Allan McNish fears end of the road for Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes team
By Berthold Bouman
Sky Sport commentator and Formula One pundit Allan McNish has warned Lewis Hamilton his three-year stint with his new employer Mercedes could be the end of the road for him. Hamilton made the switch to Mercedes after he having spent his complete Formula One career with McLaren, the three-year contract with Mercedes is said to be worth some £60 million.
McNish, a former-Formula One driver, said to the UK Sunday Express, “I don’t see Lewis winning races in 2013 — and there has to be doubts that the car will be good enough in 2014.” And he further explained, “And it is easy for a lean couple of years to develop into something longer. Just look what happened to Jacques Villeneuve after he joined BAR having won the title in 1997. He never won another race.”
“Lewis has got a tough task ahead of him at Mercedes. It is a gamble,” added the 43-year old Scottish racing driver who drove for the Toyota Formula One team in 2002. “Lewis drove like a world champion last season and he still sets the benchmark, especially in qualifying. But he must have been wondering why if he was driving so well he was so far away from figuring in the championship battle with Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso.”
“He must have thought it was time to move on,” added McNish.
Hamilton says goodbye to McLaren and moves to Mercedes – Photo: McLaren
There is no doubt Hamilton indeed made a gamble by moving to the German Silver Arrows team, but the 2008 World Champion himself is confident he signed with a winning team. Nevertheless, he will be replacing a seven-times World Champion, Michael Schumacher.
“It’s a privilege to be driving for a team that have had such a legend working with them and by no means do I feel like I’m replacing him. No one can replace someone that’s achieved so much in their career,” Hamilton said about Schumacher.
“I think for me, I’m just younger and still have so much to aspire to do in the future. Of course, the team are expecting great results and all these kind of things, but that’s good because that’s what I live and breathe for. That’s what I expect from myself. I expect more from myself than probably they expect from me!”