Hamilton remains McLaren's last F1 world champion

McLaren problems leave former driver Hamilton 'sad'

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Lewis Hamilton admits he has been left saddened by the ongoing struggles of his former team McLaren.

The Briton was associated with the Woking-based outfit from his karting days before racing in Formula 1 between 2007 and 2012, with his 2008 triumph still the last championship won by the team.

Since Hamilton's move to Mercedes, McLaren has been in a slump with a re-uniting of a once dominant partnership with Honda failing to meet expectations and, in fact, hitting a new low in 2017.

But commenting on their situation, the three-time champion claimed life at the team wasn't always rosy.

“We definitely weren’t challenging for the championship every year (at McLaren)," he said. "2007, 2008, maybe 2010, 2011 Jenson was in the fight and 2012 I was in the fight. [So] Shocked isn’t the thought of mine.

“They have a place in my heart, I was with them for so long so it’s definitely sad to see such a great team not be at the top,” he added.

Offering his view on a solution, Hamilton called on McLaren to stick by their principles, adding a belief that, should they overcome the current issues, progress would be rapid.

“Often there are things out of our control and then there are often things that are in our control that are set from decisions, ultimately, groups or individuals make those decisions,” he said.

“They are now I think trying to make steps and decisions and move the team in the right direction.

“They’ve had changes in management and all sorts of things, but the most important thing for me is that McLaren doesn't lose the core heart and soul of what the team was all about from when I loved them, before I joined them and when I was racing with them.

“I really hope that they find their way back to fighting ways because it would be great,” he said. “They’ve not won a race since I left, but I think they can do as soon as they figure out their power unit situation and also their car, I think they can globally move forwards.”