Michael Schumacher has told Lewis Hamilton he is joining Mercedes at the right time with the Brackley-based team seeking to rebound from a tough 2012 campaign when the new F1 season gets underway.

Mercedes looked set to challenge towards the head of the pack when Nico Rosberg won in China but it was to be a rare highlight as results tailed off dramatically as the season wore on.

However Schumacher, who retired from the sport for a second time at the end of the season, said he felt good times lie ahead for his former team in 2013, when Hamilton joins from McLaren as his replacement.

"In the first two years we definitely did not have the capability to fight on several fronts," he was quoted by The Sun. "If there were problems we had to take care of them so the development process was interrupted.

"Only now is there a structure that enables both. It's a strong structure for 2013 and beyond.

"The car we had last year was built under the old conditions. I'm talking about quantity, not quality. That has always been the reason why development stagnated."

Despite his thoughts on 2013 however, the seven-time champion added that he been somewhat surprised not to see the team make more progress last year.

"We created the basic conditions for the team to move forward," he said. "Maybe a few cogs have to mesh before that happens."