Date: 11th March 2013 at 9:15am
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Once Lewis Hamilton announced that he would leave McLaren for Mercedes in 2013, the reasons behind the move have been forever debated.

Contractual agreements between McLaren and their sponsors has been discussed, the financial benefits of making the move to Mercedes have been highlighted, but in a competitive sport such as Formula One and for a driver who is desperate to win races, which team provides the best chance of that?

That is really where Hamilton’s decision will be judged. Has he left a team capable of winning multiple Formula One World Championships for a team struggling to make the podium on a consistent basis or has he joined a team on the up?

We won’t really know the answer to that until Hamilton has been at Mercedes a couple of seasons and the new engine regulations kick in, the landscape in Formula One could be very different after 2014 and many believe Hamilton’s move is with an eye on that future.

But for now his move will be judged on this season and whether or not Mercedes can compete with McLaren and whether or not Hamilton can beat former team-mate Jenson Button, not that Hamilton is interested in an all British rivalry and insists the man to beat remains Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso.

‘Talking about a rivalry with Jenson [Button] doesn’t really excite me, the rivalry with Fernando [Alonso] excites me more, he’s the guy I want to beat. You also want to beat Seb [Vettel], as they are the ones with most titles. But Alonso’s the fastest driver I can see. He’s also one of the most experienced. Hamilton told The Mail on Sunday as quoted by Sky Sports.

‘Anyone would struggle to beat him. You’ve got to try and stay ahead of him in a Ferrari that’s competitive. That’s going to be a real challenge.’

Hamilton and Alonso’s rivalry has developed over time, from their tempestuous 2007 season when Hamilton and Alonso were team-mates at McLaren and their relationship was at an all-time low, right through to now where they appear to have put aside their differences.

A mutual respect has grown between the two of them, that certainly appears to be clear whenever either driver discusses the other.

Something else they both have in common is the desire to leave a Formula One legacy. Whilst Fernando Alonso chases his third Formula One World Championship, Hamilton remains just as ambitious to secure another F1 title.

‘I expect myself to win, to achieve greatness, to excel. That’s what I work hard for. It’s what drives me on.

‘We all want to be the one. I was the one for a short period of time – now it’s toppled over to Sebastian. But I want to be at the forefront. People see Michael Schumacher as a god, and that’s where I want to be.’