Hamilton has already started working at Mercedes 17 December, 2012 Dec.17 (GMM) Lewis Hamilton has already started working at Mercedes, on their 2013 Formula 1 project despite being under contract with McLaren until 31 December. Britain’s Sun newspaper said that although the 2008 world champion remains under contract to McLaren for two more weeks, a deal has been agreed whereby the 27-year-old can at least meet his new engineers. And the report said that Briton Hamilton also got his first taste of Mercedes’ driver simulator last week. “Lewis has already been in the factory to see the team and fulfil some duties after we found an agreement about that with McLaren,” said Mercedes’ departing head of motor sport, Norbert Haug. Hamilton has played down his chances of immediately succeeding at Mercedes, saying he will not really be thinking about titles and wins until at least 2014. “That’s fine,” non-executive chairman Niki Lauda told Welt am Sonntag newspaper. “I don’t really like when drivers say they are going to win every race. For me, a sober, pragmatic analysis of things is better, where you can positively surprise rather than promise something that can’t necessarily be achieved.” Lauda admitted, however, that Mercedes must improve. “We have the best engine and the best drivers. Now we need to improve the car a lot before the season.” But he tipped reigning world champions Red Bull to enter 2013 as the definite favourites. “Yes, the rules for 2013 are a great advantage for Red Bull, who are already on a high level, to just go on. “But in spite of the limited possibilities, we have to try to make two or three steps forward. “I know one thing: the people in England are highly motivated and have completely understood their failures.” Lauda suggested that if Mercedes fails again, it will not be Hamilton’s fault, nor his 2013 teammate Nico Rosberg’s. “For me, Hamilton-Rosberg is the strongest pairing compared to all the other teams. “Take a look at Red Bull and the gap between Vettel and Webber, or Alonso and Massa at Ferrari. Or, even worse, at McLaren and the gap between Button and Perez. Some teams have worlds between their two drivers. “Another advantage of Hamilton is that he comes with experience of another team, and he can tell us exactly what are the strengths and weaknesses of our car,” added Lauda. Subbed by AJN. Tweet Related NewsButton calls for cleaner F1 title battle fightHamilton and Magnussen to start from pitlaneRed Bull rivals targeting Vettel claims MarkoButton: Problem is Lewis expected me to let him pastMcLaren lose long-time sponsor to MercedesButton backs Hamilton to win on home soilHamilton: No new contract but I am happy with MercedesWolff surprised by McLaren and Ferrari strugglesWolff: I am convinced that what McLaren learns is being exchanged with HondaMcLaren feeling effects of Whitmarsh absence says Lauda McLarenfan Mercedes and Lauda to glean every particle of information they can from Lewis.