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Page last updated at 11:27 GMT, Monday, 11 January 2010

Lewis Hamilton & Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger split

Lewis Hamilton and Nicole Scherzinger
Hamilton and Scherzinger had been dating for almost two years

Lewis Hamilton and Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger have ended their relationship after two years.

McLaren's 2008 Formula 1 world champion, who turned 25 last week, and the American singer, 31, announced the split in a joint statement.

"Nicole Scherzinger and Lewis Hamilton can confirm that they have decided to go their separate ways," it read.

"The two of them have decided to focus fully on their careers and will remain close friends."

Hamilton and Scherzinger began dating after meeting at the MTV Europe Awards in Munich in November 2007.

A year later, Scherzinger was at Hamilton's side as he celebrated the Formula 1 world title at the final race of the 2008 season in Brazil.

The Hawaii-born singer, who shot to fame after joining the Pussycat Dolls in 2003, has been a familiar face in the F1 paddock and was there to share in Hamilton's wins in Hungary and Singapore last season.


However, there was speculation at the Italian Grand Prix in September that the high-profile couple were close to separating because of Hamilton's reluctance to settle down.

Despite managing the challenges of a long distance relationship between his home in Switzerland and her base in Los Angeles, Hamilton insisted they were still together.

The new McLaren pairing of Hamilton and reigning world champion Jenson Button, with their respective girlfriends Sherzinger and Button's partner, Japanese model Jessica Michibata, had been expected to be the focus of the media spotlight in 2010.

Following his split, Hamilton is intent on focusing on winning back the drivers' crown from his British rival.

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