Lewis Hamilton says it is 'time for a fresh challenge' after swapping his McLaren for Mercedes

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

Speculation surrounding the future of Lewis Hamilton came to an end today with the announcement that the former world champion is to join Mercedes.

The 27-year-old from Stevenage has signed a three-year deal with the Brackley based team, ending a 14-year association with McLaren.

Today's announcement appears to spell the end of Michael Schumacher's disappointing comeback, with the seven-time world champion due to retire for a second time. Nico Rosberg, a close friend of Hamilton's, will remain at Mercedes.

Meanwhile, McLaren have been quick to announce Hamilton's replacement at Mclaren, so quick in fact it was announced before Hamilton had officially revealed he had left the Woking based side. Their new driver is Mexican Sergio Perez, with the 22-year-old, who is yet to win a Grand Prix, joining Jenson Button.

Rumours have been flying around about Hamilton's future for months, although a move to the Silver Arrows still represents something of a shock. Hamilton was signed up to McLaren's driver development program at the age of 13 and it was Ron Dennis' team that provided him with a drive in Formula One and powered him to an incredible world title triumph in 2008. Yet it would appear a change weighed more heavily for Hamilton than remaining loyal to McLaren.

"It is now time for me to take on a fresh challenge and I am very excited to begin a new chapter racing for the Mercedes Formula One Team," Hamilton said today.

"Mercedes-Benz has such an incredible heritage in motorsport, along with a passion for winning, which I share.

"Together, we can grow and rise to this new challenge. I believe that I can help steer the Silver Arrows to the top and achieve our joint ambitions of winning the world championships."

The move to Mercedes will see Hamilton team up with Ross Brawn, the man behind Button's title triumph in 2009 and Ferrari's incredibly successful spell during Schumacher's better years.

"I am delighted to welcome Lewis Hamilton to our team," Brawn said today.

"The arrival of a driver of Lewis' calibre is a testament to the standing of Mercedes-Benz in Formula One and I am proud Lewis shares our vision and ambition for the success of the Silver Arrows.

"I believe the combination of Lewis and Nico will be the most dynamic and exciting pairing on the grid next year, and I am looking forward to what we can achieve together.

"Over the past three years we have been putting in place the foundations and building blocks that are needed to compete regularly for the world championship.

"Behind the scenes, we have assembled a team that is technically stronger, more experienced and better resourced, thanks to the support of Petronas and all of our loyal team partners.

"The potential is now there to match any other team on the grid, which is the minimum standard for a Mercedes-Benz works team.

"Our task is now to translate that potential into on-track performance for next season and beyond."

It is understood that Mercedes offered Hamilton a better deal than McLaren, particularly in terms of the freedom for the driver to pursue other sponsorship deals.

In terms of their on track offer, Mercedes represents something of a risk with the team having only won one of 52 races since they took over Brawn GP at the end of the 2009 season, but the core of people behind the scenes is second to none.

Importantly, with new engine regulations due to come into force in 2014 as F1 switches to a new turbo era, Mercedes should have an advantage as a manufacturer and with McLaren as a customer.

Hamilton will continue to race for McLaren this season where he currently lies fourth in the world championship standings, 52 points behind leader Fernando Alonso.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
Satya Nadella: As Windows 10 is launched can he return Microsoft to its former glory?

Satya Nadella: The man to clean up for Windows?

While Microsoft's founders spend their billions, the once-invincible tech company's new boss is trying to save it
A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

A Very British Coup, part two

New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms
What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist? Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories

What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist?

Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories
Chinese web dissenters using coded language to dodge censorship filters and vent frustration at government

Are you a 50-center?

Decoding the Chinese web dissenters
The Beatles film Help, released 50 years ago, signalled the birth of the 'metrosexual' man

Help signalled birth of 'metrosexual' man

The Beatles' moptop haircuts and dandified fashion introduced a new style for the modern Englishman, says Martin King
Hollywood's new diet: Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?

Hollywood's new diet trends

Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?
6 best recipe files

6 best recipe files

Get organised like a Bake Off champion and put all your show-stopping recipes in one place
Ashes 2015: Steven Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Middlesex bowler claims Ashes hat-trick of Clarke, Voges and Marsh
Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Atwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years