Skip to main content

Whitmarsh expects Lewis Hamilton to stick with McLaren

July 18, 2012 -- Updated 1951 GMT (0351 HKT)
McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh (L) believes Lewis Hamilton will stay at the Formula One marque for a long time
McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh (L) believes Lewis Hamilton will stay at the Formula One marque for a long time
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • McLaren principal Martin Whitmarsh expects Lewis Hamilton to stay at the F1 team
  • Hamilton's current contract runs out at the end of the 2012 season
  • British driver has endured difficult season recording just one win out of nine races
  • Hamilton trails drivers' championship leader Fernando Alonso by 37 points

(CNN) -- McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh expects Lewis Hamilton to extend his stay with the Formula One marque, despite his contract expiring at the end of the current season.

The 2008 world champion has been at McLaren for the entirety of his F1 career but has expressed his disappointment at the performance of the team's car this campaign.

Hamilton has just one grand prix win to his name in 2012 -- in Canada -- and trails drivers' championship leader Fernando Alonso, from Ferrari, by 37 points.

But despite speculation linking the 27-year-old with a move away, Whitmarsh says McLaren and Hamilton are entirely relaxed about his situation.

Marussia F1: Car was not a factor in De Villota crash

"I think we will (agree a new deal)," Whitmarsh told the sport's official website. "We've known Lewis a long time."

Whitmarsh rejected the notion that poor performances from McLaren in the next two Formula One races -- in Germany and Hungary -- would strengthen Hamilton's negotiating position.

Designing Formula One tires
Designing a Formula One car
There has been more speculation, more concern and more interest about Lewis's situation in the media than there has been perhaps within the team
Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren team principal

"I think we're going to the next two races to try and win, as we do with every race," he added. "I think Lewis is more intelligent than that and I hope the same applies to the media."

After finishing eighth in his home grand prix at Silverstone Hamilton said McLaren needed a quick change in fortunes if they were to stay in the world title race.

But faced with the prospect of going through a fourth F1 season without adding to his solitary drivers' championship crown, Hamilton has been linked with a move away from the team.

Whitmarsh said that although speculation in the media had reached fever pitch, McLaren were focused on the rest of the season and not Hamilton's contract.

"We have been concentrating on the season and I think there has been more speculation, more concern and more interest about Lewis's situation in the media than there has been perhaps within the team or within Lewis's mind," he added.

"We are often 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 we should put any timeframe on it. I think it's something that's got to be determined for both parties preferably before the end of the season. I don't think there's any need to do so against any tight timeframe for that resolution."

Both Hamilton and his teammate Jenson Button have cut dejected figures at times as they have struggled to keep pace with the likes of Alonso and Red Bull pair Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.

But Whitmarsh says there will be a range of improvements to the car for the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim this weekend.

"Our focus is always to keep developing the car," he explained. "We will have quite a lot of quite noticeable updates on the car in Germany.

"I think for everyone, not just McLaren, trying to understand how to work the tires correctly is quite a substantial challenge.

"So eliminating mistakes, improving the performance of our car and understanding the tires and seeing if we can exploit them better are all on the top of our to-do list."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
March 15, 2014 -- Updated 0108 GMT (0908 HKT)
The big winners of this Formula One season could be road drivers rather than F1 racers, according to one former world champion.
March 14, 2014 -- Updated 1730 GMT (0130 HKT)
The Williams team welcomes the biggest rule changes to Formula One cars for a generation.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1916 GMT (0316 HKT)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton sums up the dawn of a new Formula One era in three juicy words -- weird, mind-blowing and challenging.
March 12, 2014 -- Updated 1216 GMT (2016 HKT)
Formula One is taking another step in its techno evolution this season, which could be more unpredictable than it has been for a long time.
February 24, 2014 -- Updated 2255 GMT (0655 HKT)
Susie Wolff
Despite being a sport well into its seventh decade, only two women have ever driven in Formula 1 but Susie Wolff hopes to become the third.
February 24, 2014 -- Updated 1736 GMT (0136 HKT)
Jann Mardenborough on the similarities and differences between driving a race on a video game and driving a real F1 car.
February 22, 2014 -- Updated 1226 GMT (2026 HKT)
Russia's President Vladimir Putin watches the men's cross-country 4 x 10km relay event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics on February 16, 2014. AFP PHOTO/ RIA-NOVOSTI/ POOL/ MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV (Photo credit should read MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/AFP/Getty Images)
How Russian president Vladimir Putin helped turn a muddy hole in the ground into a $400 million futuristic grand prix track in Sochi.
February 21, 2014 -- Updated 0013 GMT (0813 HKT)
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (R) and Formula One racing director Bernie Ecclestone talk during a ceremony of signing of an agreement to bring Formula One racing to Sochi for a Grand Prix Russia to be held in 2014, the same year the Black Sea resort hosts the Winter Olympics in Sochi on October 14, 2010. Putin, whose backing was crucial in Sochi winning the right to host the Games, is due in the city on Thursday to sign an agreement for work to begin on the construction of a new 200 million dollar circuit. AFP PHOTO/ ALEXANDER NEMENOV (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Vilified by the the international community for his government's attitude on gay rights, Russian president Vladimir Putin has found an ally.
January 22, 2014 -- Updated 1217 GMT (2017 HKT)
CNN's Rosie Tomkins speaks to Caterham F1 owner Tony Fernandes on the team's driver line-up for 2014.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1613 GMT (0013 HKT)
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel is bidding for a fifth consecutive drivers' championship in 2014.
He is Formula One's undisputed No. 1, and next season Sebastian Vettel will have proof of that fact emblazoned on his Red Bull.
December 4, 2013 -- Updated 1633 GMT (0033 HKT)
A new era of F1 looms large on the horizon in 2014, but what do the new rules mean for how we watch the sport? Get up to speed here.
October 17, 2013 -- Updated 1056 GMT (1856 HKT)
Explore our interactive of one of F1's most important and complicated pieces of kit.
ADVERTISEMENT