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2012's big stories: Formula 1 driver market erupts

Only a handful of Formula 1 world champions have been as closely identified with a single team as Lewis Hamilton was with McLaren, yet this year the Briton announced that he was bidding farewell to the squad that had nurtured him since childhood to take on a new challenge at so-far-unsucessful Mercedes.

Suddenly what had been a frozen driver market was unlocked. McLaren instantly picked Sergio Perez as Hamilton's successor - then saw the Mexican's season nosedive. Hamilton's arrival at Mercedes backed Michael Schumacher into a corner where retirement was the only palatable option. And somehow, amid it all, Felipe Massa kept a Ferrari seat he had seemed certain to lose...

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