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Hamilton: Decision at last!

2012-09-28 09:57

LONDON - Lewis Hamilton will move from McLaren to the Mercedes F1 team in 2013 in a deal likely to send Michael Schumacher back into retirement, according to media reports in Britain and Germany.

British newspapers said an announcement could come later on Friday once the Mercedes board had signed a new commercial agreement committing the German automaker to the sport.

Sergio Perez will replace Hamilton at McLaren in 2013. McLaren said: "Sergio's new deal means he will begin a driving partnership with 2009 World champion Jenson Button."

Bild, Germany's best-selling tabloid, said on its website that Mercedes had opted for 2008 World champion Hamilton.

RUNNING SAGA

McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh said: "Our thanks to Lewis. He wrote a huge chapter of his life and career with us, and was, and always will be, a fine member of an exclusive club: the McLaren World champions' club.

"It goes without saying that we all wish him well for the future, just as it also goes without saying that we hope and believe that Sergio, too, will become a member of that exclusive club before too long."

Hamilton's contract negotiations have been a running saga all season with reports that he was close to a deal with Mercedes emerging early in September. More recent indications were, however, that the 27-year-old was in favour of staying with McLaren, the team that had nurtured him since his early teens and that handed him his F1 debut in 2007.

The Daily Telegraph said championship contenders McLaren were understood to have been informed of the driver's decision only on Thursday.

The Daily Mail added that Hamilton would be accepting a three-year contract, including win bonuses, worth nearly R800-million. Mercedes had made no secret of its desire to sign Hamilton in place of seven-times champion Schumacher, the sport's most successful driver, whose return to the sport after retiring from Ferrari in 2006 has been unremarkable.

Schumacher has been on the podium only once since he began his comeback in 2010 and has retired from half of the 14 races this season.

Schumacher said: "I have had three nice years with the team which unfortunately did not go as well as we all would have wanted on the sporting side.

"I wish Lewis well and for the team to achieve the success we worked so hard for in the build-up. I would like to thank the team for their trust and all the guys for their unconditional commitment. I will now concentrate on the next races."

PROVEN WINNERS

Mercedes took over champions Brawn GP at the end of 2009 but has had only one win - Nico Rosberg's success in this year's Chinese GP - to celebrate. While that was the first by a works Mercedes since 1955, McLaren is a regular challenger for the title and has won five times this year - three of them provided by Hamilton.

On paper, Hamilton would be swopping a place with proven winners for a British-based team with little success but plenty of potential. Mercedes also makes the engines used by McLaren and has a substantial development budget.

Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn has a highly impressive track record after multiple championships as technical director at Benetton and Ferrari and boss of the Brawn team he saved after previous owner Honda pulled out in late 2008.

A move to Mercedes would reunite Hamilton, whose management company XIX Entertainment also looks after the business affairs of former England captain David Beckham and tennis player Andy Murray, with former karting team mate and friend Rosberg.

Reuters

Comments
  • russel.lunt - 2012-09-28 10:04

    Misleading headline: "Hamilton on move to Mercerdes" followed by "There was no immediate comment from either Mercedes or the Briton." Shocking reporting - this site isn't a tabloid, at least as far as I know.

  • thabiso.letlhabane - 2012-09-28 11:42

    da stupidest move ever, why leave a winning team.....

      JManAtheoi - 2012-09-28 12:04

      Winning Team? Really? Mclaren's last Constructors title was won in 1998 (and in 1991 before that)...where as Brawn GP (Now Mercedes F1) had the title 3 years ago...not to mention all the titles Brawn got with Ferrari in between that.

      thabiso.letlhabane - 2012-09-28 13:09

      okay, then tell me, which race(s) did mercedes win dis year???????? And last year

      JManAtheoi - 2012-09-28 14:03

      China for a start. The team 'Mercedes F1' is only '3' years old...(excluding Brawn GP...which was one year old...and won the championship in '09). I think Lewis has a bit more insight on which team to drive for than you...

      adam.wood.146 - 2012-09-28 14:40

      ^Give this man a Bells^

  • sarel.seemonster.925 - 2012-09-28 12:04

    Hee ha, at least hasbeen shumager is going. Thank heavens the dangerous, cheating waste of a time got fired. Now he can make place for a rookie that's able to race. Or perhaps he will beg Marussia or HRT to use him. I believe Mercedes gave him a zimmerframe as a "eff off home" present. Bye bye cheater, good to see the end of you after your @rse got kicked for 3 years.

      dino.martin.549 - 2012-09-28 12:51

      Grow up?

      sarel.seemonster.925 - 2012-09-28 13:08

      Hey Bob... sour shumager supporter I suppose??? shame, it hurts..

      JManAtheoi - 2012-09-28 14:04

      It doesn't hurt...when any driver beats all of Schmumi's records, we'll talk. (Which I think will happen one day...)

      cobus.fenwick - 2012-10-01 20:27

      @Sarel: Rather a hasbeen than a neverbeen. I saw that he made place for a rookie(Lewis Hamilton) according to you, (WC rookie, or are you confused with yourself). MS did not get fired. You let me think of somebody that took off from work to go and watch your son playing a rugby match, for the D-team, and don't even know what position he is playing in, but still have the loudest mouth next to the field. Don't worry, there should be people like that but everything in life is based on choices. With a name like yours, you should stick to baby-stories where there is no danger. I see your comment was sent at 12:04 so you wer using your working hours for commenting on this site. Maybe you should be fired. Then your boss could appoint someone(rookie) that's able to make reasonable comments and use his time at work properly. With all your "inside info" at Mercedes and lack of intellegence, I can understand that your facts are just a way exspessing your inferiority complex and explaining your name with the time that you work, from 925. Michael kicked @rse for more years than what you had education and earned more money per second than what you can count to. That is why you can critisize him for he will always be somebody that you will never be, that is normal, with inferiority-complex-people. There is only one problem; you have to get over it yourself, or live with it and stay the "nice" person what everybody think's you are,So You Think. Just trying to help you, life is not so bad!!!

  • SwampAfc - 2012-09-28 13:07

    Hamilton, RvP what next!

  • marius.croucamp.3 - 2012-09-28 13:49

    Go read "autosport" today. Schumacher did not want to stay with Mercedes. Going to Sauber of Ferrari?

      sarel.seemonster.925 - 2012-09-28 14:38

      Only one of the bottom ended teams will take on such a loser. He has done zero since his return, apart from a 3rd place due to the crashing out of everybody ahead of him. He goes backwards in every race. He's a prima donna with no place if F1. He rely on his past which is littered with unscrupulous wins and questionable incidents and cheats etc.

      JManAtheoi - 2012-09-28 15:06

      @ sarel - I bet you miss Montoya.

      nbasson - 2012-09-28 15:58

      Sarel, het Schumi jou girlfriend gevry of iets?

      cobus.fenwick - 2012-10-01 20:51

      @Sarel: I see your comment is made at 14:38. I guess you are back for lunch, to make comments again. You don't even know why he returned to F1. He has the best history of any F1 driver ever, and still you critisize him. Do you spot the "out of line one"? Mirrors don't lie. To come back to your son's D-team rugby game, he was playing hooker and I'm not talking about your wife! Get a calculater and see how many people differs from you, not that it would help, but maybe a light will come on somehow.

  • greg.quinn.353 - 2012-09-28 20:15

    R800 million.. meh...

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