Replacing seven-time champion Michael Schumacher was the best thing for Mercedes, according to team chairman Niki Lauda.

Echoing earlier comments by F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, Lauda claims the arrival of Lewis Hamilton gave the team a needed boost.

Earlier Ecclestone had told Sport Bild: "It was the right decision to sign Lewis.

"He woke the team up. And he can push the other driver (Nico Rosberg) in a way Michael couldn't anymore."

Lauda revealed to Die Welt that the process of replacing Schumacher with Hamilton began just over a year ago when he was invited as a guest to a meeting with Mercedes.

There the Austrian was asked if he would lead the process to decide on the driver line-up Mercedes would have in 2014.

Lauda's first call was to Lewis Hamilton and the pair met at 2am in a Singapore hotel room several days later to discuss the possibility of the Briton leaving McLaren. Ultimately Lauda was successful.

"Hamilton with Rosberg was the most important part of turning Mercedes around," the triple world champion said.

"Lewis is such a natural talent and he complements Nico so well with his (Rosberg's) attention to every technical detail. It is the best driver lineup there is -- not even Alonso and Raikkonen will be as good," added Lauda.

The Austrian did not blame Schumacher for Mercedes' poor form in 2010-2012 when the team managed a solitary victory in China last year, but admitted the arrival of Hamilton was the shot in the arm the team needed.

"Not much," Lauda replied when asked what would have happened if Schumacher stayed in 2013.

"After a certain time you need a whole new motivation for a team, and a new top driver can do that."

If Mercedes was to beat the top teams it needed to match the top teams financially and Lauda claims to do so they had to break the RRA gentleman's agreement.

"We adopted this RRA-system," said Lauda, referring to the resource restriction agreement, a pact between the teams to limit costs.

"But it was not respected by McLaren, Red Bull and Ferrari for various reasons," he said.

"I said from the beginning, 'Forget this RRA-system -- we need new and better people if we want to beat Red Bull'," admitted Lauda.

One such 'better' person was Paddy Lowe who also switched from McLaren arriving at Mercedes earlier this summer, Lauda admitted the arrival of a high level figure like Lowe did create tension with team boss Ross Brawn.

"We have clarified it," he said. "Paddy came to us earlier than we expected, but he is now responsible for the technical side. The collaboration between him and Ross works.

"Ross is the team boss, Paddy (is in charge of) the technical side. Our results this year have shown we made the right decisions."

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