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Hamilton 'sad' as McLaren exit looms
Lewis Hamilton finally let his emotions get the better of him this week as the impact of leaving McLaren started to hit home.
In an interview with the BBC as part of their review package looking back on the current campaign, Hamilton became teary-eyed when asked about his exit from a team he has been associated with for the last 14 years.
The 27-year-old needed time to compose himself before filming could continue, but whatever he is feeling inside during the Brazilian Grand Prix this weekend - his 110th and final race with McLaren - he staunchly defended his move to Mercedes. "I'm going to miss them, fighting with Jenson (Button), fighting with McLaren to help them win races," Hamilton said.
If there is a part of Hamilton questioning whether he has done the right thing in leaving a team that has scored more wins than any other since 1966 to join one with just a single victory in the last three years, then he is refusing to say.
For now, Hamilton readily concedes this weekend will be an emotional one for him, and it will not be a surprise if the tears flow fully when he steps out of his car at the end of the race at Interlagos.
Hamilton added: "I'm just proud to have contributed. When you think about it being the last time - and it's on my mind a lot - then it's very surreal, very strange, very sad in many ways.
"We've a great history together. Of course we've won and we've lost the world championship together, been up to the highest highs and had the lowest lows together, but we have always pulled through.
"So with this being my last race, my last time in this team kit, I'm going to be wearing it very proudly this weekend. And I will be making sure I enjoy every moment because it's going to be tough.
"But it's not the end of an era, it's the end of a great chapter in my life.
"Hopefully I'll have a second chapter to my life, but this is a very special one with McLaren and I really hope I can do it for them this weekend."