After weeks of speculation, the much rumoured news story concerning Lewis Hamilton‘s Formula One future with the Silver Arrows proved to be true with the Mercedes Grand Prix team officially announcing their driver line-up for next season.
The 2008 world champion will drive alongside Nico Rosberg, taking over Michael Schumacher’s spot at the team.
It is unclear what plans are in store for the seven-time world champion. A possible advisory role at Mercedes will be ideal considering his amount of Formula One experience and knowledge.
As for the Hamilton and Rosberg partnership in 2013, this is an exciting driver line-up at Mercedes. Both are determined to lead the Silver Arrows back to championship glory in the sport and it will be fascinating who will have the upper hand in terms of outright speed.
For Hamilton, this move to Mercedes might seem like a gamble but the level of support from the German car manufacturer plus Ross Brawn’s leadership could guide him to world titles.
And so ends his relationship with McLaren. Hamilton has been with the outfit since making his Formula One debut back in 2007. After 20 victories with 48 podium finishes plus 24 pole positions and eleven fastest laps, Lewis will join Mercedes for a “fresh challenge”.
“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 AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team. 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.”
After two seasons in Formula One with Sauber, the Mexican will represent the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team in 2013.
His record to date includes three podium finishes including that ever-so-close victory in the Malaysian Grand Prix earlier this year.
Perez had been most strongly linked to a future at Ferrari, as part of its young driver programme, but its president Luca di Montezemolo said several times that he did not think the Mexican was experienced enough for a team like Ferrari.
McLaren obviously feels differently, and believes that it can harness Perez’s talent to fight for the world championship alongside Jenson Button in 2013.
“I’m thrilled and delighted to have become a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver,” said Perez.
“The McLaren name is one of the greatest in the history of Formula 1. For more than 40 years McLaren has been a team that every racing driver has aspired to drive for – I was brought up on the great stories of Ayrton Senna’s many world championship triumphs for McLaren – and I’m truly honoured that they’ve chosen me to partner Jenson from 2013 onwards.
Ferrari has definitely missed out on this exciting opportunity and it will be fascinating to see the combination of youth and experience at McLaren.