Lewis Hamilton has admitted that the "struggle" of turning Mercedes into a top team was one of the major incentives behind his decision to leave McLaren.
The 2008 champion claimed in an interview with BBC Sport that he did not want to take the easy option of staying with McLaren and hopes to help build Mercedes into a title-winning team as Michael Schumacher did with Ferrari in the late 1990s. nAsked if his motivation was to emulate Schumacher's Ferrari feat, Hamilton replied: "That's exactly it. I don't feel like any of the drivers are doing that nowadays.
"I could take the easy route and just stay here [McLaren] and just cruise on for the next three years in a great team and a great car, making decent money. But that's not what I want to do – I want to go and struggle. I want to help them get to the top and start winning. That's going to be the coolest, most satisfying feeling if we do get there. And if we don't, I'll only be 31 at the end of it."
Hamilton has been a McLaren driver since the age of 13 and has spent all of his six-season Formula 1 career with the team. He believes that the challenge of moving to another outfit is vital at this stage of his career.
"I had two pretty much the same offers on the table and to do the easier thing, which is to stay in a great car and continue on the road that I am on, didn't really suit me. I wanted to go and do something different. I wanted to have the challenge, I wanted to try working with new people. I wanted to grow in my communication skills with a different group of people and learn more from new people.
"And [I wanted to] have the challenge of taking a car that's not very successful and [go on] the exciting journey of trying to make it as successful as the car I'm in right now."