Hamilton: 'If I had stayed there I would be a one-time world champion now'

26-01-2021 13:36 | Updated: 26-01-2021 14:40
by GPblog.com
F1 News
Hamilton: 'If I had stayed there I would be a one-time world champion now'

Lewis Hamilton drove for McLaren for many years, where he also secured his first world title in 2008. In 2013, he switched to Mercedes, which was a risky move, but one that ultimately paid off. After all, he has won six championships with the current Mercedes, something that would not have happened with McLaren if he had stayed there.

One-time champion after 14 years

In an interview with Mercedes sponsor Crowdstrike, Hamilton looked back on his switch, saying, "If I had stayed, I wouldn't have won another championship. Then I would still be a one-time world champion after 14 years." The main motive for switching back then was to start building something new.

"I wasn't really helping to build something. It was already an illustrious team, it had all these successes already." Instead, he wanted to help a team from that idea, which was a motivating factor in switching to Mercedes. "When I joined them they didn't have many trophies," he said.

"It was on the rise, it was growing and building. I thought then, I want to go somewhere to see if what I have learned in all these years, the privilege of working at McLaren, can be applied at a team that is not really successful yet to become successful."

Taking inspiration from Senna

The choice has not always been easy, as the situation sometimes caused doubts. Hamilton: "There were definitely moments when I thought I would not win again. I really had to analyse those pros and cons. But for me it was important to take the risk."

"Senna always said, 'If you don't go for the gap, then you're not a driver anymore.' I think if you don't take risks in life, you standstill. I took the gamble and I owe it to people like Niki Lauda - rest in peace - and Ross (Brawn), and Mercedes, who really believed in me." Clearly, Hamilton took the right gamble, considering he is tied with Schumacher for the longest winning streak of seven world championships.

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