Recently Lewis Hamilton confirmed that he will race with Mercedes AMG. And McLaren announced that Sauber’s Sergio Perez will replace Lewis Hamilton in 2013, partnering with Jenson Button.
“For anyone leaving McLaren, and (Hamilton) wants to win, I think that’s a mistake because I have faith and belief in this team,” Whitmarsh explained.
“Whether you measure it over the last four races, four years or 40 years, we’re a fantastic team. So I would say to any driver who wanted to win in this sport ‘come and join McLaren and aspire to join McLaren’. I wouldn’t advise anyone to leave McLaren if they want to win, but I’ve got to respect Lewis’s decision and really wish him well.
“I know we made a very big financial offer, bigger than I believe any Formula 1 driver is enjoying today, other than himself. We were working towards him staying, but we realistically knew there was always a chance he wouldn’t.”
“He rang me two days ago, from Asia, and I believe I was the first person he told. We had a long conversation, a warm conversation,” Whitmarsh added. “He rang me again yesterday and we had another long conversation. In the end, for all parties, you need to make a decision and move on. So we had to look at other options.”