Lewis Hamilton has signed a three-year agreement to race for the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team from the 2013 Formula One season.
“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”, said Lewis Hamilton, adding “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.”
Lewis’ career has been linked to Mercedes-Benz and McLaren since its earliest days. In 2000, he and Nico Rosberg were team-mates at TeamMBM.com in Formula A karting. Lewis drove with Mercedes-Benz engines during his two seasons in the Formula 3 Euroseries, winning the 2005 championship, and every one of his 104 Formula One starts so far have been powered by the three-pointed star.
Lewis is one of four drivers, along with Juan Manuel Fangio, Mika Häkkinen and Jenson Button, to have won the Formula One world championship with Mercedes-Benz power. With 20 Formula One victories, he is equal with Mika Häkkinen as the most successful Mercedes-Benz Formula One driver.
The recruitment of the 2008 world champion marks the start of a new chapter for the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team. Lewis will replace Michael Schumacher, who has contributed significantly to the development of the Silver Arrows works team over the past three years. During this time, the team achieved the milestone of the first victory of the modern era for a works Silver Arrow, when Nico Rosberg won this year’s Chinese Grand Prix, and has scored five further podium finishes to date.
Commenting on the signing, Michael Schumacher 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 wish Lewis well and for the team to achieve the success we worked so hard for in the build-up. I would like to thank the team for their trust and all the guys for their unconditional commitment. I will now concentrate on the next races.”
In parallel, Mercedes-Benz has put in place the right technical structure and given the team in Brackley and Brixworth the tools it needs to achieve long-term, durable success in Formula One. In the near future, three-time world champion Niki Lauda will also bring his extensive experience to the role of non-executive chairman of the team’s board of directors, further reinforcing the strength in depth at Mercedes AMG Petronas.
The signing of Lewis Hamilton completes the Mercedes AMG Petronas driver line-up for the 2013 season alongside Nico Rosberg. Nico won his first Grand Prix this year in China and will enter his fourth season with our team.