Hamilton says he doesn’t regret Mercedes move

2012 United States Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton denies he regrets deciding to move to Mercedes for 2013 despite the team not having scored in the four races since the announcement was made.

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said last month he thinks Hamilton has regretted the decision.

Asked about that in the United States Grand Prix press conference Hamilton said: “I was a little bit surprised to hear that.

“It, clearly, is absolutely not the case. But I’ve got a great team, I’ve been with them such a long time, so I’m sure everyone has emotions within the team.

“But I’m still here giving 100% to them for the last two races. And of course it’s quite emotional for me but I’m very, very happy with the decision I’ve made.”

2012 United States Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
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    72 comments on “Hamilton says he doesn’t regret Mercedes move”

    1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      15th November 2012, 18:02

      He doesn’t regeret leaving a team which gave him glory 4 years ago 8and in F1 that sounds like eternity now) but that has regulerly let him down this year. In comparison, he is going to a team which will probably let him down on the first year but than willl adjust to his style and maybe let him get the wdc again…. eventually

      1. idd and the new engine rules could really make that a possiblity

      2. You obviously missed how great Schumacher’s reliability has been early in the year. -.-

      3. This was a great shout @omarr-pepper

    2. that’s very clever of Martin W to fend off questions regarding Perez’s maturity when it comes to wheel to wheel racing and distracting everyone by still talking about Lewis’s decision.

      1. @icemangrins Not really, given that the question he was asked which prompted the response was “Do you think [Hamilton] has already regretted his decision?”

        1. William Brierty
          15th November 2012, 20:40

          Yeah. Whitmarsh clever?

        2. Well then how clever of him to steer the conversation in that direction that promted questions about Hamilton rather than Perez <————————–Sarcasm (just in case:)

    3. I’m not particularly a Hamilton fan, but I’ll be curious to see what he and Mercedes can do with the car in the off-season and what he can do with it next year. It will be interesting to see his reactions if the car doesn’t perform to the top of the grid like he is generally used to.

      1. I agree, I think it’ll make for a good season. I also want to see how Button goes, and the reaction if the Mclaren turns out to be a very good car next year. As it was at the start of this year.

      2. well going by Mclaren’s performance in the past few years, Lewis should be used to it really. I wish I was being cynical, but this is a good dose of truth

      3. I agree with this and it’s great to have one of the top drivers in yet another team with enough money to contend. We now have 5 top drivers in 5 teams which could contend for race victory, next season couldn’t be beter on paper … Not sure the 5 teams will have great cars at the start of the season but not so important if the others are closely packed and take points from each other, really curious to see how it will go

    4. Yeah Lewis just wait…

    5. “But I’m very, very happy with the decision I’ve made.”
      Let’s see in one year.

      1. Whats next year got to do with it?

        Do you think Hamilton expects to be fighting Redbulls next year? I very much doubt he thinks he will be.

        Did Alonso expect to be fighting for the title in 2008 with Renault? No. His head was focused on the long term, as is Hamiltons, regarding the big 2014 rule changes.

        1. I agree with you.

          Sometimes to go on you have to fall back.

        2. Agree with you there. Hamilton has to know that there’s a good chance it’ll take a couple of seasons to get Mercedes into a position where it’s fighting for the WDC, but if he’s patient and can grow and build a team it’ll be a great achievement and I imagine quite satisfying for him!
          I still think next year’s Merc might be something special, looking at the team Brawn has put together.

        3. You can argue that Alonso’s head was firmly somewhere else – He already had the contract with Ferrari.

      2. Sometimes you have to take one step backwards to go two steps forwards. Whether that phrase will hold true will only be told with time…

      3. He might be happy but thats one too many ‘very’ in that sentence in my opinion.

    6. Why would he regret leaving a team which has failed to win a constructors’ championship 1999 not because of a lack of speed but because of their uncanny ability to screw up badly? For such an experienced team I should expect more of them, after all to finish first first you have to finish.

      1. It was 1998 and their only one in the last 20 years.

    7. He’s certainly looked noticeably more happy and relaxed in interviews since it was announced, so I don’t see any reason to doubt him. Hopefully he stays happy!

      1. Actually I’m a little thrown off by how nonchalantly he has dealt with all the failures this year. Usually the right response is to jump on the Team Principal and scream until their ears are hurting after the 2nd failure. He just waltzes and hugs them – it’s a little eerie. It’s almost like throwing in the towel and giving up on them.

        1. I agree. It’s nice to be nice guy but it get’s you nowhere. It is interesting to imagine how Lewis’ big hero; Senna would have reacted to all these mistakes. He certainly wouldn’t have hugged the team. He would rather have set them so straight that it would have eventually helped!

          1. @poul so if he acts with class and dignity and doesn’t lash out at the team, it’s his fault because he’s not helping them realize their screw-ups? the guy really can’t catch a break…geez.

            1. Hold on, when exactly did I blame him or tell him to lash out at all? I just think a different approach probably might have worked to his advantage. I am not there to catch the details of what is going on but certainly some drivers would have been less accepting.

              I don’t think Senna would have lashed out but I think he would have demanded the engineers to spend all their waken hours with him to scrutinize every single bit of data to prevent repetition. I also think some of those engineers would have hated Senna for it – until they actually won that championship in return for the hard work.

            2. @poul

              There are some other key elements (which don’t know about) that aided Hamilton’s decision to leave McLaren. Since the posting of telemetry data on twitter and extended discussions on the contract, his attitude towards the team had completely changed; this change happened way before his announcement to join Mercedes. What is more strange is that McLaren were very quick to announce the signing of Perez before the news of Hamilton got out. Why? Probably to make it look like they were not the ones who lost out. I believe signing of Perez was a knee-jerk reaction. Now, Martin Whitmarsh is clearly tasting sour grapes because he spends more time and energy talking about Hamilton’s decision than Hamilton himself. Clearly it is bothering him and he is trying to reflect it. Personally, he should be wishing Hamilton the best and not reminding him that he is going to regret it. Not a very nice thing to do by MW.

        2. ¿The right response? I would’ve expect that from the 2008 Hamilton but now I think he is more mature and his ultimate response is changing teams. He doesn’t need to scream how bad his team is and that wouldn’t make him better.

        3. There’d hardly be any point to him throwing a fit… and it seems more like McLaren has given up on him, rather than him giving up on them. How many failures has he had since announcing his decision to leave? All of a sudden they’ve forgotten how to screw a car together properly. Not hinting at anything dirty going on behind the scenes, but Lewis has been driving his heart out: qualifying & racing well, doing his job, & is it four races in a row now he’s had reliability issues. He’s not given up at all, IMO. He just knows there’s little hope for him doing any better this season. He knows just how capable McLaren are at turning sure wins into losses & knows he won’t have to deal with it next year (not sure if Merc will be capable of giving him a car capable of winning, but that’s a new problem he’ll have to deal with if that’s the case). I’d be upbeat & optimistic too if I were in his shoes.

          1. +1
            And good luck to JB next year.

          2. +2 Also people seem to forget the Lewis Hamilton of last year, when he was so more prone to mistakes, more rush in his moves and overall less mature. This year Hamilton has been pretty impressive and consistent in his performance and understood the car a lot better than Jenson Button did. The fact that he speaks his mind in front of the press more frequently than other drivers do has probably distracted people from his racing performance.

            At the end of the day, the fact that he chose to move to another team means there was something that didn’t feel right. It doesn’t matter if McLaren go on and win 5 championships in a row next year on, or if Lewis does so with another team. In hindsight it will be easy to judge (if we must), but today I respect his choice and I recognise that he is a great driver.

            In fact I think he is a much better driver today than he was when he won the championship back in 2008. It’s just the package of team-driver that doesn’t work anymore for whatever reason. If we must appoint fault to someone then we would have to say it’s both the team’s and Lewis’ fault for the split (it never is one party’s fault), but I think McLaren’s share is just a bit bigger this time.

          3. Despite Eddie Jordan’s protestations, I don’t think the recent McLaren troubles have been down to the eponymous ‘finger trouble’ – they’ve been failures in key sealed parts of the car that have just broken down.

            Jenson’s Monza retirement was the same fuel issue as Lewis’s AD retirement.

            Lewis’s gearbox just ‘broke’ in Singapore, possibly due to the impacts of the mickey-mouse chicane.

            The damper problems in Japan & India were also running failures, since they happened the car was on track (the Japan issue couldn’t be fixed because the car was in Parc Ferme).

            Yes, all units could have been manufactured better at source, but it’s hardly the teams fault if they give up during a GP, especially if there’s no outside influences like impacts.

            It’s worth mentioning that we don’t actually know what Red Bull’s alternator position is – I believe some journalists revealed that they were running their last available 2011-spec Alternators in Abu Dhabi. Have they managed to fix the 2012 version or could this all fall over if the weather suddenly gets really hot in Austin?

        4. OmarR-Pepper (@)
          15th November 2012, 19:40

          just PR, inside the walls he was probably screaming to Martin

    8. I don’t understand how anyone could think he would regret this dissission, becasue it dsnt matter if Merc don’t have the best car, becasue at McLaren even when they have had the best car they have been unable to actually compete really in the championship, for what ever reason.

      1. 2007 aside (which they effectively won in all but allotted points), McLaren haven’t finished outside the top 3 in every WCC since (IIRC) 2004.

        Yes, they haven’t managed to sew it up, but they’re probably the most consistently competitive team in the past 20 years.

    9. why would a driver regret leaving a team that hasn’t won a constructors championship in 14 years and have only won the drivers once, and that was by the leaving driver. Martin needs to focus on how Perez and Button are going to be on pole and win races. I can’t see that very often with those two.

      1. So, are you talking about Mercedes or McLaren, because I’m pretty sure the Brackley outfit haven’t won more than one of either championship since 1973…

    10. Next year will look like he has made a mistake most probably, fighting for the lower end of the points whilst JB perhaps picks up the odd win. But i feel even with this likely situation next year he’ll be more motivated than ever to turn it around and make Mercedes a World Championship winning team in the coming years, something which even Schumacher couldn’t inspire.

      This is exactly the move Hamilton needs regardless of the Mercedes’ performance next year.

    11. I think more to the point – why would a driver openly admit a regret?

      Now I’m not saying Lewis is regretting the move – and I’m not saying he doesn’t. But he’d only position himself as a **** to the media if he said “I wish I hadn’t done that” – not to mention how such a statement would absolutely beautify relations between him and Mercedes

    12. I really wish someone would do to Williams what Hamilton plans on doing to Mercedes.

      1. I think this year’s Williams doesn’t need too much turning around. It’s a pretty good car that’s being driven by so-so drivers, IMO. Maldonado qualifies pretty well more often than not, but is erratic & very adept at throwing away points. He’s done better in the latter part of the season, but he’s still squandered more than a handful of points. Senna is a bit better than him at staying out of trouble, but he’s an awful qualifier. Plus I feel he’s just not that quick, & speed isn’t something you can teach at this level IMO. I’d imagine the inconsistency of the drivers must make it a nightmare for them to get meaningful data on how to improve the car also, but I’m no expert… just speculating. If they’d had a pair of solid drivers, I think Williams would’ve been right up there with Lotus, or close to it at least.

        1. Senna has the same issue as Button and Perez – his driving style just isn’t geared for aggressively turning the tyres on for a single lap.

    13. Diplomatic response from Hamilton, considering Whitmarsh’s comment. My personal reaction (and I’m sure Lewis’ upon first hearing it) was not printable in this family website.

      1. Hamilton 1, Whitmarsh 0. It’s absolutely great to see Lewis having the moral highground after all the screw-ups Mclaren have made this year and after those ‘i hope he fails’ bitter comments from Whitmarsh.

      2. There was not much Withmarsh could do though when asked explicitly if he tought Hamilton did regret it he answered that he can imagine that there have been moments like that. Hardly reason to get angry at MW, after all we wouldn’t expect him to say that he understands how great it all is (and Merc having not scored in the last couple of races would have likely made everyone doubt their desicion at times)?

    14. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
      15th November 2012, 20:53

      I’m sure that Ham knew his move to Mercedes was risky, but I think it was a move that he had to make for the sake of his own sanity. Sure it won’t be a cruise but it’s not mission impossible either. Ham must’ve thought long and hard about this decision, I doubt he’s approaching the situation with his eyes wide shut.

      Providing he can surround himself with a few good men and keep the collateral damage to a minimum, I have faith that he will be the top gun, the man to beat. His relationship with McLaren was volatile to say the least (almost war of the world’s esque). Too often I got the impression that it was about the colour of money and not the overall success of the team.

      F1 is a risky business at the best of times and if both parties aren’t on the same wave length (like Ham and McLaren appeared to be) its a cocktail for disaster of tropic thunder proportions. As for Whitmarsh, his thinly veiled attacks on Ham just emphasize his insecurity and lack of faith in Perez’s ability. That’s the truth, but Whitmarsh can’t handle the truth! He’s definitely in the minority report-ing his view that Ham regretted his move.

      Only time will tell what the future holds for Ham, hopefully this weekend we’ll see vanilla sky over the Austin circuit and Ham will win and in the process help keep the title hunt alive for the final race in Brazil.

      1. so youre saying hamilton is tom cruise? there certainly will be days of thunder ahead of HAM

      2. geez… it´s kind of creepy how you managed to get all those movies and quotes in there…. scary…

      3. Clearly it was done for the benefit of Alonso.

    15. Funny how so many people seem to know that Hamilton will be regretting his decision to leave McLaren next year. Just wait and see how things work out, then you can start giving your opinion.

    16. Off course, he is saying that. Either it is true or not.

      …But I think it’s true. I was stunned how Martin believed in the other interview that it was only money. I might be an idealist, but I somehow doubt it. Of course, it was not about pure performance either – few would argue with that, I think. Then what?…

    17. For those who believe the McLaren is fast while ignoring the efforts put-in by both drivers should think again.

      Now, lets assume the raw pace of that MP-4/27 is where JB puts it on race weekends. And lets also assume the W03’s pace is where Britney puts it on race weekends. Is it not logical that Hamilton will achieve the same with the W03 as he did with the 27?

      1. By achieving the same you must mean to be about 10% ahead of his team mate? I’m afraid that is exactly what he’ll achieve. The only problem is that 10% ahead of Rosberg is still some 50 points behind Button at this time of the season.

        Logically I don’t see how he will get as high as 6th unless Perez really falls to deliver. But I hope I am wrong.

    18. Hamilton’s absolutely made the right choice. As a McLaren fan the ineptness of McLaren not looking at the bigger picture is quite staggering for a top team. They may exist to “win” but that’s races at all costs and not championships! 3 incidents have sprung to mind:

      1) Kimi in 2005 Nurburgring was told to stay out despite a massively flat spotted tyre whilst leading.
      2) Lewis in 2007 China was told to stay on despite severly worn tyres in order to try and wrap the championship there and then -retired as he could barely turn when entering pits
      3) The calamity of operational/reliability problems this year (more of the former when they should’ve had a comfortable lead at the start of the season)

      Looking back at the past decade, I seem to remember McLaren making pit strategy errors and ending up being beaten by Ferrari/Schumi despite having the fastest car. You’d have thought they’d learn from them!

    19. Jeroen van Gemert
      15th November 2012, 22:58

      After 3 years Lewis wil realise his mistake,and he will return to Mclaren-Honda.

      1. I doubt there will be seat for him. Unless Perez fails to impress it will be him and Magnussen by then :-)

      2. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
        16th November 2012, 0:06

        I doubt that Ham would want to go back to McLaren, especially if Whitmarsh is still in charge. If he does leave Merc after 3 years, he’ll probably go to Lotus/Renault, or Williams.

    20. It’s a good attitude from Hamilton – whatever the flaws of Mercedes, regretting the decision to join the team before he actually moves to Brackley will only make life all the more difficult and unpleasant.

      1. I agree, it’s probably the best response he could have made to MW’s view.

        I’m very, very happy with the decision I’ve made

        I particularly like the fact he says “I” and not “we” at the end here, as in we, Simon Fuller and I.

    21. I can’t say who is regretting more – Mclaren or Lewis. Because Neither Perez nor Mercedes have scored a point since that announcement.

    22. I don’t think he has cause for regret, sure Mercedes have been dire recently but you can always rely on them to be massively underwhelming and disappointing (China this year excluded). That’s nothing new!

    23. Just had to quickly scan the responses here and I don’t know if anyone has pointed out that even though the Merc has appeared to only go backwards from where it starts on the grid lately, NR has had MS like bad luck lately, and I’m sure in the last 4 races had he not had two technical knockouts in a row, and then found himself climbing up the back of whoever it was, he would have in fact scored some points for Merc and that soundbyte would not be being used.

      I think LH HAD to move from Mac due to things that go way beyond just what car would be better for him for 2013.

    24. Reading between the lines, there seems to be more bitterness from Whitmarsh as opposed to Hamilton. Hamilton was very diplomatic in his choice of words, very mature. Whitmarsh was more like a 16 year old society girl who had just been dumped by the hired help! I really, really hope the Mercedes deal works out for Lewis and that comes from somebody who is far from a fan.
      I used to have alot of respect for McLaren as a team, but I am beginning to find that they do alot of talking and precious little else. Very political and very boring!

      1. Yet Hamilton was not mature last year when he admitted that off-track distractions cost him on Sundays, so maybe Whitmarsh is still ticked about that kind of squandering of resources.

        I personally think LH’s decision was one he had to make, and I think it will be a good challenge for him and good for we the viewing audience. It was time to move on, so to me there’s no point in either LH or MW dwelling on what is already done. If Whitmarsh is now saying things like he hopes LH realizes his mistake, then I think that just proves that LH needed to leave that atmosphere. Not at all any more about who will have the better car in 2013. It’s about much bigger stuff than that. Like enjoying going to work so you can thrive.

        1. I don’t think McLaren can legitimately complain about “squandering resources” in 2011. Even with Hamilton’s goofs, both drivers were bringing in the points. At the end of the day, drivers standings don’t count as far as the Concorde agreement is concerned, constructor’s standings count, and there was no way McLaren was gonna catch RB. Coming 2’nd in the constructors standings was the best that they could do as a team, and Hamilton did a good job when it came to getting them there. Yes, his bonuses did get affected because of his goofs,but the damage to the team was not that great.

      2. Spot on mate ! I have lost interest in Mclaren after their periodic goof ups .. I find it a little too strange that it happens only to LH everytime .. and yep they talk talk and talk . MW should be sacked. Hopefully Lewis can bring some improvement to Merc even next year if not win races

    25. Fudge Ahmed (@)
      15th November 2015, 14:48

      Meanwhile in 2015…


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