Lewis Hamilton enticed by chance to turn Mercedes around

Lewis Hamilton has admitted that the "struggle" of turning Mercedes into a top team was one of the major incentives behind his decision to leave McLaren

Lewis Hamilton enticed by chance to turn Mercedes around

The 2008 world champion claimed in an interview with BBC Sport that he did not want to take the easy option of staying with McLaren and hopes to help build Mercedes into a title-winning team as Michael Schumacher did with Ferrari in the late 1990s.

Asked if his motivation was to emulate Schumacher's Ferrari feat, Hamilton replied: "That's exactly it. I don't feel like any of the drivers are doing that nowadays.

"I could take the easy route and just stay here [McLaren] and just cruise on for the next three years in a great team and a great car, making decent money.

"But that's not what I want to do - I want to go and struggle.

"I want to help them get to the top and start winning.

"That's going to be the coolest, most satisfying feeling if we do get there.

"And if we don't, I'll only be 31 at the end of it."

Hamilton has been a McLaren driver since the age of 13 and has spent all of his six-season Formula 1 career with the team.

He believes that the challenge of moving to another outfit is vital at this stage of his career.

"I had two pretty much the same offers on the table and to do the easier thing, which is to stay in a great car and continue on the road that I am on, didn't really suit me.

"I wanted to go and do something different.

"I wanted to have the challenge, I wanted to try working with new people.

"I wanted to grow in my communication skills with a different group of people and learn more from new people.

"And [I wanted to] have the challenge of taking a car that's not very successful and [go on] the exciting journey of trying to make it as successful as the car I'm in right now."

shares
comments
Japanese GP: Drivers call for tighter chicane guidelines

Previous article

Japanese GP: Drivers call for tighter chicane guidelines

Next article

Japanese GP: Rivals don't fear Red Bull's upturn in form

Japanese GP: Rivals don't fear Red Bull's upturn in form
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton
Teams Mercedes
Author Edd Straw
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Plus

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Plus

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Plus

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021