TOKYO, Oct 3, 2012 (AFP) - McLaren Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton stayed silent Wednesday on his high-profile move to Mercedes next year as he attended a sponsor's event in Tokyo before the weekend Japanese Grand Prix.
The 27-year-old Briton, the 2008 world champion, has not spoken publicly about the switch since Mercedes announced last Friday that he would join them on a three-year deal from the start of the 2013 F1 season.
Asked about the transfer before reporters, cameramen and TV crews, Hamilton said he would only speak about the Swiss watchmaker, one of his sponsors, which organised the event.
Hamilton will again face the media after he travels to Suzuka on Thursday to join his McLaren teammate and fellow Briton Jenson Button to prepare for the 15th event in the 20-race season.
"This weekend, it is an important race for us," he said of the Japanese GP which he has not won since joining the F1 in 2007.
Hamilton's fourth win of the season eluded him at the Singapore Grand Prix on September 23 when he had to retire with a gearbox problem on the 23rd lap after starting from pole position.
He currently stands fourth in the championship led by Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.
"I love the track. It's absolutely phenomenal," Hamilton said of the 5.8-kilometre (3.6-mile) figure-of-eight Suzuka circuit featuring a variety of corners.
"It's one of the real racers' circuits," he said. "It's a track that I have not won before so I'll try to get that win."