Considering Lewis Hamilton has won all three of his Formula One world championships with Mercedes engines bolted in the back of his cars, we shouldn’t be surprised he’s so bullish about the automaker’s latest venture.
Hamilton, following the unveiling of the Mercedes-AMG Project One on Monday, said that he’s pushed for AMG to develop a supercar largely because he’s confident it can build one better than Ferrari can. The Brit apparently wasn’t satisfied with embarrassing Scuderia Ferrari on its home soil Sept. 3, as he chirped the “Prancing Horse” even harder during an interview with Top Gear.
He said he’s long thought it was obvious that AMG could beat the Italian automaker at its own game, given that Mercedes-AMG Petronas has had the upper hand on Ferrari in F1 for nearly half a decade.
“I love cars. And I’ve been saying to Mercedes for so long, why don’t you do a real car? Like, you’ve got AMG sports cars, but I’m talking about a supercar,” Hamilton said. “Why is Ferrari building these supercars? We can build a better car than them. We build a better racing car than them. Why don’t you guys build something that takes Mercedes to another stratosphere?”
Tobias Moers, the head of AMG, likely wanted to green-light the Project One as a way to get Hamilton to stop bugging him, but that wasn’t the entire reason he did so. Moers reportedly has long planned for AMG to build enough of a reputation in the industry that there is a demand for the firm to make a hypercar.
“So in October 2015 I called Andy Cowell [MD of the Formula One powertrain division] and asked can he think about whether the F1 engine would be capable of road use and meeting emissions,” Moers told Top Gear. “I gave him a month. And a month later he called back and said yes.”
Considering no manufacturer, not even Ferrari, has put an F1 power unit in a road car, there probably aren’t many people who disagree with Hamilton.
Thumbnail photo via Daimler