Kovalainen surprised by Hamilton’s Mercedes move
2 November 2012 – Opinions on Lewis Hamilton’s 2013 switch from McLaren to Mercedes have ranged from right to wrong, to confusion and outrage. In the case of former team-mate Heikki Kovalainen, the Finn is ‘surprised’ by the Englishman’s defection to the Brackley outfit.
“Ultimately, I was little surprised,” the Caterham driver told Gulf News. “I knew that it was between those two teams, and that the Mercedes option was serious, but I didn’t know what he was going to do. It wasn’t a bad situation - I mean, both teams are good. If you have Mercedes and McLaren contracts on the table, either way, it’s not a bad choice. My feeling is that Lewis felt he needed a change, to try something different.”
Kovalainen left McLaren at the end of 2009, having spent two tough seasons with the Woking team which yielded just a single race victory in Hungary.
“The fact is McLaren have good, quick cars, but he (Hamilton)’s not been able to perhaps win as much as he was hoping for and I’m sure McLaren won’t have been happy with their results,” the Caterham driver continues.
“I’m sure the deciding factor for him was not money - I think he probably saw somewhere else that, ultimately, he can win more.”