Hamilton: Last race in Brazil is going to be a really emotional sendoff

Race winner Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren celebrates withFather Anthony Hamilton (GBR), Linda Hamilton (GBR) and the team. Formula One World Championship, Rd19 United States Grand Prix, Race, Austin, Texas, 18 November 2012.

United States GP winner Lewis Hamilton celebrates with the McLaren team

Nov.21 (Reuters) Lewis Hamilton will say an emotional farewell to McLaren in Brazil next weekend as a winner, even if Formula One’s season-ending race is all about someone else taking the title, as the 2008 world champion wants to celebrate one last triumph, fresh from winning in Texas, before heading off to Mercedes.

Martin Whitmarsh (GBR) McLaren Chief Executive Officer and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren celebrate on the podium. Formula One World Championship, Rd19 United States Grand Prix, Race, Austin, Texas, 18 November 2012.The Briton had won on F1’s last visit to the States in 2007 and picking up where he left off meant a lot to a 27-year-old already spending an increasing amount of time in the country.

Hamilton now heads to Interlagos, where he sealed his 2008 championship, for one last hurrah for a team he has been a part of since they started backing him as a promising 14-year-old.

“I think the last race in Brazil is going to be a really emotional sendoff for us all, team and driver and family,” his father Anthony said in Austin after joining the race winner for the team victory photograph.

“The Hamiltons are synonymous with McLaren and vice-versa and I think we are all going to miss each other,” he told Sky television. “But to be honest I think it’s nice to go off to greener pastures and see whether you can develop something new in your life.”

On Sunday McLaren gave Hamilton a good car and he delivered sensationally, passing Red Bull‘s championship leader Sebastian Vettel to take the win and deliver just the boost his team had been looking for.

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren celebrates his World Championship in parc ferme. Formula One World Championship, Rd 18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Race, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday 2 November 2008.“We were talking of just getting a win in, that would be the icing on the cake,” said Hamilton, who is out of a title chase that now only involves Vettel and Ferrari‘s Fernando Alonso.

“Even if we go to the next one and it’s not spectacular, at least we have this one. But of course I’m going to go to the next race hoping we can do it again.”

The victory was Hamilton’s fourth of the season.  He might also won in Singapore and Abu Dhabi had he not been sidelined by mechanical failures.

The problem in Abu Dhabi two weeks ago, when Hamilton was leading confortably, was a hard blow for the team as well as the driver.  Sunday’s win, with the rocket red victory shirts bursting out, brought the smiles back.

“It’s been brilliant for the team and we needed it, we really did need that one together,” said team principal Martin Whitmarsh.

“We faltered a little bit this year, we’ve had a quick car and we haven’t done as good a job as we expect of ourselves. These things are really important to the team and we are going to go into Brazil on a high and make sure we can do a good job there,” he added.

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-27 retires from the race. Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Singapore Grand Prix, Race, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Sunday 23 September 2012.Hamilton will soon be turning his focus on Mercedes – a team who looked woefully uncompetitive on Sunday and whose sole success since they took over the title-winning Brawn GP outfit in 2009 came this year.

The driver has recognised that it could be a while before he wins again but his father said there were no regrets.

“It’s nice to have challenges in life,” said the man whose parents immigrated to Britain from the West Indies island of Grenada and who held down several jobs at once to get his karting son onto the motor racing ladder.

“One of our greatest ever challenges was coming from a council house to Formula One. I never ever believed that would happen to us. Then Lewis becomes an F1 champion and now we are almost rebuilding the challenge.”

Subbed by AJN.

  • Speedo

    In the picture I see Whitmarsh wearing the hat given to Lewis after his win. Will Whitmarsh and McLaren keep the hat as well as the trophy or will he at least give the Texan hat back to Lewis to keep as a memorabilia – Lewis earned it.

  • John

    Frustratingly Hamilton has driven better since handing in his notice. Frustrating because that’s how we’d have liked to have seem him drive all year.

    Maybe it’s because he’s not had the airhead or all his other rapper bling bling pals hanging around that he’s had to concentrate on racing. Brawn had better ensure they don’t turn up at the Merc garage next year.

  • McHare

    McLaren can easily overhaul Ferrari in the constructors this weekend. A worthy goal for the last race. Come on you Big Mc!

  • Speedo

    @John: Lewis has been driving the under-performing car superbly all through the season while Button had difficulties. Pit stop bungling cost him aplenty. The penalty for under-fuelling P1 to P24 cost him a win. The un-reliabilty of the car cost him two wins Singapore and Abudhabi, and other races too. He was shunted by Maldonado and Grosjean in two races. I fail to understand how you can say that Lewis is driving better since handing in his resignation.

  • Hawk

    @jOHN
    oBVIOUSLY A HATER. there is absolutely no credibility in what you are saying. rubbish just. Lewis has won once since his notice. do you mean to say he was driving poorly in Monza, Hungary and Montreal? in Singapore when he retired from the lead? In Valencia, Barcelona? Or is there justification that he drove better in Korea, India, Suzuka than before the notice? next time think first before you are misled by your hateful emotions. btw can you name any of the bling bling pals?

  • Kimi4WDC

    Nice change for him with Mercedes. You guys forget what kind of close environment some of modern young drivers live in. They do not enjoy same experiences of your average teens, and their view on things is accordingly different.

    Change of scenery is going to be the best thing for him as a human being, especially after this year where win slipped from his fingers again and again. He is going to be a stronger man next year, no matter how good that Merc will be.