|Born||January 7, 1985||Nationality||British|
|Team||Mercedes||F1 Debut||Australia 2007|
|Career statistics to end 2012|
|Pole Position(s)||26||Fastest Lap(s)||12|
Should Lewis have stayed in his comfort zone at McLaren, or should we applaud him for being brave enough to seek fresh pastures? To continue that metaphor, he’s been in a pretty good paddock ever since he came into Formula 1 in 2007 so after six seasons maybe it is time to find out just how good he is.
Another question: was 2012 a step forward for Hamilton’s new team, Mercedes, or a step back? They broke through with a maiden victory in their own right in Shanghai, but for various reasons, a lot of them to do with tyre use, they failed to build on that success.
Eventually they fell back to fifth in the Constructors’ Championship, their lowest placing in their three seasons back. In the aftermath, Mercedes-Benz motorsport director Norbert Haug has already fallen on his sword so there will be change in the wings, so to speak, before Lewis arrives.
Still, Hamilton had another typically combative year in 2012. His speed was undiminished, as underlined by seven poles; he won four times, a tally bettered only by Vettel; and he was on the podium eight times.
When the news finally broke of his move in late September 2012, Hamilton said: “Together, we can grow and rise to this new challenge. I believe that I can help steer the Silver Arrows to the top and achieve our joint ambitions of winning the world championships.”
All well and good, but how long will it take? Did the grass just seem greener on the other side?