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Hamilton says goodbye to McLaren backroom boys

Lewis Hamilton has made a flying visit to Woking to say an emotional farewell to the backroom staff and sponsors who supported him in the first six years of his F1 career.
Lewis Hamilton has taken advantage of the brief interlude in F1's hectic run towards Interlagos by returning to say goodbye to behind the scenes members of the team that nurtured him to world championship success.

The Briton, who is headed to Mercedes to begin a three-year deal in 2013, took time out to visit the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking to catch up with both team members and Vodafone customers for the final time. Despite having decided to sever ties with McLaren after six seasons in F1 - and many more on his way up the racing ladder - the occasion proved to be an emotional one for the 27-year old, who admitted that leaving friends behind was tougher than deciding to risk his career at a team further down the grid.

"I'm massively proud to have worked for McLaren for so long," he was quoted by Britain's Sun newspaper, "I still remember the day I first went to the old McLaren factory when I was 13. I've spent half my life at McLaren, [and] the team, the cars, the place, the people - they'll always be special to me.

"The challenge of moving to Mercedes will be working with that team's engineers to take a car that doesn't win regularly, and turn it into a car that does, like my McLaren.

"I hope to bring great success to Mercedes, but McLaren will always have a special place in my heart."

Hamilton heads into the final four races of the year driving for pride, as he accepts that it is unlikely that he can overhaul either Sebastian Vettel or Fernando Alonso at the top of the championship after back-to-back frustrations in Singapore, Japan and Korea. Having won twice in three race between Hungary and Italy, the Briton's best finish since has been the fifth place he took at Suzuka, and he goes into this weekend's second Indian Grand Prix 62 points behind new leader Vettel.

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Shakey - Unregistered

October 23, 2012 2:57 PM

You lot are pathetic - enough with the "Lulu" bashing already. Regardless of his character the past couple of years, the guy has literally grown up with that team. love him or hate him, it's going to be a very emotional time for Lewis and McLaren to see him go. He has given them a world championship, almost 2 if it weren't for some questionable pit calls in 2007 (China anybody?) and in-fighting with Alonso (I didn't see Lewis actively blackmailing his bosses). He has driven his heart out when he's been focused, regardless of the quality of the machinery underneath him. And say what you want about his mindset and attitude as of late, I think it's a little more than coincidence that everything went to **** when Ron Dennis left, and I mean for the team as a whole. And let's be honest here, would YOU want to remain with a company when your boss actively makes you lie for him? Best of luck at Mercedes Lewis, you will need it.

jose - Unregistered

October 23, 2012 2:33 PM

Time to move on, shake hands with those who will, smile at those who won't..Big new challenge ahead. Keep doing what you doing, just give it you Best..You're the Man! Top Dog! Numero uno Ride like the Wind baby! Hamilton #1 Fan Badman, Jose

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