Hamilton explains Brawn role in convincing him to join Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton says Ross Brawn made the breakthrough in convincing him to join Mercedes’ Formula 1 team for 2013 after remaining uncertain following initial conversations with Niki Lauda.

Hamilton explains Brawn role in convincing him to join Mercedes

Hamilton wrapped up his seventh F1 world title last weekend in Turkey to equal Michael Schumacher’s all-time record, having won six of the championships with Mercedes.

Hamilton quit McLaren at the end of the 2012 season to join Mercedes in what at the time appeared to be a shock move, only for his subsequent success to prove it was the right decision.

Much of the work to convince Hamilton to leave McLaren in 2012 lay with Mercedes’ non-executive chairman and three-time F1 world champion Niki Lauda, with the pair striking up a strong bond and friendship in the years that followed.

But Hamilton recently revealed that he remained unsure about Mercedes’ future plans following his early chats with Lauda, and that it was Brawn - then Mercedes’ team principal - who managed to convince him.

“I’d spoken to Niki back home in Monaco, I was talking to him and he was talking to me about coming,” Hamilton said, reflecting on his decision to join Mercedes.

“I’m pretty sure he was the first one I had spoken to. He was like, ‘you’ve got to come to the team!’

“I wasn’t convinced necessarily at the beginning. I think the convincing stage which really made me look into it more was when Ross came around my mum’s house, and sat with me in the kitchen. We had tea, and he showed me what the plan is for the team.

“That was the real in-depth insight into what the team was planning, the changes they were trying to do. That was really the selling point.”

Read Also:

A key moment in Hamilton’s decision to join Mercedes came at the 2012 Singapore Grand Prix, when he met with Lauda to discuss further details about the deal which was announced five days after the race.

Hamilton said their chats in Singapore were an important part in the start of their friendship, and helped clear up some perceptions of what Lauda was like.

“The important part of Singapore, I think Niki and I - perhaps maybe more so for him - realised that we had a lot in common,” Hamilton said.

“That really was the start of our friendship, because I remember him saying to me, ‘you’re a lot like me’. I think he realised that we had a lot more in common than perhaps he had previously thought, since we hadn’t really spoken before. It was all done on assumption and what people write.

“I say it time and time again, it was far beyond my wildest dreams thinking I would get to seven [titles]. Getting one world championship was great. It was tough obviously to get the second, and I spent years trying to work at trying to help the team win another world championship.

“Then I had to make a big decision, whether I stayed put and keep trundling along, or go and do something more adventurous. I took that leap of faith, and then we’ve gone one after the other here.

“I knew I made a good decision when I made the decision. I knew it was the right thing for me. But jeez, did I know that we would win six world titles? No.

“I think what it says is that in life, we’ve got to make sure that we take that leap of faith, do what you think is right for you and not what people tell you to do, and do the homework so you have the pros and cons, and then go with it.

“Go with it all in, whether it’s good or bad.”

shares
comments

Related video

Seidl: Wild Turkey was fun but F1 is about building best cars

Previous article

Seidl: Wild Turkey was fun but F1 is about building best cars

Next article

Why Mercedes won’t leap into choosing a Wolff successor

Why Mercedes won’t leap into choosing a Wolff successor
Load comments
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Prime

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences.

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Prime

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Prime

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Prime

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1's elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he's recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Italian Grand Prix driver ratings

Two drivers produced faultless performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left many to rue what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo would have won without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Prime

Why Ricciardo would have won without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates Prime

Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates

For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of "glory" if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1's other orange army

Formula 1
Sep 12, 2021
How Formula 1 has made itself unattractive to new teams Prime

How Formula 1 has made itself unattractive to new teams

OPINION: The Formula 1 cost cap has been billed as a saviour to several teams and helped to guarantee their viability for investors. But there already exists another mechanism that effectively had the same purpose, and serves as a strong deterrent for those with the means to go it alone in setting up a new team

Formula 1
Sep 10, 2021