Hamilton replaces Schumacher at Mercedes in 2013

Mercedes team principal has actively pursued
Lewis Hamilton to sign with the team, and today the deal was sealed. The
2008 FIA Formula One world champion will leave McLaren in at the end of
this season. His new teammate starting in 2013 will be Nico Rosberg,
who remains with the Silver Arrows team.

“It is now time for me to take on a fresh challenge and I am very
excited to begin a new chapter,” said the Briton in this morning’s
announcement.

Together, we can grow and rise to this new challenge.

Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton, now 27, joined the McLaren organization when he was 13 years
old, and has been a front runner with the British-based team. Now he
will take on a new challenge with a three year contract with Mercedes.

Team principal Ross Brawn commented, “I believe that 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.”

Hamilton has not had one of his best years, and obvious has been
disappointed in the mistakes made by his current team, which cost him
podium finishes and more importantly victories. Not all were errors by
the team; some were mechanical issues but still he pushed to the limits
at each event, and will continue to do so for the remaining races.

Added Hamilton, “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.”

No word on the exact contract details, but current reports claim the
Hamilton took a cut in pay; however the sponsor package is very sweet;
along with incentives.

Norbert Haug, Vice President – Mercedes-Benz Motorsport commented,
“Mercedes-Benz has supported Lewis throughout his career, from karting,
to Formula 3, to our successful partnership with McLaren, and it will be
a very nice moment for all of us in the team to see him at the wheel of
a works Silver Arrow next season, following in the tradition of British
Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix drivers Sir Stirling Moss and Richard Seaman.”

The future for Michael Schumacher was not mentioned. Yesterday, Brawn
claimed that “Michael has been a huge asset to the team; he’s really
taken us forward. I do think Michael contributes an awful lot, so I
think the decision for Michael to stay or not continue is a difficult
one.”

The German who has seven Formula One world championships may end up with
Mercedes as a brand ambassador or he may search for another ride. Since
his return to the premier motor sports series in 2010, Schumacher has
just one podium finish since his return, and that was on the Valencia
street circuit this year. Prior to his return, Schumacher won 91 races
from 1991 to 2006.

Schumacher apparently in his talks, and Sauber now has a empty cockpit
with the departure of Sergio Perez to the McLaren team. The champion
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 will
now concentrate on the next races.”

“On behalf of MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS, I would first of all like to thank
Michael Schumacher for the important contribution he has made to the
growth of our team over the past three seasons. 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,” said Brawn.

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