Skip to main content

Lewis Hamilton joins Mercedes in three-year deal

By Matthew Knight, CNN
updated 3:12 PM EDT, Fri September 28, 2012
Lewis Hamilton has put an end to speculation surrounding his future at British team McLaren and joined Mercedes.
Lewis Hamilton has put an end to speculation surrounding his future at British team McLaren and joined Mercedes.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Speculation about Briton's future at McLaren ends with three-year deal with Mercedes
  • Hamilton will partner Germany's Nico Rosberg with Michael Schumacher making way
  • 27-year-old, who won world championship in 2008, has been at McLaren since he was 13
  • McLaren name 22-year-old Sauber driver Sergio Perez as replacement for Hamilton

London (CNN) -- Lewis Hamilton has signed a three-year contract to race for the Mercedes Formula 1 team beginning next season.

Friday's announcement by the team ends weeks of speculation about the Briton's future with McLaren -- a team he joined when he was 13 years old.

"Looking ahead to 2013, I am delighted to welcome Lewis Hamilton to our team," Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn said in a statement.

"The arrival of a driver of Lewis' caliber is a testament to the standing of Mercedes-Benz in Formula 1 and I am proud that Lewis shares our vision and ambition for the success of the Silver Arrows," Brawn added.

Hamilton's McLaren Future
How an F1 car talks

Hamilton, who won his only world championship title with McLaren in 2008 said he was looking forward to the challenge.

"I am very excited to begin a new chapter racing for the [Mercedes] team. Mercedes-Benz has such an incredible heritage in motorsport, along with a passion for winning which I share," Hamilton said in a statement.

Hamilton will partner Nico Rosberg in 2013 with Michael Schumacher making way.

Brawn thanked the seven-time world champion, who came out of retirement to join Mercedes in 2010, for his contribution during his three seasons at Mercedes.

Hamilton focuses on championship chase as Mercedes rumors persist

"His energy and commitment have never wavered, even when results have not matched our own expectations, and we are determined to finish the 2012 season together on a high. As always, it has been a pleasure to work with Michael," Brawn said in a statement.

In a statement, Schumacher said he had enjoyed his three years at Mercedes even if they didn't do as successfully as he would have liked on the track.

"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," the 43-year-old said.

Hamilton's replacement at McLaren will be Sergio Perez.

The 22-year-old Mexican who currently races for the Sauber team will partner Jenson Button from 2013.

"I'm thrilled and delighted to have become a [McLaren] driver. The McLaren name is one of the greatest in the history of Formula 1," Perez said in a statement.

"For more than 40 years McLaren has been a team that every racing driver has aspired to drive for ... and I'm truly honoured that they've chosen me to partner Jenson from 2013 onwards," Perez added.

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh praised Perez's "giant-killing performances" and "podium finishes" this season.

"He's perfectly poised to develop into a world championship challenger," Whitmarsh said in a statement.

Whitmarsh also passed on his thanks to the departing Hamilton, whose performances wrote "a huge chapter" in his and the team's life.

"It goes without saying that we all wish him well for the future ..." Whitmarsh said.

Meanwhile, the race schedule for 2013 has been released with doubts still surrounding the New Jersey event.

The Grand Prix is scheduled for June 16 but has yet to be finalized with concerns surrounding whether the track will be completed in time.

The season will start with the Australian Grand Prix on March 17 with the showpiece Monaco event taking place on May 26.

Silverstone will host the British Grand Prix on June 30 -- a week earlier than last year as not to clash with the Wimbledon men's final.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
updated 7:10 PM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.
updated 8:33 AM EDT, Thu May 22, 2014
To be a champion you must win a title -- but to become an F1 legend you must win races at Monaco, the calendar's most testing circuit.
updated 10:59 AM EDT, Wed May 21, 2014
Caterham F1 reserve driver Alexander Rossi takes you on a tour of the Monaco racing circuit.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Mon May 5, 2014
The Formula One driver transcended his sport and even 20 years after his death, Ayrton Senna commands the adoration of fans worldwide.
updated 11:00 AM EDT, Thu May 1, 2014
TO GO WITH AFP STORY IN ARABIC BY SUHEIL HOWAYEK: (FILES) Brazilian F1 driver Ayrton Senna adjusts his rear view mirror in the pits 01 May 1994 before the start of the San Marino Grand Prix. Senna died after crashing in the seventh lap. Some 45 drivers, including Senna and Canadian Gilles Villeneuve, have been killed during Formula One races whose tracks are dubbed by some as the 'circuits of death.' AFP PHOTO/JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU (Photo credit should read JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
F1's greatest racer was killed during the San Marino Grand Prix on May 1 1994. The sport hasn't been the same since.
updated 11:16 AM EDT, Wed April 30, 2014
Just four F1 drivers turned up to Roland Ratzenberger's funeral after his death during qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix on April 30 1994.
updated 7:56 AM EDT, Fri April 25, 2014
For a championship with a distinctly Iberian streak, it is no surprise that South America should be high on MotoGP's list of territories to conquer.
updated 7:13 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Too weak. Can't handle the pressure. Susie Wolff has heard it all -- but she is determined to become the first female F1 driver in 20 years.
CNN's Amanda Davies visits the headquarters of Mercedes, the dominant team in Formula One this season.
updated 9:08 PM EDT, Fri March 14, 2014
The big winners of this Formula One season could be road drivers rather than F1 racers, according to one former world champion.
updated 3:16 PM EDT, Thu March 13, 2014
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton sums up the dawn of a new Formula One era in three juicy words -- weird, mind-blowing and challenging.
ADVERTISEMENT