Lewis Hamilton has bid farewell to all his friends and co-workers at McLaren this week as he visited the Woking-based team’s HQ for a final goodbye. The world champ spent his entire professional career at McLaren since he was 13-years-old and the parting was emotional as the Sun said:
“I’m massively proud to have worked for McLaren for so long,” Hamilton said.
“I remember the day I first went to the old McLaren factory when I was 13.
“I’ve spent half my life at McLaren. The team, the cars, the place, the people – they’ll always be special to me.
“The Mercedes building definitely isn’t as spectacular as the MTC.
“The challenge of moving to Mercedes will be working with that team’s engineers to take a car that doesn’t win regularly, and turn it into a car that does, like my McLaren.
“I hope to bring great success to Mercedes, but McLaren will always have a special place in my heart.”
It’s a sad day but Hamilton feels his move to Mercedes for 2013 is the right move. He’s stated that he knows he will struggle as the team is finding it difficult to advance up the grid on performance but some feel a driver isn’t truly great until he/she can take a less-than-perfect car and win races with it. Fernando Alonso, Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna and many other legends have done just that.
It will be odd seeing Lewis in anything other than a McLaren uniform but then it was equally odd seeing Michael Schumacher in a Mercedes uniform…time rolls on and things change. We wish Lewis all the best at Mercedes and look forward to a good scrap between him and his former team. Big question is, what engine will McLaren go with?
To be honest, there are a few races left and it seems early to say goodbye but hey, maybe he’s not planning on coming back to the UK until the season is over.