Originally Posted by UltimateBMW
I've been seeing a lot of poeple saying he has turned his back, betrayed, etc. Regardless of your opinion of the move, this line of thought is a bit ridiculous. In your mind, was he forever locked to only drive with McLaren? What about when McLaren are ready to dump him, can he not go anywhere else? Or only when they feel they've had their fill of him is he allowed to finally leave?
He gave McLaren their first WDC after a 10 year dry-spell, as well as a number of wins and good runs at the championship. And has driven for the team for 5 years in F1. Like/dislike McLaren, like/dislike Hamilton, but neither owe each other anything. That is what the contracts are for. Don't forget that this is a business and sentiment, while maybe a pleasant notion, has no place in the paddock.
In the same thought, is Perez turning his back on Ferrari for going off and signing up with McLaren? The answer is obviously no.
Of course, this is a business just like anything else; loyalty is a thing of the past. Hamilton is free to go wherever he chooses. Maybe he wanted a change, but when your current employer has given you a championship caliber car for maybe all but one of your seasons with them, it doesn't make sense. You are going to a Mercedes team that has won 1 race in 3 seasons and is barely ever on the podium. Yes there's a possibility that they could gain an edge when the engines are switched over to the V6s in 2014, but that's pure speculation. In just the last week, McLaren upped their offer to Hamilton, so it sounded like they were trying to get him to stay and wanted him. But in the end of the day, my feeling is he decided on Mercedes for the wrong reasons(money, fame, etc.).
The Perez situation is completely different. He had no contract offer from Ferrari and basically had his potential boss saying he wasn't ready yet. If I was in his situation, I would've signed with McLaren too.
Just to point out, Webber was in a similar situation a couple of months ago. He's been with Red Bull a long time and Ferrari made him an offer. Most drivers would get all googly eyed with a contract offer from Ferrari in front of them, but not Webber. He knew his best chance at winning would be to stay with Red Bull who have provided him a championship capable car for the last couple of years. Ferrari would most likely have given him more money, more fame, more glamour, but he's a driver first and made a bold call to turn Ferrari down and stay with Red Bull. Hamilton is in it for the money and fame more than wining championships. His XIX management team have steered him to Mercedes to "raise his global profile", not to win F1 championships.
Just my .02.