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."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower