Date: 20th March 2013 at 9:38am
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It might have only been one race, but Lewis Hamilton took great satisfaction from his performance in Australia.

The 2008 Formula One World Champion shocked the world of motor racing last year when he announced that he would be leaving McLaren for Mercedes.

Hamilton had spent his entire life with McLaren, from the age of 13 he developed with McLaren right through to almost clinching the Formula One title in his debut season, to taking his first and currently only championship a year later.

He continued to be a regular race winner with McLaren, going on to take 21 victories and 49 podiums in 110 races with the team.

So when he announced that he would be making the switch to a team with just one victory since their return to the sport in 2010, it raised a few eyebrows.

Many rubbished the move, putting the decision down to money. McLaren reportedly offered Hamilton a deal that would have made him the highest paid driver on the grid, only for Mercedes to better it.

Mercedes offered Hamilton a deal that also included less corporate and sponsorship work, giving Hamilton more time to work on his own personal projects.

The deal was scrutinised in great detail, but few analysed the move down as a sporting decision, although some suggested that perhaps in 2014 following the engine regulation changes that perhaps Mercedes could provide an advantage of McLaren.

But it was all what-ifs and even then the move was rubbished as the short-term option and potential title winning car had to be McLaren.

But during the final winter testing session the tide began to turn, it appeared that the Mercedes was actually a lot more competitive than what the experts in the paddock had given it credit for, whilst the McLaren was struggling.

That form transpired in Australia with McLaren struggling for pace, whilst Hamilton qualified third for Mercedes, behind only the Red Bull’s.

The Mercedes may not have had the race pace that it showed in qualifying, with the team attempting and failing a two-stop pit strategy. But Mercedes still far out performed McLaren.

‘It’s nice to prove people wrong,’ Hamilton told the Daily Telegraph as quoted by Sky Sports.

But the British driver is not going to get carried away, despite thinking the Mercedes will actually improve this weekend in Malaysia.

He’s not stating that Mercedes will continue to out-perform McLaren this year, but he has taken some pride in proving the critics wrong about the move.

‘It has been everyone, particularly all the ex-drivers commenting that it was the worst decision ever. They said: ‘He’s going to finish nowhere, they’re going to be nowhere.’ And then they contradicted themselves, going the other way.

‘They don’t know what they’re talking about. They’re either this way or that, when the truth is the bit in the middle.’

‘We didn’t ever come out and say: ‘We’ll kick everyone’s butt,’ but we never said that we would be c**p, either, The team have done well, I’m really proud of my team. I’m proud of my decision as well.


Hamilton certainly appeared to be a lot happier at the weekend and was certainly walking around with a bigger smile on his face than you usually saw him when wearing McLaren overalls.

His fans will no doubt hope that continues and the results also continue to prove his decision was not ‘the worst decision ever’.

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