BRACKLEY, United Kingdom – Lewis Hamilton will leave McLaren at the end of the 2012 season after signing a three-year agreement to race for Mercedes starting in 2013.
The recruitment of the 2008 world champion marks the start of a new chapter for the Mercedes team. Hamilton will replace Michael Schumacher, who has contributed significantly to the development of the Mercedes team over the past three years.
The signing of Hamilton completes the Mercedes driver line-up for the 2013 season alongside Nico Rosberg.
“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 Ppetronas Formula One Team,” said Hamilton. “Mercedes-Benz has such an incredible heritage in motorsport, along with a passion for winning which I share. 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.”
Hamilton’s career has been supported by Mercedes-Benz and McLaren since its earliest days. In 2000, he and current Mercedes driver Rosberg were teammates at TeamMBM.com in Formula A karting.
Hamilton 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.
Hamilton 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.
For Schumacher, the seven-time Formula One champion, it is unknown what his future holds.
“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,” said Schumacher. “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.”