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Lewis Hamilton says fond farewell to McLaren on last official outing

By Simon Cass PUBLISHED: 07:17 EST, 11 December 2012 | UPDATED: 04:05 EST, 12 December 2012 Lewis Hamilton left the door open to a possible return to McLaren after saying an emotional farewell to the F1 team.Tears were shed as the British driver hugged his colleagues and thanked them for their support during his last official official outing. End of the road: Lewis Hamilton on his last official outing with McLaren Sad ending: Tears were shed as Hamilton made emotional farewell Hamilton, who will join Mercedes in January, took part in a demonstration event in Malta at the weekend, his last drive in a McLaren car.And the 2008 World Champion did not rule out a return to the Woking-based outfit in the future.’My time at McLaren has been fantastic,’ he told staff at the McLaren Technology Centre. ‘When I arrived in Formula One in 2007, I now realise I never really grasped what I was taking on. Ron [Dennis] had told me: “Don’t be surprised if you’re 0.5sec slower than Fernando [Alonso]“, and I just smiled because I knew it wouldn’t be the case. But, even so, that year was very hard, for many reasons. Driving seat: Hamilton took part in a demonstration event in Malta Night out: Hamilton and girlfriend, X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger, at the Jack Reacher premiere in Leicester Square on Monday ‘You were brilliant – you still are. I have so much affection and love for this team. And that’s why McLaren has always felt like home,’ he added.McLaren’s sporting director Sam Michael admitted Hamilton’s departure would be ‘a loss to McLaren’ but the team will ‘move on quickly’.Hamilton leaves to join Mercedes following six seasons with the team in Formula One and a further seven as part of the team’s driver development programme. ‘Of course it’s a loss to McLaren but just like if anybody leaves, whether it’s a driver – there have been some very big, famous names leave McLaren before in terms of drivers – and you don’t dwell on it,’ Michael told James Allen on F1. ‘You move on quickly because Formula One’s all about change management.” Michael also said that Hamilton leaves on good terms.’I think the whole team gets on very well with Lewis, and we still do. He’s a great guy, he’s a fantastic racing driver; he’s possibly the quickest driver on the grid at the moment…

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Posted by admin 11 December 2012


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