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Hamilton: 'It's not the end...'

2012-10-25 08:34

HAPPIER DAYS: Lewis Hamilton (right) still has to say farewell to his friend and mentior, McLaren boss Ron Dennis.

Abhishek Takle and Amlan Chakraborty

NEW DELHI, India - McLaren's Lewis Hamilton has spoken to his F1 team boss and mentor Ron Dennis for the first time since his 2013 switch to Mercedes was announced.

Hamilton's signed a three-year deal to drive for Mercedes in 2013 but he visited the McLaren factory in southern England but there has been no big farewell speech. He said: "I haven't sat down and spoken to anybody just because we're still in the motion of the year... it's not the end yet.

"It's important to try to keep the motivation high so when I went back I did the normal things that I do. I spoke to Ron, we're planning to meet up... I think, in Abu Dhabi. We'll go for dinner, have a good chat."


McLaren has backed Hamilton since he was 13 and racing karts. The youngster had famously walked up to Dennis at a gala awards event and told him he would drive for him one day.

Dennis, McLaren's executive chairman, took a paternal interest in Hamilton's career and gave him his Formula 1 debut in 2007, when he almost won the championship at his first attempt. Cracks have since appeared in the relationship and Hamilton told reporters in South Korea that he had still not spoken to Dennis about his decision to leave.

Hamilton will replace Michael Schumacher at Mercedes. He is reconciled to being a 2012 also-ran in a title race that seems to be between Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso. "When I won the World championship I wasn't as lucky as Sebastian, to have a car that's as dominant the following year as well.

"I'm definitely very sad we've not been able to win another championship... I feel, as a team, we are good enough to have done so and I feel I'm good enough to have done so. For whatever reason, it hasn't happened, and I'm not going to complain."

Hamilton repeated his view that the championship would probably be out of his reach in 2013; Mercedes still had to make up ground.


With four races remaining in 2012, one of the sport's most competitive and hard-fought seasons, Vettel is six points clear of Alonso. Hamilton is fourth but 62 points behind and had to fight hard for 10th in South Korea while McLaren slipped to third in the Constructors' standings - six points behind Ferrari and 83 behind leader and defending champion Red Bull.

Hamilton said: "For the rest of the year it's just to try to help the team win the Constructors' championship. Realistically we are too far away, I would say, to win the Drivers'. If we did through some kind of miracle, then I'll eat my words.

"We had a chance in 2007, we had it taken away from us. So, yeah, to have that again and go out on a high like that would be fantastic."

McLaren last won the Constructors' title in 1998, although it would have won the 2007 championship had the team not been stripped of all its points after a scandal involving leaked Ferrari data in its possession.


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