British Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton will race with the Mercedes AMG Petronas team starting in the 2013 season. Hamilton’s three-year contract means he’ll effectively replace Michael Schumacher in the Mercedes AMG Petronas lineup.
Hamilton was Formula 1 World Champion in 2008 and has captured 20 Formula 1 victories. In the 2012 season, Hamilton was fourth in the drivers’ standing with 142 points. He currently races for Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes. However, Hamilton has a lengthy association with Mercedes racing cars. He used Mercedes-Benz engines in the Formula 3 Euroseries, and every Formula 1 car he’s driven has been powered by a Mercedes engine.
“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 in a statement. “I believe that I can help steer the Silver Arrows to the top and achieve our joint ambitions of winning the world championships.”
The signing of Hamilton, however, means that longtime Formula 1 star Michael Schumacher is out. It’s currently unclear with which team he will race in the upcoming season. Schumacher has accumulated 91 Grand Prix wins and seven World Championships during his lengthy F1 career, but in recent years he hasn’t proven a particularly strong driver. His best finish in 2011 was fourth place; this season he finished third in one race but struggled in several others.
“I have had three nice years with the team which unfortunately did not go as well as we all would have wanted on the sporting side. I wish Lewis well and for the team to achieve the success we worked so hard for in the build-up,” Schumacher said in a statement.
Lewis Hamilton will race alongside Mercedes AMG Petronas teammate Nico Rosberg, who is entering his fourth season with the Formula 1 team.