Date: 25th April 2013 at 9:44am
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When Lewis Hamilton announced part way through the 2012 season that he would be leaving McLaren for Mercedes he shocked the world.

The 2008 Formula One World Champion had been with the McLaren set-up since he was 13 and had only ever driven for one team.

That team also happened to be ending the season strongly with regular podium finishes and race victories, while Mercedes, apart from a freak set of circumstances in China, had under performed all season.

It looked to everyone in the paddock and the media that Hamilton was making the move not on sporting merit but simply financial. After all why leave a team that will offer race victories and a shot at the title for a under-performing mid-pack team?

Well it didn’t take long for Hamilton to show why he made his move, Mercedes have outperformed McLaren throughout the opening four Grand Prix’s of the season.

Hamilton has already stood on the podium twice for Mercedes, while Hamilton and team-mate Rosberg have also chalked up one pole position each.

In contrast McLaren have struggled off the pace in qualifying and the race, while in Bahrain Lewis Hamilton’s replacement Sergio Perez bickered with team-mate Jenson Button which resulted in the two colliding.

But while Hamilton undoubtedly must be re-leaved that he has joined a competitive team, the new challenge is what has really spurred him on.

‘Everyone moves on and tries something new and I’m really enjoying it. But not because it is better – it’s just different, The team is different, there’s a different set of people who I am really enjoying working with and it’s a new set of challenges, which is what I wanted.’ Hamilton told Sky Sports.

‘I feel more comfortable in my own skin. I just feel that each year I am getting better and better and growing. I’ve got a great personal team around me management-wise, things are good with the family, things are good with the girlfriend, things are good with the dog.

‘Bit by bit you try to adjust things and make things better and I just feel that my approach, my fitness and my mind-set seems to be better than ever.’


So can Mercedes make the step-up and win this season?

‘I am hopeful we can win this year, particularly as we have things coming in the pipeline with upgrades and improvements for the car,’ Hamilton said.

 

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