MOSCOW, September 28 (RIA Novosti)
McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton will replace Michael Schumacher at Mercedes next year, while Sergio Perez will switch to McLaren, the Formula One teams announced Friday.
"[Mercedes] is pleased to announce that Lewis Hamilton has signed a three-year agreement to race for the team from the 2013 Formula One season," the team said in a website statement.
The 2008 world champion Hamilton will pair with Nico Rosberg at Mercedes, while seven-time champion Schumacher is set to leave the team.
“Lewis will replace Michael Schumacher, who has contributed significantly to the development of the Silver Arrows works team over the past three years,” Mercedes said.
Schumacher, a seven-time world champion, came out of retirement in 2010 to race for Mercedes and spent his first-ever season in Formula One without a win, pole position, podium or fastest lap that year.
His best result since his comeback has been third place at the European Grand Prix this season.
“I have had three nice years with the team which unfortunately did not go as well as we all would have wanted on the sporting side,” Schumacher said.
It is not clear if the German will join another team or retire for a second time.
Hamilton, who has driven for McLaren since his debut in 2007 and is currently fourth in the standings with 142 points, said he is “very excited to begin a new chapter.”
In another move Friday, Sauber driver Sergio Perez signed a contract with McLaren.
“[McLaren] can confirm that we have signed a multi-year deal with Sergio Perez,” McLaren said in a Twitter statement.
Perez debuted in Formula One in 2011 with Sauber and has secured three podium finishes in the current season.
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