When Hamilton chose to leave McLaren for Mercedes’ works team, very few people thought it was a good idea. The team just finished the 2012 season in fifth place and things weren’t looking too promising.
However, it turned out to be the best decision of his life and from 2014 onward Lewis and Mercedes shattered all kinds of Formula 1 records and there are no signs of them stopping anytime soon.
At the post Emilia Romagna Grand Prix press conference Hamilton was asked to explain how the team evolved since he joined back in 2013.
“There’s been a lot of changes over the time,” said the Briton.
“What’s really crazy – for me – is that I was brought in, ultimately, to replace Michael [Schumacher], which was such a strange position to be in because, obviously, I’d watched this man dominate the sport and achieve such great things and he was stopping and I was going to be taking his place.
“The guys that I worked with were his previous mechanics and engineers and what a privileged position to be in. However, they had had quite a difficult time and the car hadn’t been good.
“I think what was really great was that, when I joined, I was personally able to put my stamp on the car and make a lot of alterations, particularly in 2013.
“And then we just collectively worked together. I knew that we would have a great engine because they had already started developing the engine before I’d even made my decision to join the team, before I’d signed the contract.
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“Being that I was with Mercedes at McLaren, I was able to go to the factory, I knew what Mercedes was doing, I knew that McLaren was coming out of contract with Mercedes and I knew that I wanted to be with Mercedes-Benz because I think it’s such an iconic brand and I think they were so passionate about what they wanted to achieve.
“They’ve got such a great history and I knew that they had the power to turn things around. But it took so many incredibly hard working people to collectively come together to really innovate and design some incredibly… some of the most incredible bits of the car… to come together… the puzzle.
“It’s obviously a big puzzle. To watch it all come together is a real joy and, at the end of the day, there’s only two of us that get to drive it.
“I think also, the guys are just very level-headed. Even when you’re on the podium, the guys are never too overly-excited. They’re not out celebrating; they’re back at their desks already right now.
“I know for sure they’ll be back at their desks right now, already doing emails, working on what spares there are for the next race, working on what’s next to try to get ahead of the curve.
“And that’s what this team’s always been about,” concluded the six-time champion.
You can take a stroll through Mercedes’ Formula 1 history in our detailed year-by-year Mercedes F1 History section!