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GP Week : Issue 36
> F1NEWS> Hamilton: McLaren for life New World Champ says he will stay with Macca for the rest of his F1 days LEWIS Hamilton has pledged his Formula 1 future to the McLaren team, after celebrating his World Championship at the squad’s headquarters in Woking, England, with over 1000 McLaren employees there to toast his success. “I love this team, I’m going nowhere,”he said. “This is the best team in the world. I’m very proud of everything McLaren have achieved. Even when I was growing up, when I first knew that racing was what I wanted to do, I knew that it was McLaren I wanted to drive for. “I used to go to the old headquarters and see Ayrton Senna’s championship- winning car; Hakkinen’s too. And I used to touch the steering wheels and dream that some day I’d have one with my name on and the number one on the front. And now the dream has come true.” Hamilton has been guided throughout his career by McLaren CEO Ron Dennis, and Hamilton’s loyalty to the man and the team which have been such pivotal components in his success is fitting. However, he has been warned by fellow Brit, former McLaren race-winner and retiring F1 legend David Coulthard that he shouldn’t close all his doors just yet. “In terms of trying to achieve wins it would be silly of him to stay there if the car wasn’t performing,”DC told BBC Radio Five Live. “He wants to win Grands Prix and you would expect him to say that right now because they’re on top of the world. But I don’t think he needs to talk about the future beyond enjoying this World Christmas reading with GPWEEK’s writers! IF you like GPWEEK, then the books that our MotoGP and WRC editors write should make a perfect Christmas option! Bike guru Michael Scott edits the championship bible, ‘Motocourse’, and also has a terrific book out documenting the Motorcycle World Champions (both below). Check bookstores or www. Motocourse.com for the former, www.haynes.co.uk for the latter. The full record of the 2008 WRC season will be published on December 16, when ‘Pirelli World Rallying 31’, written by our rally man Martin Holmes, is released. Copies can be ordered from the British distributors before publication (see details on right). Championship at this moment and the battle of retaining that championship next year. None of us knows what the future holds.” That future may yet hold an interesting shift in direction for the very man who has been Hamilton’s guiding hand. Ron Dennis has refused to deny speculation that 2009 will see him move sideways with the McLaren Group, perhaps leaving his ultimate control over the McLaren Formula 1 Team to current team CEO Martin Whitmarsh. Dennis was rumoured to be considering such a move once Hamilton had taken his first championship, and with such success now achieved there are many who expect Dennis to hand over the reins of the hugely successful team he was instrumental in creating. 11