Lewis Hamilton is confident that Mercedes can be successful in Formula One.
Hamilton joins the Brackley based team after six seasons with McLaren, despite Mercedes having taken just one win in three years.
“The most important thing is to develop the car. I live and breathe to win, so I’ll be putting my energy towards that”, he told Sky Sports News.
“I’m generally quite an optimistic guy so I was optimistic when I signed. I know we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us and I’m still realistic about that. The car towards the end of the year here was a good second off of the McLarens and Red Bulls. I know we’ve got that to climb and on top of that, because people will have developed a good second and a half or so through the winter. We’ve got a lot of work to do here, the guys are flat out and they look like they’re hungry and so am I.”
Recent speculation suggested that Ross Brawn could be heading out of Mercedes, although Hamilton insists Brawn is a vital part of the team.
“When I was making the decision and looking at the pros and cons, Ross was definitely on the pro list. He’s a great part of the team. We need that figurehead in the team. We all look to him but he’s reassured me that he’s here to stay.”
Reports on Tuesday suggested that McLaren’s Paddy Lowe could follow Hamilton to Mercedes, although the 2008 champion believes Mercedes must focus on getting the best out of their current workforce.
“It’s not in my position to say. I’ve had great experiences with Paddy, he’s a great guy but he’s at McLaren and that’s how it’ll stay. We’ve got great people here and we have to utilise them. We can all do better – all of us. We need to extract the most out of each other”
Hamilton also reckons he will have more of an input as a driver than he did with McLaren.
“”I hope so. Every driver has quite a big impact on the development of the car. It’s a whole team working together. I’ve got to get involved, but I have no idea about the  car because I haven’t driven it. I’ve done the simulator, but that’s one thing and driving in real is another. I’m waiting for the first test and those few days will be important in terms of how it correlates to the simulator.
Hamilton insists that 2013 is important, but he is with the team for the long haul.
“Everything I’ve learnt through 18 years of racing, I’ve got to put that into this short period of time,” he added.
“But this is a marathon for me, not a sprint. I’m in it for the long haul. Mercedes have been part of my life for a long time. Now I’m a fully fledged member of Mercedes-Benz and I’ve been welcomed in by the board members. This company and the team has great heritage and I’m proud of that. I hope I can build on it in the future.”
“It’s all a bit unknown at the moment. We want to start on the right foot every season, no matter what team you’re in. I’ve got great confidence in the team. I believe I made the right decision. I had a fantastic time at McLaren – full of great people. This is a new chapter for me and I’ve got to use all the communication skills I know and have learnt and put them into something new.
“We’ve got a cabinet here and I want to work with the team to make this place full of trophies!”