Lewis Hamilton knows he is taking a massive gamble with his move to Mercedes, but he is determined to turn them into a great team…
It takes a brave man to leave his childhood team and an even braver one to quit a team challenging for honours on a regular basis for one that’s not always at the front.
Lewis Hamilton, though, knows exactly what he wants and he is not afraid to take a risk or two to fulfil his ambitions with his new team Mercedes.
Having spent his teenage years at McLaren, Hamilton went on to make his debut with the Woking squad in 2007 before winning his first World Championship a year later.
Even though that remains his only title to date, McLaren are usually at the front of the pack when it comes to picking up race wins or challenging for the title.
The same cannot be said of his new team Mercedes – who won the title in 2009 but struggled after that – but the 28-year-old believes he can take the Brackley squad to greater things.
“I wanted a change, I’m a risk-taker,” Hamilton is quoted as saying by Press Association Sport.
“There were so many good things about the opportunity, to go to a team that is struggling and hopefully be a part of something that makes them become great.
“Michael did it a few years ago with Ferrari, and there is no other driver that has really done that. I want to do something like that.”
Mercedes impressed during pre-season testing, but pundits will point out that their fuel loads were often lower than that of their rivals.
Hamilton, though, knows it’s not about the short-term for the team as they are looking to the future as he is “quite prepared to finish 15th in the first race” in Australia on March 17.
He added: “I just hope we can be competitive. If we arrive at the first race and we are in front then it’s going to be spectacular. If not, we will just have to keep working at it, and I have the patience to do that.
“You’ve got to remember I’ve had a couple of half-dodgy cars in the past, like in 2009, which did improve.
“If needs be, perseverance is going to be the key for all of us.”