With two races remaining, a source at McLaren told Pitpass that even if Hamilton were to win the remaining events he would still regard 2011 as his annus horribilis. As it happens, he won in Abu Dhabi and was giving a pretty good account of himself in Brazil before his gearbox gave up.
Smiling and even making peace with Felipe Massa, it was an altogether happier Hamilton who left Interlagos a well deserved winter break.
Before heading off however, the Englishman admitted that despite speculation, he remains totally committed to the team which has nurtured him since the age of 13, brought him into F1 and helped him win the ultimate prize, the title.
Asked if he is intending to remain at Woking once his contract runs out next year, the Englishman told reporters: "Martin (Whitmarsh) has already spoken to me about re-signing, so I know it's there at some point, and I'll guess we'll sit down."
Asked if he feels it is likely he will remain with the team he smiled and replied: "Yeah, I do.
"What is most important for me next year is getting back to where I should be," he continued, "back to the good performance, back to winning, back to enjoying life, and enjoying the year. I think I'm there now, it's getting better, and I just want to continue on this path because it would be good.
"I'm in no rush," he added, referring to the new contract. "I don't think there's any question of my commitment to the team, so there's no real rush to have to do anything."