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
How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean? Plus

How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But is their rivalry destined to end in broken shards of carbon fibre?

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight Plus

What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight

OPINION: Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have recovered from their pre-season woes to take three wins from the opening four races of 2021. But each time Red Bull and Max Verstappen have pushed them hard. So, what clues did the latest round of that battle – the Spanish Grand Prix – tease about the next stage of the season?

Formula 1
May 12, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Plus

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Plus

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Plus

How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey Plus

The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey

In the first part of our history of Lotus, DAMIEN SMITH recalls how Formula 1 wasn’t an immediate priority for team founder Colin Chapman – but once he got a taste for it he just couldn’t stop…

Formula 1
May 9, 2021
How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher Plus

How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher

Lewis Hamilton has just become the first driver to record 100 world championship Formula 1 pole positions. Time to revisit a debate we discussed when he reached 150 front row starts in 2020.

Formula 1
May 8, 2021