Welcome at RacingNews365

Become part of the largest racing community in the United Kingdom. Create your free account now!

  • Share your thoughts and opinions about F1
  • Win fantastic prizes
  • Get access to our premium content
  • Take advantage of more exclusive benefits
Sign in
Lewis Hamilton

How Ecclestone tried to convince Mercedes' to sign Hamilton

The former F1 supremo reveals how he tried to encourage Mercedes to pursue Lewis Hamilton to sign for the team back in 2012.

XPB 731385 Hi Res
To news overview © XPBimages

When Lewis Hamilton was announced to be moving from McLaren to Mercedes six years ago, it was seen as a controversial move from the Briton.

Why was he moving from McLaren, who at that time were still challenging for titles, to a team that had only won two races since being taken over from Brawn GP?

Hamilton was convinced by the late Niki Lauda to join the team, but a dispute over pay nearly stopped the move from happening.

To help with the move, former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone revealed in the Discovery+ documentary 'Lucky!' that he offered to pay Hamilton part of his Mercedes salary.

Ecclestone: I'll pay the difference

Having previously worked with Lauda throughout his F1 career, Ecclestone agreed to facilitate the move should Mercedes be unable to pay Hamilton the full salary he was demanding.

"Niki realised what a valuable driver Lewis was, and he found some way of persuading him that he should be driving for Mercedes," said Ecclestone.

"If he [Hamilton] didn't get paid what he wanted, he wasn't going to agree [to race for them].

"I said 'He's somebody that Mercedes needs, so I'll pay the difference' - but eventually Mercedes paid."

It turned out to be a masterstroke for Hamilton, as he went on to win six Formula 1 World Championships and help the team to eight Constructors' Championships.

Also interesting:

Video: How expensive is champagne in F1?

Although champagne has not been exclusively used on the podium, with F1 recently moving back to using sparkling wine, it forms a key part of post-race celebrations.

But what are the origins of this world-famous tradition? And with so many litres of this luxury drink sprayed throughout the season, how much money does such a champagne shower actually cost?

Check out our handy explainer video below.


LATEST More details confirmed on Gulf-backed F1 team