walking into a ready formed, successful package; it was being part of the process of building that package.”

    Almost reads like Brawn is already making excuses or giving Lewis the heads up that the package may not be competitive next year so be aware.

    I just don’t think Lewis has the patience for a building project. Also as for Mercedes what evidence does Hamilton show that he can build a team? He walked into Mclaren already a team built up.

    One thing is for certain, it will be interesting to see:
    1. If he can win some races
    2. If he can turn Mercedes competitive
    3. How good Nico Rosberg really is (People often assumed Schumi is a broken Barometer i.e. not as good as before)
    4. How long it will take till he spits the dummy out of his mouth.

    If he wants to model underwear, be the face of brand X or Y then he has the right management and team to allow him to do so. If he wants to win world titles then he should take a leaf out of Vettel and Alonso’s book and focus on your racing.

    1. :D I think both Vettel and Alonso have a lot to learn from Lewis.
      He is the star of of F1 today.

      1. That’s the difference between serial winners, Alonso, Vettel, Schumacher, Mika etc. They focused on their driving. Hamilton seems to be trying to release an album, movie career, and F1 driver.

        The XIX (The 19) entertainment management are the only party guaranteed success out of this deal with Lewis taking all the risk. They seemingly are trying to create a rock star driving an F1 car.

        I hope Merc can be competitive because without a car for Hamilton to fight for the title would be a loss for F1 fans. We want to see the best drivers fighting at the front and we know Hamilton is one of the best and if he is not fighting at the front will deprive us of quality racing drivers battling it out for the win.

    2. Vette’s serial winning is incidental (as was Button’s WDC).
      He needs much superior car to dominate (as per Schumacher).
      Now the of Alonso, Lewis and Ayrton Senna are in a league of their own.
      I hope the Alonso/Vettel pairing happens in 2014 so this becomes obvious for all to see.

      1. How can Hamilton be’ comparendo with Alonso or Senna ? He hasn’t done anything to deserve that or has he ?
        It very well be Lewis at Mclaren to much energy wasted in the wrong issues

        1. No he hasn’t done anything, only beat Alonso in his first year in F1 in the same car but apart from that a WDC, maybe another one soon. Oh and been the most exciting driver since Senna but no not much.

          1. I rest my case…

  92. I’m just surprised at the speed – what’s hurry? Even if McLaren had lined up Perez I don’t think they gained anything from a PR point of view. its just a tit for tat kinda
    response from mclaren

    1. He was sacked officially not the other way around probably

  93. Lewis will definitely win a couple races next season. Wish we could bet on this.
    The MGP car has been three years in the making already.
    They were unlucky not be the fastest car this season, must have been a small (yet difficult to fix) technical glitch.

  94. I believe Hamilton would have inked a definite No.1 clause in his contract with Mercedes. IMO, the seed to all this was Hamilton’s meeting with Red Bull last year in Canada. Despite all the PR that McLaren managed to convince the world that everything had been smooth, the relationship had turned sour between for which I blame Hamilton entirely. And Button’s results in 2011 coupled with LH’s error strewn races tilted the advantage in McLaren to Button and LH would have woken up to see that he is no more the force in the team. And all the constant bickering and jealousy towards the happier Button side of the garage showed his frail personality.

    I see more merits for LH and McLaren with this move as LH would have strongly secured a No.1 claim in his contract and McLaren can begin to deal with men. Despite Mercedes misadventures in the first three years to build their German national team, I reckon they would be a strong force in the future. I wouldnt be surprised if Merc win the title with LH next year.

  95. I commented here on the day when that wing issue happened, confident that McLaren will loose LH and also the constructors championship with these failures to utalise LH skills and determinations.

    At least now he will be going to a confident team led by Brawn and Rosberg who is the best ambassador for F1. Good on him on all accounts IMO.

  96. He will regret it

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

    This was one of the first things I thought of when it was announced he was leaving McLaren!

    +1 for mentioning it @keithcollantine

    A car I’d take over the new P1 any day.

  98. 2013 focus on Lewis Hamilton will be immense. Surely exciting.

  99. Moron (@fokkinmoron)
    6th October 2012, 9:11

    McLaren will get Hamilton back for way less than they were paying him before he went to Mercedes. After his time at Mercedes in which his failure to win a WDC and only a few races on the podium, he will be ready for a new change of scenery and McLaren, eager to continue their Affirmative Action program, will gladly welcome Hamilton back….at a reduced salary of course.

  100. McLaren are a curates egg as a team , sometimes they have a car capable of winning races , sometimes they don’t ; Hamilton has won plenty of races in his time there
    but Hamilton lusts for one thing in F1, and one thing only , to win the WDC …and here McLarens record is pretty poor ; ask yourself a question …would Hamilton rather win 6 races in a season or win one and the WDC …a no brainer I would suggest

    so he has taken the brave decision to join mercedes on the basis that they now have the technical team to produce a fast reliable car …it doesn’t have to be the fastest , because he is

  101. mercedes will have the strongest engine come 2014. but only time will tell.

  102. Formula Indonesia (@)
    11th September 2014, 15:13

    Hamilton defied the doubters, he can win 2014. I know its a little bit awkward but most f1 fans prediction was wrong

  103. Well then, this is funny reading it now.

    1. The redundancy and the egg-on-face moments in this article/debate are priceless. Classic.

  104. Nice Read :)

  105. Hamilton (if anyone happens to read this) has now won 2 WDC since the switch to Merc AMG Petronas and looks on form to do it again in 2016. The comments by various people here to re-read is hilarious because not only did he win, but the confidence many had in Nico that was unfounded has been shown to be misplaced. Nico has for two seasons now (more so 2015 than 2014) shown that he is easily put on edge and allows his nerves to get the best of him in the critical moments, and that is why he might not ever be wdc. Only time will tell, but as someone in the current looking back on these past remarks, a good laugh is to be had.

    1. I am sure as hell having a great laugh!

    2. It’s really depressing reading this 7 years later as Mercedes have won each year. Lewis proved us all wrong with his move, man knew what he was doing. McLaren have gone completely downhill 2013 onwards.

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