| AP Photo/Balazs Czagany
Lewis Hamilton bid McLaren farewell after the British driver got an opportunity to speak to the staff at the team's factory, the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, last week.
The 27-year-old is set to move to Mercedes next season leaving behind the outfit where he made his Formula 1 debut in 2007. The switch will not only end the 2008 world champion's six year association with the team but also a 14-year relationship.
“I’m massively proud to have worked for McLaren for so long," Hamilton was quoted saying by The Sun. “I remember the day I first went to the old McLaren factory when I was 13. I’ve spent half my life at McLaren. The team, the cars, the place, the people — they’ll always be special to me.
“The Mercedes building definitely isn’t as spectacular as the MTC," he went on to explain his decision. "The challenge of moving to Mercedes will be working with that team’s engineers to take a car that doesn’t win regularly, and turn it into a car that does, like my McLaren.
“I hope to bring great success to Mercedes, but McLaren will always have a special place in my heart,” added Hamilton, who has a tall order this season to claim the title.