Although Lewis Hamilton is being touted as the Mercedes new recruit, in truth the 2008 world champion has been part of the Mercedes motorsport programme for the past 15 years – since his junior karting days. Nontheless, his progress to the Silver Arrows F1 team is very big occasion for him.
Speaking at the launch of the Mercedes W04, which will carry the hopes of the team in the 2013 F1 World Championship, Hamilton acknowledged, “It’s a very special day for me to officially present our Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow to the world. There is no company with a longer history in grand prix racing than Mercedes-Benz and it is an honour for me to tread in the footsteps of legends like Juan Manuel Fangio, Sir Stirling Moss and Michael Schumacher.’
Throughout his career Hamilton has always been considered a McLaren man, a team which nurtured and financed him through the ranks into F1. With them he racked up 110 grand prix starts of which he won 21. The move to Mercedes, announced late last year, was big news and marks a new era in his career.
“It’s the start of a new chapter for me, a new adventure, and when I walked through the doors in Brackley, I was so excited to get down to work,” revealed Hamilton.
“I’ve been at the factory for a few days now, getting to know the guys, meeting my mechanics and engineers, learning myself into the team and I have never seen a group of people that is hungrier for success than this one. They have been flat out this winter trying to pack more performance into the new car and I can’t wait to drive it and see where I can make a difference to help push the team forward with Nico.”
The Briton is well and truly inspired to take the team forward, something predecessor Michael Schumacher was unable to do.
“This is a new start for me with the team in Brackley but I have worked with Mercedes-Benz for a very long time now, and I learned one thing most of all: Mercedes-Benz doesn’t know how to lose. We are playing a long game here but I know we will have success together and I’m excited to be a big part of making it happen,” concluded Hamilton.
Hamilton will get his first run in the latest Silver Arrows on Wednesday (6 January) during the four day test at Jerez which begins tomorrow. (GP247)
Subbed by AJN.