Mercedes didn’t originally want to sign Lewis Hamilton as Michael Schumacher’s replacement according to former Mercedes team CEO Nick Fry.
“Initially I couldn’t get Mercedes on board with hiring Lewis,” he wrote in his upcoming book ‘Survive. Drive. Win.’, an excerpt of which was published by RaceFans.
“More than once we were sent back to come up with other ideas.”
“For whatever reason, we were told to look at people like Nick Heidfeld again, who was super-keen to get the seat, and repeatedly text me with photos of himself, his family and his dog in a futile bid to pique my interest.”
However Hamilton was eventually signed, but it took the arrival of Niki Lauda for it to happen, with Fry writing that Lauda told him on his first day at Mercedes to “go and do it [sign Hamilton] and I will ask Mercedes for forgiveness later”.
It then took months of negotiations with Lauda playing a pivotal role in persuading Hamilton to break with McLaren and join Mercedes, which at the time was relatively new, having bought out BrawnGP at the end of the 2009 season.