|File: Haug Mercedes Sporting Director with Hamilton|
According to BBC F1 chief analyst Eddie Jordan, Lewis Hamilton set to move Mercedes AMG from McLaren for drives 2013 F1 season.
The BBC reported that former team boss says Hamilton will replace Michael Schumacher, F1 boss recently says that Schumacher will retire from Formula 1 for a second time at the 2012 F1 season.
“I believe Hamilton and Mercedes have already agreed personal terms and a deal could be imminent,” Jordan said.
However, a McLaren spokesman said: “We have been told by Lewis Hamilton’s management team that the story is untrue. Negotiations between Lewis Hamilton and McLaren continue.”
Mercedes said in a statement: “Until we are in a position to confirm our full driver line-up for next season, it is inevitable that there will be speculation around this topic.”
F1 boss told Jordan on BBC One: “I’m sorry that he’s leaving us not being a winner, because he is a winner.”
Asked if knew whether Schumacher was retiring, Ecclestone added: “I don’t know, I don’t know.”
“As I told [Ecclestone] yesterday I had not made a decision,” said the German.
Eddie Jordan said he had since been studying the situation and believed Hamilton, who has yet to agree a new deal to remain with McLaren, was on his way to Mercedes to replace Schumacher.
“Some weeks ago I said on TV that I felt Lewis was on the move and I had an idea at the time he had been speaking to Ferrari, which we now know is true,” Jordan said.
“But I can now confirm his people have had meetings with Mercedes. Bernie Ecclestone made it clear to me live on television on Sunday that Schumacher was leaving, although Schumacher later played it down.
“So it would appear Michael is leaving and Lewis is arriving at Mercedes. Hamilton has not agreed terms with McLaren yet.
“In fact the teams have made it clear they cannot offer him as big a salary as his current $15m (£9.42m) deal, which was negotiated before the global financial crisis. On top of that, McLaren have to pay for their Mercedes engines for the first time next year.
“Hamilton moving to Mercedes would also make a lot of sense in the context of his manager Simon Fuller, the man behind the Spice Girls and now David Beckham.
“Fuller is trying to position Hamilton as a major global star, like Beckham, and Mercedes is a much bigger global brand than McLaren.
“There has been some uncertainty over Mercedes’ position in F1. The board is unhappy at the current performance of the team, but getting Hamilton would undoubtedly be a massive coup and it could give the F1 team some breathing space.”