Bernie: Lewis may leave McLaren

Date published: February 26 2012

Formula One surpremo Bernie Ecclestone feels this could be a make or break season for Lewis Hamilton at McLaren…

Formula One surpremo Bernie Ecclestone feels this could be a make or break season for Lewis Hamilton at McLaren.

Hamilton is currently in the final year of his multi-million pound contract with the Woking-based squad and although both parties have indicated that they are keen to extending their long-term relationship, they are determined not to “rush” into a new deal.

Hamilton, who won his only title in 2008, and McLaren’s failure to give Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull a run for their money the past two seasons may well have something to do with his decision to delay talks.

Asked if he felt the 27-year-old would end his career at McLaren, Ecclestone replied: “I doubt that.

“I think if he doesn’t perform this year he’ll be looking maybe to move on, and the team may also be looking for him to move on.”

Ecclestone was quite critical of Hamilton’s decision to join Simon Fuller’s XIX Entertainment last year, saying it was a “disaster” for the McLaren driver.

Although the F1 boss feels Hamilton is a bit more positive after his poor season last year, he again cast doubt over his management team.

“I spoke to him [Hamilton] the other day,” he said.

“I think he’s got a bit more focused. I don’t agree people he’s got surrounding him and so-called managing him – I think he doesn’t need that sort of management.”