LEWIS Hamilton will join Mercedes in the new year eager to show them he still has a few tricks up his sleeve.
After a gut-wrenching exit from Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix to end his six years with McLaren on a low note, Hamilton is now looking ahead to the next three years with Mercedes.
The 27-year-old faces one final emotional pull this week when he visits the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking to say his goodbyes.
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Beyond that, and with McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh’s permission, Hamilton will be allowed contact with the Mercedes staff at Brackley before officially linking up on January 1.
‘‘I won’t be doing much technical work with them, but I’m allowed to talk to people,’’ Hamilton said.
‘‘Leaving McLaren is definitely tough, but I’m looking forward to next year. It’s going to be something new, a new experience.
‘‘All I know is I’m going to give it absolutely everything and hope we can be competitive and that the future will be bright.’’ Although the facilities at Brackley are not quite a match for those at the MTC, Hamilton is keeping an open mind about what he will find when he walks through the gates for the first time as a Mercedes driver.
‘‘I’m not really anticipating anything, I guess something similar to what I have here,’’ Hamilton added.
‘‘I’m expecting to see a great group of people who are determined as anything to win because they’ve not been winning.
‘‘Hopefully, as a driver who has been winning, they will be excited to have me there.
‘‘Obviously, I’m sad to be leaving a lot of great people at McLaren, but I wish them all the best and I look forward to racing against them from next season.’’