London, Sep.28 (ANI): Lewis Hamilton will announce on Friday that he is leaving McLaren, the team he has been with for over half of his life, for rivals Mercedes.
He has reportedly inked a three-year deal, which could be worth as much as 100 million dollars.
Hamilton's move to Mercedes from McLaren is set to bring an end to one of the most controversial and long-running transfer sagas in Formula One history, the Telegraph reports.
The announcement is almost certain to end the career of one of the most successful drivers in Formula One, seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, whose return three years ago to the sport he once bestrode like a colossus, palpably failed to live up to expectations, the paper said.
Mercedes are waiting for their board in Stuttgart to sign off on the new Concorde Agreement, the commercial pact that binds the teams to the sport, before making an official announcement regarding Hamilton, the paper added.
McLaren are only understood to have been informed of Hamilton's decision yesterday, and may hold a press conference of their own this morning, at which they will announce their next move, the paper further said.
Hamilton's decision to move no doubt be seen by some within the team as a betrayal, the paper reported.
The regular controversies, which have punctuated McLaren and Hamilton's relationship in recent seasons, the tension that was increasingly palpable, makes the move understandable, the paper reports.
The paper further said, the move raises all sorts of questions; from how much influence XIX Entertainment, Simon Fuller's management company, had over the decision.
XIX Entertainment is expected to be able to make more money out of Hamilton's contract at Mercedes, who will grant them greater freedom to exploit his image rights, the paper concluded. (ANI)