“I love this team, I'm going nowhere. This is the best team in the world. I'm very proud of everything McLaren have achieved. Even when I was growing up, when I first knew that racing was what I wanted to do, I knew that it was McLaren I wanted to drive for.”
“I used to go to the old headquarters and see Ayrton Senna's championship-winning car, Hakkinen's too. And I used to touch the steering wheels and dream that some day I'd have one with my name on and the number one on the front. And now the dream has come true,” admitted Hamilton shortly after wrapping up his first F1 title of career in Brazil.
Hamilton not only became the first black driver to win a championship in F1, but he also brought the Formula 1 crown back to Great Britain after 12 years of absence (since Damon Hill's performance in 1996).
The young Brit was actually linked with a possible move to Ferrari in 2007, following the conflictual situation between him and then-teammate Fernando Alonso at McLaren. The Mercedes bosses then agreed to substantially increase his salary for the upcoming seasons while also promising the former GP2 champion – through team principal Ron Dennis – a brand new McLaren F1 LM model on his 3rd drivers' title in Formula 1.