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Hamilton's move to Mercedes confirmed

ESPN Staff
September 28, 2012 « Mercedes-style double-DRS banned for 2013 | 'Mercedes offer him much greater freedom on the commercial side' »

Mercedes has confirmed that Lewis Hamilton will join the team from McLaren at the end of this season, replacing Michael Schumacher.

Hamilton has signed a three-year deal and will team up with Nico Rosberg, bringing an end to speculation over his own future but leaving Schumacher's uncertain. Reports first claimed that Hamilton was subject to a contract offer from Mercedes before the Italian Grand Prix, but as recently as the Singapore Grand Prix McLaren was hopeful of retaining the 2008 World Champion.

However, it has now been confirmed that Hamilton will join Mercedes and Hamilton said he was looking forward to "a fresh challenge".

"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," Hamilton said. "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."

Team principal Ross Brawn said Hamilton's arrival gives Mercedes "the most dynamic and exciting driver pairing on the grid", and that the team now has the potential to match any team.

"I am delighted to welcome Lewis Hamilton to our team," Brawn said. "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. 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."