Hamilton: First Brazil win would be “perfect farewell”

2012 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Circuit of the Americas, 2012Lewis Hamilton says he wants to leave McLaren on a high with victory in this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

Hamilton will make his 110th and final start for McLaren before moving to Mercedes in the off-season.

“Brazil has been the scene of some epic races for me during my time at Vodafone McLaren Merecedes and, for many reasons, this weekend will be a very big race for me,” said Hamilton.

“I nearly won the title here in 2007, clinched it on the final turn in 2008 and drove like crazy to finish on the podium in 2009. But I?ve never won: and that?s what I?ll be aiming to do this time around.

“As my final race behind the wheel of a McLaren, I vow to the whole team that I?ll give it my all on every single lap. My win in Austin last week was one of the races of my life, and I?d love to take victory in Brazil this weekend to give the team the perfect farewell present.”

Hamilton is not in contention for the championship this year but praised title rivals Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso:

“It?s a very finely poised battle, and neither Sebastian nor Fernando can afford to relax for a moment. They are both fantastic drivers, and both have driven superbly all season. Now, we?ll see who takes the final honours ?ǣ I hope it?s an epic contest.??

Team principal Martin Whitmarsh added: “This weekend?s Brazilian Grand Prix will bring the curtain down on another fascinating and exciting world championship. Additionally, it?ll be Lewis?s final race for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes ?ǣ the end of a long, and successful, chapter in the team?s history.

“I think our win in Austin last weekend has buoyed the team after a couple of disappointing races, and has shown that, in terms of raw speed, the MP4-27 wants for nothing. That?s an encouraging message to be sending home to our engineers and designers for the winter, and also a positive for our drivers, who know that they?ll likely be equipped with race-winning machinery for the Interlagos weekend.

“The Formula One world championship couldn?t ask for a more epic backdrop to the title decider than the sweeps and valleys of Interlagos. There?s little to choose between the performances of Sebastian and Fernando this season, and all I hope for is a fair and true contest on Sunday.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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36 comments on “Hamilton: First Brazil win would be “perfect farewell””

  1. Every day that pass I like Hamilton more. I don’t know why.

    1. Hamilton is becoming more… Human. In the past he was like a scripted piece of AI programming, ticking all the boxes. Now he is more down to earth and it is easier to relate to him.

    2. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
      20th November 2012, 18:20

      I believe that Hamilton’s public image and his relationship with both the press and the fans will follow a similar path to that of David Beckham. People liked him (Beckham) at first, then between 1998 and 2000 he was hated and labeled as childish and arrogant (people actually burned effigies of him after World Cup 98). He then went through a period of reconciliation with the fans, took responsibility for his actions and consequently fans grew to like and then love Becks. Now everyone loves and adores him, the man can do no wrong.

      Right now Hamilton is in the reconciliation stage…According to the Becks-ometer (bear in mind, I built the Becks-ometer myself from some loo roll and a packet of skittles).

      1. @tmcs88 Good analysis. Hamilton got me back to F1 after a break during the Schuey years. He was like Tiger Woods; incredibly gifted, dynamic, a winner… But after those couple of years he just seemed to be a whiney schmuck and I’ve gone completely cold on him.

        Here’s an interesting observation though. We were in the stands in Singapore pretty much exactly where Hamilton expired at turn 3. The collective reaction in my section of the crowd ranged from barely restrained joy to indifference. There was no collective gasp of disappointment or commiseration. From that small sample you’d have to conclude that Hamilton was a bit on the nose with the fanbase at the time. It’ll be interesting to see if he can “Becks” his way out of it. Some time fighting it out in the Merc team may do him a lot of good both personally and in terms of his “legacy”.

      2. That’s where my skittles went!

    3. William Brierty
      21st November 2012, 11:22

      Completely agree. Ever since he signed the contract with Mercedes he’s become a great guy both on the track and off it. During negotiations he was clearly stressed, which is understandable, because he was making a crucial decision for his future whilst fighting for a quite realistic shot at the title at the time. He’s so confident now, and when Lewis is confident, he’s unbeatable. Maybe he knows something we don’t, maybe Mercedes will throw the kitchen sink at the W04 in terms of resources and cash. That would explain the nosedive in performance of the W03 if Mercedes have spent all the money concentrating on next year. As for the Brazilian win, then surely he’s the favourite. He has, in effect, just won two races on the bounce, so surely he can make it three…if his car holds up.

    4. @naylamp I must admit, it was very easy to warm to him during the US GP. He seemed more approachable for the media, happy and relaxed. I guess that’s partly a reflection of not having the stress of a championship battle to contend with but nevertheless, it was nice to see.

  2. I looked at the weather forecasts and rain will be present both on saturday and on sunday. Should be an epic race!

    1. @osvaldas31 I’m going to treat any forecast with caution five days ahead of the race. Besides which most appear to be referring to a possibility of rain, not a certainty. As usual there’s be a weather forecast article the day before the action begins.

      1. it’S Gonna Rain. I’m in the tropics and it has rained every afternoon for about a week now. Just light 20 minute showers though.

        1. thx mate good news from you

      2. @keithcollantine specially with the crazy weather we’re having over here lately. I’m not in Brazil, but in Buenos Aires we had hot nights (around 30 degrees), and then a massive rain, and very cold nights (10 degrees), all in a 24 hrs gap.

        We had no spring this year, it was from winter to summer all the way. Ridiculous. And Brazil is even worse in that sense.

  3. He’ll have to fight for it: I’m expecting Red Bull and Vettel to be coming back with a vengeance. I’m looking forward to a great race hopefully – perhaps some rain to spice it up!

  4. I am not the biggest Hamilton fan. But I am really impressed with his attitude and driving Singapore Grand Prix onwards. He has not thrown a single tantrum although a lot of things have gone wrong for him – The astroturf, the retirements, etc. Not even on the team radio.

    I can’t say what will happen in 2013 but the way Perez is driving now and how Mercedes are performing, I can’t help but feel that in 2014, Lewis will be back at Mclaren.

    1. Personally I think he should have been tougher on his team – after all they cost him two probable wins. Maybe he was behind the scenes, in so good on him! I’m starting to like him slightly more now, he has seemed less arrogant recently and has matured somewhat.

    2. Yeah, I thought it was just me but a lot of people seem to be coming around to him lately. I always recognised what a fast and talented driver he was, but in 2011 I really soured on his personality – if he wasn’t petulant or childish, he appeared mopy and feeling sad for himself.

      But the longer this year has gone on, the more mature and likeable he’s become. He’s even injected a bit of humour and personality into his media appearances and interviews! He’s taken all his misfortune in 2012, that might well have cost him the Championship, on the chin. Fair play to him. I hope this Lewis stays around. Maybe the freeing notion of a new start in 2013 has put him at ease.

  5. I like to see ‘old’ Lewis back. He did a great job in Texas and I hope that bumpy Interlagos will help to finish this season on high. Pity, he lost so many points in this season due to technical problems.

  6. A win at Interlagos is a long overdue for McLaren since their last victory in 2005 with Montoya and Raikkonen finishing 1-2. It would be great to see them win this year. Also, If Hamilton wins it, it would be the best way for him to finish the season with. But RBR and Ferrari will be equally wanting the same. This year’s season finale is going to be one of the best if not the best. Look forward to it!

  7. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
    20th November 2012, 18:37

    The question is, will Alonso Vs Vettel 2012, surpass the last gasp excitement of Hamilton Vs Massa 2008?

    1. I doubt it, with Vettel’s 13 point lead, the only way it could approach 2008 would be for some calamity to befall Vettel (accident, alternator etc). If that were to happen and Seb scores no points, Alonso would have to finish on the Podium to win the WDC which could provide some excitement. Barring that Vettel merely has to finish within 13 points of Alonso in the race to clinch his 3rd WDC in a row.

  8. From the middle of the season, who would have thought this?
    Alonso had a 40 point lead, which was very quickly eradicated.
    Shows just how fast things can change.
    I hope there is a good scrap between Vettel, Raikkonen, Hamilton and Alonso; a race-long tussle for P1, which is won with a 4-way, side-by-side-by-side-by-side drag race to the finish line.
    That would be a truly exceptional way to close off the season; the 4 best drivers, from the 4 best teams duking it out.
    It would also be an awesome season-closing photograph as well; a la Monza 1971, only with the cars right next to each other.

    1. Alonso’s 40 point lead was the manifestation of how fast things can change. I find it surprising that Ferrari are still in this position, considering McLaren are out of it. Ferrari really salvaged this year, if their main rivals were not as plagued by DNFs in early part(late part included), would have been a total disaster of a season.

    2. He will do Raikkonen a favour if he does win and takes Kimi’s 3rd place in standing. Then Kimi’s wish comes true and he dont have to fly to Istanbul for Drivers Galafest 2012 :) But in this case Kimi must not finish 2nd behind Lewis in Brazil :)

      1. oops was supposed to be a new comment with regards to Hamilton’s prospects of winning in Brazil.

      2. I don’t really care who wins the race; I’d like it to be Vettel, but as long as he wins the title, then it’s fine by me.

  9. [Vettel and Alonso] are both fantastic drivers, and both have driven superbly all season.

    Someone must have had a whisper in Lewis’ ear about being gracious, and told him that the constant belittling of Vettel that was coming out of his mouth a few weeks ago only made him sound like a prat.

    1. Maybe it’s easier being gracious when you know you’ve earned N squillion this year and next year you are going to earn 5 x N squillion.
      But yes, I agree with you.

  10. Lewis has been in a good place since his new contract with Mercedes was announced. McLaren failures have dogged him for a long time but when he does break down, it gives him satisfaction that he’s made the right move. Whether Mercedes can up their game for him – well that is another question. I do hope they compliment each other.

  11. Back-to-back wins would be nice to see for both parties to end on a nice high. It’ll be nice to watch as well!

    Regatding next year though, despite having a poor race, I think Mercedes can go away and really improve their car now. They had a whole heap of updates on MSC’s car. This new car qualified very well, but was very poor in the race.

    But it was almost the opposite for Nico’s car. So it seems they now need to find some sort of balance between the new car and the old one. I’m hoping they do, and next season are around 4th fastest, fighting with the Lotuses and Ferraris!

  12. My win in Austin last week was one of the races of my life

    @keithcollantine, I think you accidentally a word there, if not Hamilton phrased that sentence quite poorly.

      1. Thought as much but decided to mention it just in case :)

        1. And it was phrased quite correctly, to be honest. :P

  13. Opinionated Folks, often have me cursing the gods of internet connectivity, social media and the mainstream media. Then I remember that old adage about everyone being entitled to one, and get on with it. I don’t know how many of You have ever had someone close that was mega famous, I have and the misperceptions People project are beguiling. I watched a dear friend become a star in major league baseball, and I’ve worked with many recording artists from the beginning thru to major success, and each and every one was vastly different from the publics perception of them. I’ve never met this Kid LH (I’m 43) but he certainly seems pretty sincere. Does he do foolish things sometimes? Of course. Is he a bad Guy? Probably not. I think those that spit venom and negativity are deluding themselves. I bet if You met him, You would probably like him. Haters are mostly just plain JEALOUS. That’s why it is best that handsome, rich, guys and girls associate with similar types for the most part. Of course there are always exceptions, but the pauper rarely enjoys time spent with the Prince. It only serves to remind of what he lacks. All I’m saying is, the guy is 27, if he is 40 and hasn’t learned then casting aspersions may be appropriate…

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