Lewis Hamilton is heading into his team’s home grand prix this weekend refusing to rule out leaving McLaren at the end of the season.
The 2008 world champion’s existing lucrative contract runs out this year, and as boss Ron Dennis hinted recently, the sides are set to clash over Hamilton’s salary demands going forwards. And there are also other matters to negotiate, the 27-year-old British driver has revealed.
“I haven’t sat down and forged all the criteria I am looking for, but probably 95 per cent is ticked off within McLaren,” Hamilton is quoted by the Daily Mail. “There could be small things, like I’d like to keep my trophies I win. But Ron’s never going to want to give them up. That’s alright, I’ll get him on the money side!”
And the trophy issue was also mentioned by Hamilton in the Telegraph. Referring to his British grand prix win in 2008, the driver is quoted as saying: “It’s the best trophy I have ever seen.
“But Ron keeps every trophy, which isn’t good and definitely won’t be happening in the future.”
Insiders and experts are tipping Hamilton to ultimately stay put, having been groomed by McLaren since childhood and in light of the team’s continuing status as a winning grandee.
But Hamilton insisted: “Professional sportsmen do move teams. Footballers do, so do racing drivers. Jenson has been with a lot of teams, for instance. It’s different when you are in one of the top teams already, though. It (moving) would be tough to do,” he said.
Teammate Button commented: “It’s unusual for a driver to spend all his career with the same team, but Lewis is racing for a team that has belief in him and will do everything they can to make sure he has a quick car.”