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Hamilton set for McLaren talks

Lewis Hamilton looks set to open talks about a new McLaren contract once he has taken some time out to recover from the 2011 F1 campaign.
Lewis Hamilton has given the strongest indication that he wants to remain a McLaren driver for the foreseeable future, but insists that he is still no rush to ink a new deal with the Woking team.

Although team-mate Jenson Button inked a 'long-term' agreement with the team at the Japanese Grand Prix, there has been little news regarding a new deal for Hamilton as the team left him to battle his personal demons in the latter part of the season. The Briton made no secret of his interest in exploring other options when he was spotted making a visit to Red Bull team boss Christian Horner in Montreal - apparently not the only time he sought out the leader of the current world champions - but it now appears likely that he will return to the squad that gave him his motorsport break as a teenager.

"I don't think there's any question of my commitment to the team," the 26-year old told the BBC, "I just want to continue on this path. I think it's likely, I'm confident about that."

Kimi Raikkonen's surprise confirmation at Renault [see story here] adds an extra twist to the driver market going forward, with Felipe Massa and Mark Webber expected to make way for other drivers at Ferrari and Red Bull at the end of 2012. Hamilton has been linked with both teams, but could find his path blocked by Robert Kubica and Raikkonen respectively, although both teams also have young talent ready and waiting to step up.

After a tough 2011 campaign, however, Hamilton insists that he doesn't want to be rushed into anything, and will make time to talk to the team when he feels ready.

"[Team principal] Martin [Whitmarsh] has already spoken to me about re-signing, so I know it's there at some point, and I guess at some stage when we have time we'll sit down," he confirmed, "There's no real rush to have to do anything. The most important thing is to focus on the season ahead, getting back to where I should be - to the good performances, to winning, to enjoying life, enjoying the year."

Whitmarsh is confident that McLaren can hang on to the driver it nurtured through the junior ranks, then almost carried to a world title in his first year out of GP2.

"There is a deep affection between him and the team, and I'm sure that love affair will carry on for many years to come," Whitmarsh confirmed, "By his extraordinarily high standards, he has had a difficult year, but he's in a positive place right now. I've known him since he was eleven, but he is still a young man, and I'm fairly confident we'll find a good way forward."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
27.11.2011- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26 leads Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
27.11.2011- Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7, Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB7, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26 and Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
26.11.2011- Qualifying, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
26.11.2011- Qualifying, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
13.11.2011- Celebration, Martin Whitmarsh (GBR), Chief Executive Officer Mclaren, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26 race winner, Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26 3rd position and his girlfriend Jessica Michibata (GBR)
13.11.2011- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26 race winner
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1.
(L to R): Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren with Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren.
Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren Honda and Fernando Alonso (ESP), McLaren Honda 
(L to R): Eric Boullier (FRA) McLaren Racing Director and Frederic Vasseur (FRA) Renault Sport F1 Team Racing Director in the FIA Press Conference.
The FIA Press Conference (from back row (L to R)): Robert Fernley (GBR) Sahara Force India F1 Team Deputy Team Principal; Eric Boullier (FRA) McLaren Racing Director; Frederic Vasseur (FRA) Renault Sport F1 Team Racing Director; Monisha Kaltenborn (AUT) Sauber Team Principal; Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal; Claire Williams (GBR) Williams Deputy Team Principal. 
Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MP4-31.
26.08.2016. Free Practice 2
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid.
26.08.2016. Free Practice 2
Lewis Hamilton (GBR), Mercedes AMG F1 Team 
26.08.2016. Free Practice 2
Lewis Hamilton (GBR), Mercedes AMG F1 Team 
Fernando Alonso (ESP), McLaren Honda 
26.08.2016. Free Practice 2
26.08.2016 - Free Practice 1, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
26.08.2016 - Free Practice 1, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31

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Clondikemike - Unregistered

November 29, 2011 1:09 PM

Fanatasy Formula1 stuff if ever I read as much. The shift at McLaren this last two seasons has been to support two drivers equally. That is a fact that Hamilton gas had problems with. What Hamilton achieves is down to him and his crew and, unlike Kova days, he cannot rely on the other driver being used as the "spotter". He would not get treated any differently in any other top team. Lewis has had the luxery of No1 status in the team from day 1 due to Big Rons personal whim. Whitmarsh is there to achieve for the team not the individual. He does not believe in No1s so therefor both drivers are given equal machinery and support. Button is simply the bbetter more complete racer and that is the challenge Hamilton must face up to. No conspiracy against Lewis, just an adjustment to equal status thats all.

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