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Hamilton: It’s gloves off

Lewis Hamilton seeks to keep his F1 title hopes alive in Japan and says the gloves are now off
Lewis Hamilton says he is taking the approach that the gloves are now off as he seeks to end his time at McLaren with a championship to his name.

Hamilton, who confirmed on Friday that he will move to Mercedes for the 2013 season to end a 14-year association with his current team, will head into the Japanese Grand Prix next weekend sitting 52 points behind Fernando Alonso after he was forced to retire while leading in Singapore.

The Briton will mow hope to put that result behind him at a circuit he admits is one of the true classics on the calendar, with his only aim being to push for victory.

“When I first raced here in 2009, I couldn't believe a place like this could still exist in Formula 1 – it still feels like a proper old-school circuit,” he said. “It doesn't have the polish or finesse of an ultra-modern track – but is all the better for it. It's fantastically quick, too, and very difficult to master. It's an unforgiving place, and it also has that special atmosphere that you only get in Japan, for some reason.

“In terms of the championship, there's nothing to really be gained by analysing the points tables, from now on, it's simply gloves-off. As in Singapore, I'll come out fighting, I'll just be hoping for a better result next weekend.”

Team boss Martin Whitmarsh said there was plenty for McLaren to take away from Singapore last weekend and said he hoped that the team would end the Japanese weekend on top of the podium.

“Despite Lewis's retirement from the last race, our performance in Singapore was encouraging for the whole team,” he said. “It showed that we have a car that can fight for victory on a wide range of circuits, and we're confident of once again challenging at the front in Japan next weekend.”

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22.09.2012 - Qualyfing, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27
21.09.2012 - Free practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27
21.09.2012 - Free practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27
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Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas
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Lando Norris, McLaren Autosport BRDC Awards [Credit: Martyn Pass PR]
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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]

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b - Unregistered

September 30, 2012 3:22 PM

So it looks as though it might have been a mistake from Hamilton to move to Merc if one of the big deciding factors was the new engines. Whether they do or don't come in though, I'm sure he'll be competitive. But what strikes me as strange, is that ever since there had been talks that Hamilton might go to Merc, all the Hamilton fanboys have been saying how great it would be because Merc would have an advantage over the rest of the field with the new engines. Considering how much crap they give to Button about the advantage Brawn had over the rest of the field, I'm surprised that they now think that an advantage like this would be a good thing. Even though this would be more of an unfair advantage to Merc than the Brawn had. So, according to Hamfans Car advantage to Button = lucky WDC Car advantage to Hamilton = great! Ahhh....fanboys - gotta love em!

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