Whitmarsh: 'Hamilton regrets Mercedes move'


9 November 2012 by Ryan Wood

McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh believes Lewis Hamilton has regretted his decision to leave the Woking team for Mercedes next season, but says the 27-year-old must live with his choice.

Hamilton himself has denied such claims but Whitmarsh believes otherwise and says the 2008 champion isn't going to admit he's made a error of judgement.

"I think he has [regretted the choice] on occasions, yes," the team principal told the official F1 website. "You have to justify your decision. He's not going to say 'hey, they offered me more money'. He's also not going to say that he's made an awful mistake.

"I hope he thinks today that he's made an awful mistake and I hope he thinks that next year.

"He's made that decision and he has to live with that decision."

Whitmarsh also revealed that he is still unsure of the exact reasons behind Hamilton's departure but speculated that in the wake of his disappointing Singapore retirement, he may have reacted without thinking.

"The simple answer is that I don't know," he added.

"If I were speculating there are a number of factors and the prime one, I think, is that there comes a time when a man feels he has to flee the nest.

"I am pretty sure he hadn't made his mind up until the Monday or Tuesday after Singapore. It is always bad to make a decision in the aftermath of a bad race.

"I respect his decision, but I believe that he would be better off with us - we are the stronger team - and we intend to beat him next year."