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2013 season vindicates decision to leave McLaren - Hamilton

ESPN Staff
December 3, 2013 « Brawn will decide F1 future next summer | Hulkenberg rejoins Force India »
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Lewis Hamilton feels his decision to leave McLaren for Mercedes this year has been vindicated not just by his results but also his renewed happiness.

McLaren was in fine form at the end of last year and Hamilton's decision to leave was widely questioned after Mercedes' performance nose dived in the final races. However, in 2013 Hamilton scored 67 more points than McLaren as a team, which failed to finish on the podium and slumped to fifth in the constructors' standings.

Asked by ESPN if it was a nice feeling to prove his critics wrong, Hamilton said: "Yes, I think it was 98% of the people [who doubted me]. Yeah, it's nice, it's great.

"It felt like the right choice to me [at the time] and it has been, I've been really, really happy. It's much more than the results, it's been the whole experience of coming to terms with a new car and a new team, it's been really enjoyable."

Hamilton said it was encouraging to see Mercedes sustain its level of performance over the course of the year and that it has a strong foundation for the new V6 turbo era in 2014.

"In other years it looked like the progress had come to a halt while others were still developing, but to see the developments keep coming through is a really good step. Of course we want more next year and I hope we will deliver that, but I thought this year would be a foundation building year, I just didn't realise the foundation would be that positive."

Hamilton welcomes the overhaul in regulations next season, saying an extension of this year's would have resulted in more Red Bull domination.

"The concept of something new and newness is exciting," he added. "If it was an evolution of this year's car then it would be very hard to beat the Red Bulls because they are just so far ahead it would have been difficult to close that gap. I'm happy that it's all reset again because otherwise it would be five, six of seven world championships [for Sebastian Vettel]!"

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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