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Hamilton 'wants new McLaren contract'

Lewis Hamilton wants to re-sign for McLaren, according to team principal Martin Whitmarsh, who says that talks have been going well despite media rumours linking the driver to other teams.
Ever since Lewis Hamilton had a casual chat with Christian Horner in Montreal, Canada at the 2011 Grand Prix, there has been non-stop speculation that the British driver was looking to split with current team McLaren at the end of 2012 when his current contract expires, with Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes among those mentioned as possible new pastures for the 27-year-old.

But McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh says that talks with the driver have been going well, and that he has every expectation that Hamilton will be staying right where he is next season.

"If Lewis wants to stay in the team, which he has told me he does, then he should do," BBC Sport reported Whitmarsh as saying.

McLaren's hopes of retaining Hamilton's services started to look shaky earlier in the year when a lack of results and various slip-ups in pit lane left the driver feeling frustrated. But since then two Grand Prix victories have put him back in a much more positive frame of mind and right back into contention for the 2012 drivers' championship, and Hamilton's appreciation of McLaren's merits has been renewed in the process.

"Our conversations have been about how we are going to beat the other teams, and how we are going to try and win races," said Whitmarsh, revealing that they had recently spoken two or three times at length. "I think we are closer than we have ever been."

Whitmarsh described the contract situation as "ultimately relatively straightforward," which likely means that the discussions are boiling down to money and to the duration of the contract.

McLaren Group chairman Ron Dennis has previously said that while he expects Hamilton to remain with the Woking squad in 2013, the downturn in the economy since Hamilton signed his original contract meant that the driver shouldn't expect a huge amount of money to be on the table.

"He's on the end of a contract which was signed at a time when the economy was somewhat different," Dennis said in June.

Whitmarsh has said that he expected any new contract with Hamilton to be longer than a single-year extension. McLaren typically opt for two-year contracts which contain an option for a third year - like the one Jenson Button is currently on - but the contract that Hamilton signed with the team upon his graduation from GP2 to F1 in 2007 was for much longer.

A single-year deal might suit Hamilton if he still has his eyes set on pastures new in the near future. While there is no longer a vacancy at Red Bull for 2013, Mark Webber's new deal is only for one year meaning that a seat may open up alongside Sebastian Vettel in 2014. Similarly, Michael Schumacher is looking increasingly likely to stay at Mercedes for another year but may then decide to retire for good at the end of next season.

In terms of 2013, that would leave a move to Maranello as the best option around for Hamilton in regards to the chances of winning championships. But it's questionable how appealing a move to Ferrari would be for Hamilton, given his bumpy history with Fernando Alonso when the two were team mates at McLaren in Hamilton's maiden season.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
20.04.2012-  Free Practice 2, Ron Dennis (GBR), McLaren Mercedes
28.07.2012- Qualifying, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27
28.07.2012- Free Practice 3, Martin Whitmarsh (GBR), Chief Executive Officer Mclaren
29.07.2012- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 race winner
25.06.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, The race stopped, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and the Safety car
25.06.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, The Safety car and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32
25.06.2017 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM010 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
25.06.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 and the Safety car
25.06.2017 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C36
25.06.2017 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
25.06.2017 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and 3rd place Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB13 race winner
25.06.2017 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB13 race winner
25.06.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08

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ronsgoldenboy - Unregistered

August 24, 2012 6:34 AM

Yeah but chris he is worth $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ that's why uncle Ron will cough up remember they have some rich shareholders from Bahrain Anyway the reason why Ferrari dont want him is because of Alonso and to be honest Alonso is doing a good job at Ferrari so why bring the only man to have beaten Alonso since he became a double world champion as it could spoil the good work that Alonso is doing at Ferrari. And as for Red Bull Horner has said time and time but the media just wont listen that having Hamilton along side Vettel would be virtually unmanageable f0r obvious reason. For me Lewis is a driver who wont veto any driver coming to Mclaren he will take on all comers and defeat all in equal cars when focused and that's why certain drivers are running scared

50 Cent - Unregistered

August 23, 2012 3:28 PM

Personally I don't see Hamilton in Ferrari. If Ferdi has anything to say about this he'll veto it. IF Luca di wants to go ahead and sign him despite Ferdi's veto, I can see Alonso moving back to McLaren.

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