Hamilton stresses commitment to McLaren
Lewis Hamilton will 'come out fighting' in the final six races of the season for McLaren
Lewis Hamilton has vowed no quarter will be given in his pursuit of this season's Formula One world title despite announcing his defection to Mercedes on Friday.
Hamilton is to end his 14-year association with McLaren at the end of this season, joining Mercedes on a three-year deal worth £15million per year. The move now draws into question his dedication to McLaren for the rest of the campaign, which has six races remaining, starting in Japan next Sunday.
But although trailing Ferrari's Fernando Alonso by 52 points with 150 still up for grabs, Hamilton said: "In terms of the championship, there's nothing to really be gained by analysing the points tables. From now on, it's simply gloves-off. As in Singapore, I'll come out fighting, and I'll just be hoping for a better result next weekend."
That follows Hamilton's retirement at the Marina Bay Street Circuit on lap 23 with a gearbox failure when comfortably leading the race, denying him what would have been a third victory in four grands prix.
That, though, had no bearing on his decision to leave McLaren, with Hamilton telephoning team principal Martin Whitmarsh on Wednesday to deliver his answer after being set a final deadline.
Despite being given a decision he did not want to hear, Whitmarsh has no doubt about Hamilton's commitment to the McLaren cause over the final two months.
"He's told me he is," said Whitmarsh when questioned on the matter. "Clearly there will be cause to be distracted in the next days and few weeks, and we've got to try and protect him from that.
"If I know Lewis he wants to win this year's world championship, he wants to win the remaining six races.
"He's assured me he's a McLaren man for the rest of this year and that he's going to be completely focused on winning.
"So we are going to try and create as much protection for him and the environment in which he can do that."
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Perhaps Mclaren should have tried harder to keep Lewis but you have to have a reliable car first, and a happy driver.
The it is not sensible to totally confine extra earnings from advertising etc to McLarens dictatorial list.
Methinks Ron Dennis had dealings with this one in the background, and his attitude and the loss of last weeks race finally pushed Hamilton to leave.
Hamilton always maintained he wanted to stay with McLaren for is career.
Lewis is a born racer and as long as Mclaren gives him a car that car win races he will deliver so it is all down to Martin Whitmarsh.
I don't have much trust in that guy as he want to make a name for himself pushing Jenson further than he is capable of going all because he brought him into the team and want as much glory for that introduction.
If he plays his cards right he will get a large chunk of the remaining points from the balance of race and Mclaren may just save face from the likes of Lotus.
Wonder how much truth in Whitmarsh statement about support. Surely it will be in McLaren's best interests to keep Button happy as he will be there next season.
Hamilton will do his best because he wants to be a winner and it will be the McLaren support or lack of it that will decide how this season now pans out for him.
Next year Mercedes will have a driver who tries his best even if sometimes he can be considered a little too reckless.