Lewis Hamilton 'numb' after crashing out in his last race for McLaren


Lewis Hamilton never made any secret of the fact that his last race for McLaren would be an emotional closure. Or that he desperately wanted to sign off with a victory to back up his wonderful triumph the previous week in Texas.

The 27-year-old Englishman has scored all of his 21 grand prix victories, and taken his 26 pole positions and 12 fastest laps, with the team he joined at the age of 13. "I've made friendships here that I know will last for life," he said. "But life is about challenge. I don't so much feel like I'm leaving home to go to university, more that I'm leaving university to go to my first job. Mercedes will be a huge challenge, but I feel I'm ready for it.

"I've had a great time. I think McLaren will always be my home. I'll always look at it as my home, it's where I've come from, and so going back there would be nice one day. But I want to go and experience some things along the way."

Before the race he thought that crossing the finish line for the last time in a McLaren would be sad. "But it's also going to be a beautiful thing in many ways as well, because I'm going to start a new chapter in my life."

Unfortunately, the incident with Nico Hulkenberg on the 55th lap meant that his last lap in a McLaren was not the final one to the line. "It was a little bit unfortunate," he said. "The dude didn't even say sorry. So that says a lot. That's what happens when you race with the less experienced.

"I feel OK, and I feel happy for the team to get the win. But I also feel a little bit like I did in 2007, when I lost the championship to Kimi [Raikkonen]. A little bit numb. For sure, I have mixed emotions. We were leading and we didn't get to see the race through. I always like to see the race through. But I'm also excited for the future…"

In the winner's post-race press conference, Hamilton's fellow Briton, and now former team-mate, Jenson Button said: "It's sad that Lewis is not here to enjoy his last race with the team. But that's racing. I'd like to bid him farewell – we've had a good time together over the last three years, some good fights, and I hope that he has a good career with Mercedes."

It was also an emotional day for the man who became only the third driver to win three F1 titles in succession, alongside Michael Schumacher and Juan-Manuel Fangio. "It is difficult to imagine what goes through my head now, even for myself," Sebastian Vettel said. "I am full of adrenaline and if you poke me now I wouldn't feel it.

"It was an incredible race. When you get turned around at Turn Four for no reason and it becomes like heading the wrong way down the M25, it is not the most comfortable feeling."

And the man he edged out? After a fraught race, Fernando Alonso said: "It was good, what we wanted with the mixed conditions – and one of the [hardest] races we have ever driven."

Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the iWatch for you? Well, it depends if you want for the fitness tech, or the style
Astronauts could be kept asleep for days or even weeks
scienceScientists are looking for a way to keep astronauts in a sleeplike state for days or weeks
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own