“I was brought in ultimately to replace Michael”- Lewis Hamilton on inheriting Michael Schumacher’s legacy at Mercedes, magnifying its success by manifolds.
Lewis Hamilton back in 2013 played a gamble when he joined Mercedes from an already F1 giant McLaren, but his trade worked and he is now on the verge of being F1’s most successful driver in the history.
The last statement does bring in his comparison against Michael Schumacher, who won multiple laurels in his career spanning across three decades.
The last team Schumacher competed for was Mercedes, soon after his retirement Hamilton was paired up with Nico Rosberg which kick-started a dominant era.
“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,” Hamilton revealed to GP Fans.
“The guys that I worked with were his previous mechanics and engineers and what a privileged position to be in,” he continued.
The team was struggling but a determination for success was there
Hamilton further went onto comment that when he signed for Mercedes, it was a struggling side in the sport and was yet to go on the current winning spree.
Fortunately for the team, Hamilton was able to infuse the cars with his own style, which marked the start of their success. “[Mercedes] had quite a difficult time and the car hadn’t been good,” the 92-time Formula One winner admitted.
“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,” he revealed.
“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 it’s such an iconic brand and they were so passionate about what they wanted to achieve,” Hamilton added.