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GP Week : Issue 177a
HEARTBREAK FOR HAMILTON 35 GPWEEK.com // 35 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: Lewis Hamilton’s long-standing relationship with McLaren was scripted to end in style, but an accident at Interlagos put him out of the lead. He qualified on pole and led team-mate and eventual race winner Jenson Button away from the start. The 26-year old lost track position shortly before pitting for a set of Intermediate tyres as light rain fell and track conditions deteriorated. After a safety car intervention to clear debris, Hamilton used his superior pace to jump back ahead of Button and Force India’s Nico Hulkenburg. But as the leaders negotiated a pack of backmarkers, a wayward Hulkenburg lost the rear end of his car on a damp track and tagged Hamilton’s front-left wheel. "Now that the 2012 season is done and dusted, I feel a bit numb,” said Hamilton. “It’s been a day of mixed emotions. I’m sad that I didn’t finish the race, but I’m excited about the future.” Hamilton has won one world Drivers’ title, 21 grand prix wins and 26 pole positions with McLaren. “I’ll miss my friends and McLaren, but I’m optimistic about what lies ahead for me. I feel comfortable going into this winter because I feel I did a good job this year. I gave 2012 everything I had. I couldn’t have done anything more." He added: “As for today, I don’t remember too much about the accident with Nico, but he came to see me after the race, which was nice. "It’s been a brilliant experience to be a part of the McLaren team over the past six years. I want to thank everyone and sincerely wish everyone the very best for the future.” F1 >>> BRAZIL