Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes F1 Decision Not Made After McLaren DNF in Singapore

Published 04/01/2021, 6:00 AM EDT
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL – OCTOBER 18: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and McLaren Mercedes appears at the drivers press conference during previews prior to the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix at the Autodromo Interlagos on October 18, 2007 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Lewis Hamilton has had a brilliant phase so far with the Mercedes AMG F1 team, which started back in 2013. The Briton managed a mammoth of six championship titles while racing under the Stuttgart-outfit.


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However, there has been a wide array of uncertainty over the seven-time world champion’s switch to Mercedes from McLaren. The announcement came just five days after the 2012 Singapore Grand Prix, where Lewis retired from the race following a gear-shifting issue.


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It was rather painful to watch, considering Lewis led the race from the start for over 23 laps, only to end up leaving the weekend empty-handed. In fact, the issue struck him even earlier with the E-shifts failing in his gearbox. However, the Briton handled it pretty well and kept going.

Unfortunately, things got worse from there as he lost the third gear as well, forcing him to park his car in the run-off area. Lewis portrayed a dejected figure, as he made his long walk back to his team’s garage.

Subsequently, fans assumed that Lewis made the crucial decision of leaving McLaren Mercedes following the rather disappointing end to his race in the streets of Singapore.

However, is that really true? Apparently, no.

Lewis Hamilton revealed that the 2012 Singapore GP was never the turning point in his decision to exit McLaren.

What did Lewis Hamilton say?

Speaking to Sky Sports F1, the seven-time world champion clarified that he was in Thailand when he made the decision of switching to Mercedes for the 2013 season.

That wasn’t the time that I made the decision. Yeah, people think it was the time when my gearbox failed. Yeah, that wasn’t the moment. But people, for some reason, made that up,” he said.

It was quite a bit after that. I don’t know how much long after that it was. But I was in Thailand when I actually made the decision.”

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 28, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron

But what a decision that was! McLaren were clearly looking like the better team, while Mercedes were merely competing in the top-field in 2012; and he chose to go after the weaker team.


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Subsequent to his announcement, fortunes turned sides quite drastically, as Mercedes started dominating the grid. Meanwhile, there was McLaren, gradually losing shape, and falling further down the grid.

Mercedes are amidst a never-ending saga of dominance at the moment. But there’s also good news; McLaren, too, have finally caught up with the German-outfit.

So, will fans get to see a battle between the two historic racing teams anytime soon?


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Rohit Kumar

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Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.