On a day that Mercedes made sweeping appointments and changes to the management hierarchy of their Formula 1 team, Lewis Hamilton made his first appearance as a Silver Arrows driver when visiting the marque’s Stuttgart headquarters Monday.
During his visit Hamilton, who replaces German national hero Michael Schumacher in the team, spent time touring the facilities including the assembly line, while posing for in-house photographers with Mercedes products before addressing staff in what is effectively his ‘first day at work’ with his new team.
Earlier in the day Mercedes captured headlines as they announced that Williams executive director Toto Wolff had been recruited to head up the company’s motorsport activities, joining Niki Lauda and team principal Ross Brawn to form the new management triumvirate at the team which has struggled since Mercedes acquired it in 2010, scoring only one win in three years.
Hamilton announced his decision to leave McLaren, the team he was nurtured by from his karting days through to Formula 1 where he went on to win the 2008 world championship with the team, starting 110 races for the Woking based squad and winning 21 grands prix, while finishing 49 times on the podium.
The three year deal, brokered by Lauda, is said to be worth an estimated $100-million and means the 28 year old Briton will team up with GP2 teammate and friend Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes F1 team.
During his Stuttgart visit, Hamilton spotted a Mercedes SLS in among the vast array of cars he was shown, and proceeded to post a picture on Twitter taken by himself, and exclaimed, “SLS Blackseries!!! This car is one bad ass motha!”