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Hamilton signs three-year Merc deal

Friday 28-September-2012 10:17

Lewis Hamilton will race for Mercedes next season, replacing Michael Schumacher in what he is billing as a "fresh challenge."

After months of speculation about his future, it was finally announced on Friday that Hamilton has called it quits on his 14-year association with McLaren, signing a long-term deal with rivals Mercedes.

Hamilton has been with McLaren in some part since he was a 13-year-old karter and entered Formula One with the Woking team in 2007, winning the Drivers' Championship the following season.

The Brit's results slumped since with Hamilton fighting for the crown but never quite getting there, prompting him to seek a "fresh challenge" elsewhere.

"It is now time for me to take on a fresh challenge and I am very excited to begin a new chapter racing for the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team," said the 27-year-old.

"Mercedes-Benz has such an incredible heritage in motorsport, along with a passion for winning which I share.

"Together, we can grow and rise to this new challenge. I believe that I can help steer the Silver Arrows to the top and achieve our joint ambitions of winning the World Championships."

Meanwhile, team boss Ross Brawn has hailed the "potential" that now waits Mercedes with Hamilton and Nico Rosberg flying the flag.

"The arrival of a driver of Lewis' calibre is a testament to the standing of Mercedes-Benz in Formula One and I am proud that Lewis shares our vision and ambition for the success of the Silver Arrows," said the Brit.

"I believe that the combination of Lewis and Nico will be the most dynamic and exciting pairing on the grid next year, and I am looking forward to what we can achieve together.

"Over the past three years, we have been putting in place the foundations and building blocks that are needed to compete regularly for the World Championship.

"Behind the scenes, we have assembled a team that is technically stronger, more experienced and better resourced, thanks to the support of Petronas and all of our loyal team partners.

"The potential is now there to match any other team on the grid, which is the minimum standard for a Mercedes-Benz works team. Our task is now to translate that potential into on-track performance for next season and beyond."

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