Lewis Hamilton has conceded that it is unlikely he will be able to fight for the title in F1 2013.
Hamilton will end his 14-year relationship with McLaren at the end of this year following his decision to join Mercedes, where he will replace Michael Schumacher as Nico Rosberg's team-mate.
With Mercedes currently struggling though, the team has now gone three races without scoring a single point, and generally has had a pretty torrid year – excluding China, where Rosberg won – Hamilton is under no illusions about what he has let himself in for.
“Obviously I would love to win World Championship next year, but it all depends on how they develop the car,” Hamilton told talkSPORT
ahead of this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit.
“I can't be part of that development until next year, so the development that's going on right now I won't have anything to do with it. But I know Michael [Schumacher] will be doing a solid job, and so will Nico [Rosberg].
“But I think the targets are for the future - 2014, 2015 - that's when the rules change and that's when I really want to target the World Championship.
“When you move to a new team that's not been successful, it doesn't just change like that.
"It takes months and months, maybe 12-14 months, and I anticipate that will be the case,” he added.