Date: 14th March 2013 at 11:40am
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When Lewis Hamilton first announced his move from McLaren to Mercedes pretty much everyone thought it was a backward step for 2013.

Ignoring the corporate side of McLaren or perhaps the financial sway of Mercedes, Hamilton would have mainly made his decision on sporting grounds.

The general consensus amongst those in the paddock was that the move had to be with one eye on the future, with Mercedes being in a stronger position as a manufacturer following the engine regulation changes set for 2014.

2013 was simply just going to be a year of adjustment for the 2008 Formula One World Champion, after a lifetime at McLaren its bound to take a while to adjust to life at Mercedes.

But on the eve of the new FIA 2013 Formula One World Championship the expectation levels around the Mercedes team and Lewis Hamilton have risen significantly. The Silver Arrows have shown impressive pace during winter testing and with limited regulation changes over the winter, Mercedes are expected to have closed the gap between themselves and the top four teams of last season Lotus, McLaren, Ferrari and Red Bull.

But just how competitive will Hamilton and new team-mate Nico Rosberg be in Australia? Mercedes won one Grand Prix last year, with Rosberg taking advantage of the Pirelli lottery to pick up his maiden win. Can Mercedes regularly battle for podium positions and race wins? A lot of people are beginning to think so and Hamilton has had to make a move in a bid to lower unexpected expectations.

‘First people were talking us down and saying we were going to do terrible and now all of a sudden they’ve changed their opinions, People are all over the place!’ Hamilton told Sky Sports.

‘I don’t think anyone knows what is going to happen, I think what we have to make people remember is that this team and this car have struggled for the last couple of years and that doesn’t change with a click of the fingers.

‘We have to keep working, but we’ve done a good job over the winter, and I’m really proud of the team and grateful to have been part of that journey.’


Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn believes Hamilton is also enjoying the challenge of the new journey he is taking with Mercedes: ‘McLaren are a great team, but Lewis’ contribution to taking McLaren forward was almost exclusively out on the race track. With where we are, there is a lot more Lewis can get involved in and I think he is relishing and enjoying that aspect.’

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