Hamilton happy for Rosberg reunion

Lewis Hamilton is already looking forward to the new Formula One season where he will race alongside "best-friend" Nico Rosberg at Mercedes.

Lewis Hamilton
Suhas Bhat

By Suhas Bhat

Hamilton placed fourth in the standings following the recent conclusion of the 2012 F1 season for his former team McLaren. It was a frustrating campaign for the Brit, who actually won more races than second-placed Fernando Alonso, as his MP4-27 struggled to make the most out of the championship points on offer.

In Singapore, for example, a gearbox failure on lap 23 during this year's grand prix prevented him from completing a pole-to-flag victory. And just five days later, Hamilton made the shock announcement that he would switch to the Mercedes team next year.

On his return to Singapore on Tuesday, the 27-year-old donned McLaren colours for one of the last few times as he spoke at an event organised by the Peter Lim Scholarship foundation in ITE College West.

Hamilton cut an enthusiastic figure as he looked ahead towards the 2013 season and a reunion with his 2000 Formula A karting championship team-mate Rosberg.

"I haven't seen the Mercedes team, I won't link up with them till January but Nico lives in the same building as me. We were team-mates back in 2000 while racing go-karts," Hamilton told ESPNSTAR.com.

"We're actually best friends. I think it was about 13 to 16, we became good friends from back then.

"We always said to ourselves how cool it would be if we were team-mates one day in Formula 1 and here we are, driving together for the 2013 season now."

Known for being one of the most competitive drivers on the track - he infamously tweeted telemetry data showcasing how team-mate Jenson Button had benefitted from a new rear wing after the Belgian Grand Prix qualifying session - he confessed that he always backs his own abilities against anyone else.

"When I'm on the track and I'm racing along someone and I have the speed, I have to work 100% to beat that other driver.

"But there's not a second driver that I have faced that I felt was better than me. I felt like I might have made mistakes that I need to improve on. I might feel like other drivers might have the better car or a better race then but I never feel that they are better than me.

"I train hard in everything I do - go-karting, football, squash.

"My brother beats me at computer games but that's okay, he's young and he's my brother!"

However, he did agree that sometimes, he has to consider the best interests of the team.

"In my sport, it's not like golf where it's all about the competitor whereas I have to work in a team. Sometimes you have to put yourself aside and think about what's best for the team as a whole," he said.

Friday marks the end of an era for Hamilton as he is slated to speak to the entire McLaren team to bid them a final adieu, officially ending his 14-year association with the Woking-based outfit.

"I go back on Friday to speak to the whole team, [to] about a thousand people. Just to say thank you for all the hard work that they've done and to wish them all the best and [that] I appreciated their efforts," he said.

"I know I'll compete against them but obviously it will always be where I grew up and I'll always look back and even if I'm competing against them, and they're successful, I'll be happy for them."



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