'Lewis Hamilton dropped a clanger by joining Mercedes'

Updated: Sep 30, 2012, 15:55 PM IST

London: Grand Prix legend Sir Jackie Stewart reckons Lewis Hamilton has ‘dropped a clanger’ with his 60-million-pound switch from McLaren to Mercedes.

The outspoken Scottish three-time world champ believes Hammy, now managed by Simon Fuller’s XIX management company, owed loyalty to the team that nurtured him after discovering him karting at 13.

“McLaren have the resources, the money, the long-term commitment and huge experience. If I were Lewis, I would have stayed with them,” a leading daily quoted Stewart, as saying.

“He would not be where he is today without them, and there is a degree of loyalty which you should always have,” he added.

Mercedes moved in on Hamilton as a replacement for fading legend Michael Schumacher, 43, whose 10 million pound-a-year contract runs out after this season’s final six races.

The ex-Jaguar boss Stewart insisted that McLaren would have been Hamilton’s best bet for a second title to add to his 2008 crown.

“McLaren have not been out of the top end of motor racing now for a very long time. I can’t imagine how he could be more spoiled than being with them,” he said.

“He is a very lucky boy because he has made huge amounts of money and that is largely down to McLaren, not Lewis himself, because they gave him his break and made him the brilliant driver he is,” he added.