Hamilton move part of growing up, says Coulthard

LONDON Sat Sep 29, 2012 4:53pm IST

McLaren Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain walks back into garage from the paddock after retiring from the Singapore F1 Grand Prix at the Marina Bay street circuit in Singapore September 23, 2012. REUTERS/Pablo Sanchez

McLaren Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain walks back into garage from the paddock after retiring from the Singapore F1 Grand Prix at the Marina Bay street circuit in Singapore September 23, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Pablo Sanchez

Inside the Peshawar school

Inside the Peshawar school

The aftermath inside the Pakistan school where at least 132 students and nine staff members were killed by Taliban gunmen.  Pictures 

LONDON (Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton's Formula One switch from McLaren to Mercedes next year is an essential step that could be the making of him as a man, former McLaren driver David Coulthard said on Saturday.

The Scot, who started his career at Williams and ended it with Red Bull, wrote in a Daily Telegraph column that he felt the 2008 world champion had grown out of McLaren and had to make a move.

"Sometimes relationships just reach their natural conclusion," he said.

"You don't live your whole life at home, even though the fridge is always full and the laundry gets done for you. At some stage you have to move out. Grow up. Become a man. This is that moment for Lewis."

McLaren principal Martin Whitmarsh told reporters on Friday, when Hamilton's three-year deal was announced, that it was a mistake to leave a winning team like his.

Hamilton, 27, has never driven for any other team after being backed from his early teenage years by McLaren - then co-owned by Mercedes - and making a sensational Formula One debut in 2007.

He has won three races this year, and 20 in his F1 career with McLaren.

Coulthard saw the move as a sign of Hamilton wanting to take control of his own destiny, after replacing his father Anthony as manager with XIX Entertainment and moving abroad, first to Switzerland and then Monaco.

"One by one he has moved out of the shadows cast by his father, Anthony, by (former McLaren team boss) Ron Dennis, and now Martin, the McLaren team principal, as well," said the Scot.

"It isn't all about winning. It is at least as much about the journey, about how you act and how you feel within yourself."

Hamilton's move triggered a shake-up in the paddock, with Mexican Sergio Perez signing a deal taking him from Sauber to McLaren as the Briton's replacement.

Germany's seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher, the most successful driver the sport has ever seen with 91 race wins, has had to move aside for Hamilton.

"So many questions are thrown up by Lewis's decision to join Mercedes and Formula One is undoubtedly the better for it. With luck Lewis will be as well. This could be the making of him as a man," said Coulthard.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Patrick Johnston)

Sports Roundup

REUTERS SHOWCASE

26/11 Accused

26/11 Accused

Pakistan to appeal bail for Mumbai attack "mastermind".  Full Article 

Android For cars

Android For cars

Exclusive: Google aiming to go straight into car with next Android – sources.  Full Article 

Mass Stabbing

Mass Stabbing

Eight children killed in Australia in reported mass stabbing.  Full Article 

In Distress

In Distress

Former SpiceJet owner leading rescue plan: reports.  Full Article 

PM's Moves

PM's Moves

Modi moves in to speed up $300 billion stuck projects.  Full Article 

Losing Popularity

Losing Popularity

Dalai Lama's star waning in the West, China official says.  Full Article 

Tis' The Season

Tis' The Season

Stars around the world wish you Happy Holidays.  Video 

Cyber Warfare

Cyber Warfare

For N.Korea's cyber army, long-term target may be telecoms, utility grids.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device   Full Coverage