Former F1 title winner Nigel Mansell has warned Lewis Hamilton against a move away from McLaren on the back of reports suggesting that the Briton could be considering a move away from the team.
The Mail on Sunday
reported that Hamilton would consider taking up an escape clause in his contract if McLaren fails to win the title this season, something which would appear unlikely given the current form of defending champion Sebastian Vettel and his Red Bull team.
Although McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh has since told the Independent
that he fully expects Hamilton to remain with McLaren into the 2012 season, speculation continues about the future of the 2008 title winner – who has been linked with Red Bull after it emerged that he had spoken with team boss Christian Horner in Montreal.
However, despite the continued rumours, Mansell – who briefly drove for McLaren towards the end of his F1 career – has warned Hamilton against a move away from the team and said the partnership can again taste championship success.
"It might be a mistake if he changes team,” Mansell told the BBC
. "He hasn't exactly had a drought. I'd stay with McLaren and the people who've supported him in thick and thin.
"You'd have to be fortunate to be offered [a Red Bull drive] but for me Lewis has had an amazing career with McLaren. Michael Schumacher proved by staying with Ferrari if you can have the support of a team totally behind you, then you can build on that year on year."
Although urging the Briton to stay with his current team, Mansell did however warn Hamilton of a need to try and tidy up his driving style after a number of on-track incidents in recent races, including in Monaco where he clashed with Felipe Massa and Pastor Maldonado and Canada, where he tangled with team-mate Jenson Button.
"Lewis is a racer and a fighter but the thing he hasn't got quite right is when you pass people, don't try and knock them off!" he added. "Still go for the gaps but give them a little room and don't do it on corners where there is no recovery.
"He's just got to get it a bit more right than what he has done in the last few races."