Heartbreak at Interlagos for McLaren and Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton suffered world championship heartbreak in Brazil on Sunday but those closest to him somehow managed to put on a brave face.
The 22-year-old British rookie went into the Brazilian Grand Prix seven points
ahead of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen
but the Finn took the world championship by one point after grabbing victory as Hamilton could only finish seventh.
Despite the last-gasp disappointment Hamilton's father Anthony, also his manager, preferred to look back on what has unarguably been a fantastic season for a rookie driver.
"None of us are in pain, we feel great," said Hamilton senior. "We have just had one of the most fantastic Formula One seasons ever.
"If somebody had told me a year ago that we would be fighting for a world championship at this stage they would have been dreaming.
"You know we lost it by one point but we will come back next year and if we don't win it next year we will win it the year after. One thing is for sure, Lewis Hamilton is here to stay."
Hamilton had slow start losing two places and slipping down to fourth and then out braked himself trying to re-pass team-mate Fernando Alonso
and lost a further two position.
However, the decisive moment came when he suffered a gearbox glitch that cost him over 30 seconds and left him at the back of the field.
Ron Dennis congratulated Ferrari and Raikkonen on their triumph but was clearly very emotional as he looked back on Hamilton's gearbox disaster.
"Lewis has had a phenomenal reliability record this season," Dennis said. "It was just a gearbox default, his gearbox selected neutral for a period of time and then sorted itself out.
"Moments like this are difficult. You have just got to have a sporting attitude to the outcome. It was so close, it is hard to find the right words but I think the whole team has done a good job all season and they should be very proud. This is a sport and we will be sporting about it."