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Last Updated: Tuesday October 30 2007 06:44 GMT

Lewis Hamilton decides to quit UK

Lewis Hamilton

Formula One superstar Lewis Hamilton says he's leaving Britain to live in Switzerland because he can't cope with all the attention he gets over here.

The 22-year-old shot to fame during his record-breaking first season in Formula One, which saw him finish second in the drivers' championship.

But he said his success meant he could no longer live a normal life in the UK.

Speaking about Switzerland's appeal he said: "Over there people don't come up to you, they give you space."

The McLaren driver said he knew he'd have to make sacrifices during his career, but he hadn't realised what it would be like to be so famous.

Fernando Alonso
Hamilton's team-mate Fernando Alonso also lives in Switzerland

"You really struggle to lead a normal life," he said.

"I haven't been able to spend much time with my friends or my family - it's not like a normal job, you're travelling all the time, you live out of your suitcase and it's tough to manage that and still live a normal life.

"I'm going to a country that I don't know but it's very exciting."

Home honour

Switzerland is a popular home with F1 drivers, including two of Lewis's biggest rivals - his McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso and world champion Kimi Raikkonen.

News of Lewis's move comes after his home town of Stevenage, in Hertfordshire, said it was going to name a street after him.