Lewis Hamilton has repeatedly refuted suggestions that he's having second thoughts about quitting McLaren
- the team he's been associated with since he was a boy - in order for a 2013 switch to Mercedes.
But on Saturday ahead of the 2012 F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Interlagos, Hamilton was willing to admit that he had 'mixed feelings' about his exit from the Woking-based team.
"I have mixed emotions," Hamilton told Sky Sports F1'
s Martin Brundle in Sao Paulo. "It's very emotional and I think as the weekend goes on I'll get more and more emotional about it.
"I arrived today knowing that this was the beginning of the last race with McLaren," he continued. "But I've got to try and separate that from my thoughts of the race and try and get on with the race and try to win.
"It's going to be tough," he added.
While Hamilton insists to not regretting his decision to move to Mercedes next season, despite that team's alarming slump in form in the second half of 2012, there have been hints in recent days that Hamilton's departure from McLaren
might not prove to be a permanent state of affairs.
"We'd have him back, yes," McLaren
team principal Martin Whitmarsh told Sky Sports News
on Thursday. "So let's hope it's just a gap year."
"We have an incredible relationship," said Hamilton of his long history with the team. "My relationship with McLaren
started from such an early age. I know them so well, they're like family to me - so I'm kind of just moving away from home.
"I am walking over that bridge and down a different path [but] if that path brings me back, then who knows?" he added. "Some people do move back ... but the most important thing is that [McLaren] will always be my home."
But for now, Hamilton had to look upon Sunday's race as being the end of his time at McLaren
- and that means going out in style if he possibly can.