Lewis Hamilton discusses McLaren exit

BBC Sport

Lewis Hamilton

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton had to fight back tears as he discussed his impending departure from McLaren.

Hamilton’s last race with the team which has supported him since he was 13 is Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix. He joins Mercedes for 2013.

Asked by BBC Sport how he will feel after the race, the 27-year-old said: “I might have to keep my helmet on.

“It’s going to be tough. It’s my family and I’ll be going elsewhere. It’s best I don’t talk about it too much.”

Hamilton’s eyes then welled up. BBC pit-lane reporter Lee McKenzie said: “You get choked up thinking about it?”

Hamilton replied: “Mmm.”

He said of his girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger: “My missus is always telling me every bit of time is precious and I’m going to maximize the time I have this weekend.”

The 2008 world champion said making the decision to join Mercedes, which he did while on holiday in Thailand after the Singapore Grand Prix at the end of September, had been a weight off his shoulders.

Hamilton’s career

  • Makes his debut in 2007 at the Australian Grand Prix for McLaren, qualifying fourth and finishing third
  • Wins the 2007 Canadian Grand Prix after finishing on the podium in each of his first five races
  • In 2008 signs a lucrative five-year contract to race for McLaren until the end of the 2012 season
  • The same year he becomes, at the time, F1’s youngest world champion
  • A disappointing 2009 sees him finish fifth with only two wins
  • Still searching for his second World Championship title after finishing fourth and fifth in 2010 and 2011 respectively
  • Signs to race for Mercedes from the 2013 season

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