“None of us are in pain, we feel great,” insisted Lewis Hamilton’s father Anthony at the end of a race that had seen his son lose the world championship but break every record in the book for a rookie.
“We’ve just had one of the most fantastic Formula One seasons ever,” he told ITV. “If someone had said last year we’d have been fighting for the title at this stage of the season I’d have said they were dreaming.
“We will come back and if he doesn’t win it next year he will the year after. One thing is for certain, Lewis Hamilton is here to stay.”
The same attitude was apparent across the non-Spanish parts of McLaren – a combination of disbelief that the championship had slipped away combined with astonishment that it had ever been within a rookie’s grasp to begin with.
Hamilton himself might have been excused for being raw, but instead he was his usual polished self: “Obviously I am pretty disappointed with the result today, having lead for so much of the season and then not to win the Championship.
“However I have to put the result into perspective, this is only my first year in Formula One and overall it has just been phenomenal. I am still very young and have plenty more years in me to achieve my dream of becoming world champion.”
Team boss Ron Dennis said: “Having fought a close and thrilling battle in the drivers’ championship all year and then not to win it at the final hurdle is obviously extremely disappointing.
“However, we as a team can only feel very proud of all our achievements this season – to come into this championship showdown with two drivers both with a chance of winning is a testament to all the hard work and dedication everybody in the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team has put in throughout this difficult year. ”
Mercedes Motorsport’s Norbert Haug made even less reference than Dennis to the season’s controversy, which saw the team disqualified from the constructors’ championship: “Not the result today we wanted to achieve with both Lewis and Fernando having been so close to winning the world championship. Even two times 109 points is not making up for 110.
“It hurts very much if you are missing just two points to win a championship. However, I want to thank the entire team for their hard work during this season. It is sad for everybody in the team that we couldn’t capitalise on our second chance following China.”