Hamilton: Brawn 'convinced' me to join Mercedes in Mum's kitchen

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Lewis Hamilton has revealed how then team boss Ross Brawn convinced him to join Mercedes in a chat in his Mum's kitchen.

With Michael Schumacher retiring from Formula 1 for the second time at the end of 2012, the Brackley-based team identified Hamilton as their first choice to replace him.

It is well-known that then non-executive chairman Niki Lauda first approached Hamilton after he retired at the Singapore Grand Prix.

But despite good talks with the Austrian, Lewis admits it wasn't until he met with Brawn that his interest in Mercedes really picked up.

“It wasn’t in Singapore that Niki ‘sold me a dream’,” Hamilton recalled via RaceFans at last weekend's Turkish GP. “I had spoken to Niki, I was back home in Monaco, and I was talking to him and he was talking to me.

"I’m pretty sure he was the first one I’d spoken to and he’s like ‘you’ve got to come to the team' and I wasn’t convinced necessarily at the beginning.

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“I think the convincing stage, which really made me look into it more, was when Ross [Brawn] came around my mum’s house, sat in the kitchen and we had tea, and he showed me what the plan was for the team.

"That was the real, in-depth insight into what the team was planning and the changes that they were trying to do. So that was really the ‘selling’ point."

Hamilton though explained how the talks with Lauda led to the strong relationship he formed with the triple world champion until his death last May.

“With Niki, we worked on the layout of the deal. Good memories," he said.


"I think the important part of Singapore was that Niki and I, more so for him, Niki realised that we had a lot in common and I think that was the start of our friendship because I remember him saying to me, ‘you’re a lot like me’.

"I think he realised we had a lot more in common than he previously had thought since we hadn’t really spoken before so it was all done on assumption and what people write.”

Of course, after Hamilton made the move from McLaren to Mercedes, the rest, as they say, is history, with the Briton going on to win six championships in seven years to match Schumacher as a seven-time F1 champion.

“I could only have dreamed – I say it time and time again – it was far beyond my wildest dreams thinking that anyone would get to seven. I dreamt of trying to do something that Ayrton [Senna] had done," he said.

“Getting one world championship was great and then 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 about whether I stay put and keep trundling along or go and do something more adventurous.

“Obviously I took that leap of faith and then we’ve gone one after the other here. I really just, after each one, try and count my blessings because you have to be grateful for what you have, not what you might have, so that’s what I generally do.

“Naturally I knew I made a very 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.

“I think what it says is that in life we’ve got 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. Do the homework so you have the pros and cons and then go with it, whether it’s good or bad.”