Nicole boost for Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton said he was ready for a new beginning in Brazil at the end of the Formula One season and spoke on Thursday of his hope of re-kindling his romance with singer Nicole Scherzinger.
The McLaren driver arrived at the Interlagos circuit, where he won his 2008 title, after spending time with his ex-girlfriend in Los Angeles.
Photographs were published in the media amid speculation about their seemingly negative body language but Hamilton, wearing a long set of black rosary beads and sparkling crucifix given to him by the former Pussycat Dolls frontwoman, said that was far from the case.
"What you didn't see is that we had a really good week. a couple of really nice lunches together," said the devout Catholic.
"We had a really nice dinner together. It's very early days and we still have very strong feelings for one another and I still love her very much. So who knows? Maybe we will be together in the future."
Image: Lewis Hamilton with Nicole Scherzinger
'I've got a lot of positive energy at the moment'
Hamilton's on-off romance has become a subject of discussion even in Formula One circles usually more interested in gear ratios than showbiz gossip because of the effect his private life appears to have had on his track form.
The 26-year-old has endured a season of crashes and controversies, repeatedly hauled before stewards and clashing with Ferrari's Brazilian Felipe Massa as if magnetically attracted.
He has won three races however, including the most recent in Abu Dhabi, but the break in California appeared to have given him more of a boost.
"I have not really thought about the last victory since the Wednesday afterwards," he said. "I was just back in the simulator and thinking about this race.
"But I've had a few good really positive days since then which have meant more to me than the race win. So I've got a lot of positive energy at the moment."
Image: Nicole Scherzinger with Hamilton's brother
'It's been a year of growth for me'
Despite being level on three wins each ahead of Brazil, Hamilton is sure to end the year behind Jenson Button -- the first time he has been beaten by a team-mate over the course of a season in his motor racing career.
He brushed that off and focused on the positives.
"I feel, coming into this weekend, that this is the beginning of the future," said the Briton.
"I feel the last race was the end, hopefully, and this is almost like the first race if the season -- or at least this is the beginning of what's to come. My goal this weekend is to start on the right foot."
"This season has been a year of growth," he declared.
"I was talking to a friend just recently who is very wise and I said that it's been a very difficult year. He said 'It's not been a difficult year, it's been a year of growth.'
Hamilton said that was "one of the most positive things that I have learned this year. It really has been a year where I've just grown and I've learned a lot and can take it to next year.
"I think in the future I'll look back on this season and smile and say that I needed that."
Hamilton will be wearing a special helmet this weekend incorporating Ayrton Senna's colours and logo that will be auctioned off afterwards by the charitable foundation run by the Brazilian's sister Viviane.