Given his performance, which was well below his own very high standards, Michael Schumacher’s departure from Formula 1 after his comeback three years ago was not a surprise.
The same goes for the driver who will replace him at Mercedes GP from the next season: Lewis Hamilton’s relationship with McLaren was not in good terms (to put it nicely) and speculation about him moving to Mercedes had been circulating since the Italian GP.
The rumors were confirmed today when Mercedes-Benz announced that Hamilton had signed a three-year contract with the team.
“I have had three nice years with the team which unfortunately did not go as well as we all would have wanted on the sporting side”, said Schumacher. The seven-time Formula 1 world champion also thanked the team for their cooperation and them to achieve the success they have been building up in his three years with the team and wished Hamilton well.
On his part Hamilton, who will have Nico Rosberg as his team mate, said that he was looking forward to begin “a new chapter” on his racing career with his new team: “Mercedes-Benz has such an incredible heritage in motorsport, along with a passion for winning which I share. I believe I can help steer the Silver Arrows to the top”.
Hamilton’s seat at McLaren will be occupied by current Sauber driver Sergio Perez. The Mexican driver has impressed the F1 world with his performance this year and, since he was a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy, he was linked to the Scuderia as a possible replacement for Felipe Massa.
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo commented that Perez “wasn’t ready to drive for a big team” while McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said that he’s “delighted to welcome Sergio on board”.
By Andrew Tsaousis