Whitmarsh expects Hamilton to stay

Date published: July 18 2012

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh is confident that Lewis Hamilton will sign a new long-term contract with the team…

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh is confident that Lewis Hamilton will sign a new long-term contract with the team.

Hamilton’s current deal comes to an end this year and there has been great speculation that the former World Champion will look to leave the team he has been associated with since his was a teenager.

McLaren have been a step behind Red Bull and Ferrari of late and Hamilton indicated earlier in the week that while loyalty counted for a lot, winning was what he raced for and as such, he wants a car capable of winning.

“There are lots of things to take into account. These people have supported me; these are the people that got me into Formula One,” he told R-Sport.

“But, you know, I want to win. I’m not that young any more so I want to make sure that whatever I do I make the right decision so I can maximise my career, you know. I just need to make sure that I’m winning.

“That’s what I exist for, that’s what I train and work for every day.”

Whitmarsh says he expects the 27-year-old to extend his stay with the team and that a few bad races will not change how he views McLaren.

“I’m expecting that we will,” Whitmarsh said during a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in.

“Lewis has been a member of this team for a long time. We have been concentrating on a season – I think there’s been more speculation, more concern, more interest in this situation in the media than perhaps within the team or in Lewis’ mind. We appear nowadays to be asked questions about it but I don’t think it occupies as much time in our minds as it does in column inches.

“I don’t [think poor form could harm McLaren’s chances of retaining Hamilton], because we’re going to the next two races trying to win as we go to every race, and I think Lewis is more intelligent than that and I would hope so is most of the media.”