IN WHAT was his final race for McLaren and the last of the Formula One season, Lewis Hamilton was once again forced to retire from a grand prix on November 25.
Hamilton was leading the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos until Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg collided into him on lap 55 of 71, forcing the 27-year-old out of the race.
Due to his car breaking down on several occasions as well as racing incidents, the Stevenage-born driver failed to finish five races in 2012 and will be joining Mercedes next season.
McLaren team-mate Jenson Button crossed the checkered flag first in Brazil with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa finishing second and third.
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel finished the race in sixth place but that was enough for the German to win his third consecutive world championship on 281 points, three ahead of Alonso.
Hamilton, the 2008 world champion, finished fourth in the standings.
"I've made friendships here that I know will last for life," said Hamilton. "But life is about challenge. I don't so much feel like I'm leaving home to go to university, more that I'm leaving university to go to my first job. Mercedes will be a huge challenge, but I feel I'm ready for it.
“I've had a great time. I think McLaren will always be my home. I'll always look at it as my home, it's where I've come from, and so going back there would be nice one day. But I want to go and experience some things along the way."