Whitmarsh: Lewis is loved at McLaren

Date published: October 16 2012

Martin Whitmarsh insists McLaren will give Lewis Hamilton a proper send-off following his decision to quit the team…

Martin Whitmarsh insists McLaren will give Lewis Hamilton a proper send-off following his decision to quit the team.

Hamilton will make his first appearance at the team’s Woking factor this week since announcing that he would drive for Mercedes next year.

He is due for simulator work ahead of the Indian Grand Prix and Whitmarsh is confident that everyone will show him some love when he turns up on Friday.

“Of course people were disappointed to lose someone like Lewis but Lewis has been here a long time and everyone is going to be giving everything for him,” Whitmarsh told Reuters.

“One way or another I’m sure we’ll get together and remember lots of fantastic achievements, many race wins, many poles, many great races and a great World Championship in 2008.

“He’s loved in this team and he knows that.”

Hamilton is coming off a disappointing race in Korea where he finished 10th, which all but ended his chances of winning the 2013 World Championship.

Whitmarsh was full of praise of the 27-year-old after the race and

“It’s nice to be appreciated, because I really didn’t give up. It was one of the hardest races I have ever had,” he said.

“The car was a disaster and…I was thinking people are just going to say I’m making an excuse again. But I really wasn’t.”

He added: “I have not been distracted once this year…I am still 100 percent a part of this team, right until the last minute. People will continue to say there’s a rift between me and Jenson and there honestly are no issues between us. We’ve been fantastic team-mates really.

“I have been a part of this team for several years and I have honestly got a great relationship. I think I am loved as much as I love the team. Hopefully.”