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Hamilton's "leap of faith" that propelled him to become record-equalling champion

Hamilton's "leap of faith" that propelled him to become record-equalling champion

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Hamilton's "leap of faith" that propelled him to become record-equalling champion

Hamilton's "leap of faith" that propelled him to become record-equalling champion

Lewis Hamilton has revealed it required "a leap of faith" for him to cut the apron strings to McLaren and join Mercedes which has resulted in him statistically becoming the most successful driver in Formula 1 history.

After winning his first F1 title in 2008, Hamilton then spent a further four fruitless seasons with McLaren scrabbling for the odd win here and there before deciding to make his career-defining move to Mercedes at the end of 2012.

A further six titles in eight seasons have followed that have allowed Hamilton to match the landmark of seven championships won by Michael Schumacher.

After initially being softened up by the late Niki Lauda over the move, it was former team principal Ross Brawn who ultimately convinced the 35-year-old to sever the ties with McLaren.

"I'd spoken to Niki when I was back home in Monaco [in 2012]," said Hamilton. "I'm pretty sure he was the first one I spoke to. He told me 'You've got to come to the team'. I wasn't necessarily convinced at the beginning.

"The convincing stage, which really made me look into it more, was when Ross came round to my mum's house, we sat in the kitchen, we had tea, and he showed me what the plan was for the team.

"So that was real in-depth insight, the planning, the changes they were going to make. That was really the selling point. After that, with Niki, we worked on the layout of the deal, so anyways, good memories.

"But it was far beyond my wildest dreams that anyone would get to seven. I dreamed of trying to do something that Ayrton [Senna] had done [by winning three]. Getting one world championship was great, but it was very tough to get the second.

"I spent years trying to help the team [McLaren] win another world championship, and then I had to make a big decision on whether I stayed put, keep plodding along or go and try and do something more adventurous.

"Obviously, I took that leap of faith, and we've won one after the other here. After each one, I try and count my blessings. You have to be grateful for what you have, not what you might have, so that's what I generally do."

With the introduction of the 1.6-litre V6 turbo-hybrid era in 2014 Mercedes has reigned supreme, winning a record-breaking seven successive constructors' championships and drivers' titles.

Hamilton obviously had an inkling of what was to come, but little realisation of what would ultimately transpire, adding: "Naturally, I knew I'd made a really good decision when I made the decision, I knew it was the right thing for me but did I know we would win six world titles? No.

"What it says is that in life we have to definitely make sure we take that leap of faith, do what you think is right for you and not what people tell you to do.

"You have to do the homework, so you have the pros and cons, and then go with it, and go with it all in, whether it's good or bad."

Before you go...

Steiner – No “special magic” to Haas success in Bahrain

"Team leader" mentality has prevented bust-up with Bottas - Hamilton

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