Date: 18th January 2013 at 8:54am
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Lewis Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes might have surprised and confused many in Formula One.

A quick glance at our own poll on Vital F1 has 57% of our users believing it was the biggest shock of the year, ahead of ‘7 races, 7 different winners’, ‘Maldonado winning’ and ‘Vettel’s third title.

After being at McLaren since he was a 13-year-old and in great form, winning regularly, even the thought of him leaving for Mercedes was quickly dismissed by most when the BBC’s Eddie Jordan announced to the world that is was a distinct possibility.

But one person who wasn’t surprised was former team-mate and arch rival Fernando Alonso.

The Spaniard only lasted one single season with the McLaren team, in 2007, with Hamilton a young rookie and Alonso looking for a third straight title.

It ended in tears with neither driver winning the title allowing Ferrari’s Kimi Raikonnen to slip in and take the crown.

Alonso quickly moved on back to Renault and after his experience he believes he understands the reasons why Hamilton moved to Mercedes.

‘I understand the move, Always you need some new challenges when you get tired from one situation. Alonso told Sky Sports.

‘I think McLaren sometimes is not the easiest place to live, so I think he will be much more happy now in Mercedes than what he was in the past.’

With just one victory in Formula One since they took over the Brawn GP team in 2009, many believe that Hamilton will be in for a season of struggle with his new team. However Alonso is not set to write him off.

‘He will be a threat [in 2013] because Lewis has always been always winning with all the cars in the past seasons and Mercedes has also won already last year with Nico Rosberg in China.

‘So I think Mercedes will be able to win with Hamilton this year again and he will be always a contender.’