Hamilton primed for final outing

  • Last Updated: November 22 2012, 14:27 GMT

Lewis Hamilton admits this weekend will be "tough" as it dawns on him he faces his last race with McLaren.

Lewis Hamilton: Facing a unique experience
Lewis Hamilton: Facing a unique experience

After a 14-year association with the team - the last six of those in Formula One - Hamilton brings the curtain down on his time with the Woking-based marque in this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix.

Interlagos is the scene of Hamilton's greatest memory as it was in 2008 he became world champion in the most dramatic of circumstances.

On that occasion, with rival Felipe Massa having crossed the line to take victory ahead of him, Hamilton made a move on Timo Glock - then with Toyota - into the final corner on the last lap of what was the last race of the season to finish fifth, and with it take the title.

There have been a number of highs and lows since, but not the second championship the 27-year-old arguably deserved.

In need of a new challenge and a change of scene, Hamilton will join Mercedes next season on a three-year contract worth £45million over its duration.

Giving his thoughts on his final days with McLaren, Hamilton said: "This is quite a unique experience for me.

"I've obviously never been in this situation this weekend where it's my last race with the team I grew up with.

"It's a tough one, but I take away with me only the positive memories of our journey together, signing up together, winning our first race together and our championship.

"I only have good memories, just the greatest memories of the best experiences, and I've made a lot of good friends who I hope will continue to be friends throughout the future."

On the back of his win in Austin on Sunday, Hamilton would naturally love to clinch one final victory at an historic circuit where he has never previously taken the chequered flag, with his best finish being third in 2009.

"We are going to push as hard as we can, as we did in the last race, and try to win," said Hamilton.

"I've never won here before, I think we've a good car, and it's such a beautiful race here."

Hamilton has, however, vowed to return to McLaren - albeit if only for the food.

"I was just saying to them that even though I'm going to Mercedes I'll probably go back to have lunch and dinner at their hospitality," said Hamilton with a smile.

"I hope Mercedes' hospitality lives up to the one we have!"


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