F1 »

Hamilton 'get-out' clause stirs up speculation

In the build-up to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, it has emerged that there is a 'get-out' clause in Lewis Hamilton's McLaren contract should he not clinch the crown this season - but Christian Horner reiterates that Red Bull Racing is not a potential alternative destination
It is inarguably not what he would like people to be talking about and a distraction he could well do without as he approaches his home race on the F1 2011 calendar in the shape of this weekend's British Grand Prix at Silverstone – an event he so famously won in torrential conditions three years ago – but Lewis Hamilton has once again found himself in the headlines, following the revelation that there is a 'get-out' clause in his contract with McLaren-Mercedes.

Hamilton's relationship with his current employer has veered unnervingly from ultra-committed to distinctly questionable this season, with comments such as 'loyalty has its limits' swiftly followed by reassurances that 'there's no questioning my loyalty to my team'.

The speculation linking the 2008 F1 World Champion to Mark Webber's seat at Red Bull Racing in 2013 – he is contracted to McLaren until the end of 2012 – then quietened down a touch, until fuel was poured onto the fire when it emerged that Hamilton had met with the energy drinks-backed outfit's team principal Christian Horner in Montreal, over the weekend of last month's Canadian Grand Prix in the city.

And now it transpires that there is a release clause in his agreement that would allow the 26-year-old to leave the team that has supported him for more than a decade should he not clinch a second drivers' crown this year. It is McLaren's inability to provide Hamilton with a title-challenging car – for the third season in succession – that is at the root of the British star's malaise and seeming disenchantment with life at Woking.

Horner, however, has reiterated that even if the 15-time grand prix-winner is eyeing a new challenge, there is no room at the inn for him at Red Bull, pointing to the potential for friction between Hamilton and defending F1 World Champion and current runaway world championship leader Sebastian Vettel, who earlier this year signed a deal tying him down to the Milton Keynes-based squad until at least the end of 2014.

“A Hamilton/Vettel combination, on paper, would look very attractive, but what we have to look at is the dynamics of a partnership,” the Englishman told Press Association Sport, seeking to pour cold water upon the latest wave of conjecture. “You have to look at the reality of how these things work, and it's difficult to see how two sportsmen at the absolute top of their game could work in harmony under one roof.

“I think it would be difficult to envisage a driver of Sebastian's calibre and that of Lewis under the same roof. Lewis is a wonderful driver, he must be very frustrated this year and you can understand why he might want to drive a Red Bull – it's obvious – but would it be the best thing for us? We have severe reservations it would be.

“History demonstrates – whether you look at Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna or Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet or even [Fernando] Alonso and Hamilton – that it doesn't tend to work, that two world-class drivers in the same team has not always been the best pairing. Lewis is one of the top three in the world, but we are very happy with the combination we have.

“We are hugely happy to have Sebastian committed to the team long-term, and with Mark, we're very pleased with the job he is doing. Our focus at present is on those two drivers rather than looking to change anything. We are not looking for anybody else, and I don't believe Mark is looking to go anywhere else. When the time is right, we will sit down and have what is hopefully a very straightforward conversation.”





Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
20.05.2011- Friday Practice 2, Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
26.05.2011- First Practice Session, Martin Whitmarsh (GBR), Chief Executive Officer Mclaren and Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
15.04.2011- Friday Practice 1, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 and Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
09.04.2011- Saturday Practice, Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB7 and Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
11/2/2011- Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
19.02.2011- Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
19.02.2011- Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
26.06.2011- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
25.06.2011- Saturday Practice, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
25.06.2011- Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
24.06.2011- Friday Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
24.06.2011- Friday Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
24.06.2011- Friday Practice 1, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
24.06.2011- Friday Practice 1, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
11.06.2011- Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
11.06.2011- Qualifying, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
11.06.2011- Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26 and Ron Dennis (GBR), McLaren Mercedes, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
11.06.2011- Saturday Practice, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


over2u

July 06, 2011 3:49 PM

Button was never regarded at the same level as old days schumi,Sebastian or Alonso and yet over two seasons he's managed to make Hamilton look rather ordinary on race days and in a number of races even lacking in intelligence, so perhaps its not so much McLaren thats at fault with there cars but Hamiltons short comings !

MotoGP - Unregistered

July 06, 2011 2:44 PM

That would be an exciting combination and would answer a lot of questions in terms of the ranking of the current drivers. There would be plenty of drama as well, with all speculation of the Austrian team giving Vettel the most favorable parts and set up, inevitable clashes on and off the track, and the certainty that Ferrari would be there to pick up the pieces. Won't happen.



© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.