Schu had a hand in Hamilton move
Michael Schumacher, pictured, will be replaced by Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton can thank Michael Schumacher's indecisiveness for allowing Mercedes to pull off a signing coup and push the seven-times champion towards the brink of retirement for a second time.
Hamilton will replace Schumacher at Mercedes from next season after signing a three-year deal worth a reported £15million per season. For Schumacher, six years after calling it a day first time around, the exit is looming again, although there are rumours he could yet replace Sergio Perez at Sauber after his switch to McLaren, whilst an 'upstairs' role at Mercedes is also a possibility.
But Press Association Sport has learned that Schumacher's dithering on whether to re-sign with Mercedes for 2013 opened the door for the Brackley-based team to poach Hamilton.
Fearing Schumacher would say no and with only slim pickings available at the end of the campaign, Mercedes pushed for Hamilton, ultimately winning out in the battle of the contracts with McLaren.
Schumacher, however, was fully aware of the Hamilton negotiations, and did not interfere at any stage.
With just six races remaining of his 'second career' in F1, even he has admitted it has been far from a success.
Schumacher said: "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.
"I wish Lewis well and for the team to achieve the success we worked so hard for in the build-up. I would like to thank the team for their trust and all the guys for their unconditional commitment. I will now concentrate on the next races."
Assessing his contribution, Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn said: "I would like to thank Michael for the important contribution he has made to the growth of our team over the past three seasons.
"His energy and commitment have never wavered, even when results have not matched our own expectations, and we are determined to finish the 2012 season together on a high. As always, it has been a pleasure to work with Michael."
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And, may I add, that Hamilton will no doubt put that Merc on the podium next year and pale your performances by comparison. I'd keep your head down chum, sorry and all that.