McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh 'very sad' to lose Lewis Hamilton
|By Jonathan Noble||Monday, November 26th 2012, 13:53 GMT|
McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh has admitted to feeling some sadness now that Lewis Hamilton has had his last race for the team.
Hamilton hoped to end his McLaren career with victory in the season finale in Brazil, but his chances were dashed following a collision with Nico Hulkenberg.
Although Hamilton remains under contract to McLaren until the end of the year, Whitmarsh says an emotional final race weekend together has highlighted the strong bond between team and driver.
Asked for his feelings on Hamilton, Whitmarsh said: "I'm very sad about it because I've known him personally for over 15 years, and I've seen him through some great, great moments.
"He's a great human being, a great asset for any team, so of course I'm disappointed he is going.
"It's emotional, but we're a tough team and we have to get on.
"We've the makings of a good car for next year and we'll go out there and do our best."
Whitmarsh says McLaren will not waste time worrying about if it could have done more to keep Hamilton, as he is satisfied the team did all it could to persuade the 2008 world champion not to join Mercedes.
"Like Lewis, I don't spend too much time on that," he said. "It is what it is.
"I know the offer we made was higher, in a fiscal sense, than any other driver - apart from himself - is enjoying in Formula 1. I suspect he was given a better one, but that's life.
"He's been a friend and a colleague for a long time. Next year he'll be a competitor and we'll try and beat him.
"I'm sure we'll continue to have a good relationship, we'll compete appropriately and we'll go out there and see how we get on."