|© AP Photo/Luca Bruno
McLaren doesn’t consider Lewis Hamilton’s future with the team to be an issue, confident that the 2008 world champion will remain with the British squad beyond the current season.
Hamilton will be out of a contract at the end of the year and is currently negotiating with McLaren about the extension of his stay with the team.
"Lewis and I have spoken two or three times at length,” team principal Martin Whitmarsh told Autosport. “I think we are closer than we have ever been, and I have known him since he was 11, and our conversations have been about how we are going to beat the other teams, and how we are going to try and win races. We don't talk about these issues at race tracks because I don't think it is the right environment.”
"Ultimately it (the contract situation) is relatively straightforward. If Lewis wants to stay in the team, which he has told me he does, then he should do. And if we want to keep him, then we should do,” he pointed out.
"If the answer to both those matters is yes, then I think it is eminently doable - so not something that has to have as much focus as turning up at races, trying to bring the quickest car you can and doing the best job possible," he added.
Hamilton has had several issues to deal with this season which included botched pit stops and an underperforming car at a few Grands Prix, but Whitmarsh was sure that the setbacks won’t affect the deal.
"I think inevitably you can pick over the bones of issues in minutiae, and come to a conclusion, but if you stand back, I think anyone who has closely observed Lewis in terms of where he is in his head, where he is in his focus, and in his confidence - I think he is actually in a much stronger position now than he was last year," he explained.