'The gloves are off in the title fight' - Hamilton

'The gloves are off in the title fight' - Hamilton

29 September 2012 – Lewis Hamilton has declared that 'the gloves are off' in his quest for a second world title, with the outgoing McLaren driver eager to make up for the disappointment of his Singapore retirement. Having led the aforementioned race for 22 laps, the 27-year-old suffered a gearbox failure and saw 25 potential points slip away.

The 2008 World Champion travels to Suzuka with a 52 point defecit to former team-mate Fernando Alonso, equalling two wins and a ninth place finish.

"In terms of the championship, there’s nothing to really be gained by analysing the points tables, from now on, it’s simply gloves-off," said Hamilton.

"As in Singapore, I’ll come out fighting, I’ll just be hoping for a better result next weekend."

When directly discussing next weekend's Japanese Grand Prix, Hamilton said he is looking forward to experiencing the 'special atmosphere' of Suzuka once again.

"When I first raced here in 2009, I couldn’t believe a place like this could still exist in Formula 1 – it still feels like a proper old-school circuit," Hamilton added. "It doesn’t have the polish or finesse of an ultra-modern track – but is all the better for it.

"It’s fantastically quick, too, and very difficult to master. It’s an unforgiving place, and it also has that special atmosphere that you only get in Japan, for some reason."

It was announced on Friday that Hamilton will join rivals Mercedes on a three-year deal from 2013, marking the end to his long-term relationship with McLaren.

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