McLaren moved to play down rumours Lewis Hamilton might quit the team even before his contract expires at the end of this year.
Reports late last week said that despite McLaren offering the 2008 over $30 million per year to stay in 2013 and beyond, sources are hinting 27-year-old Hamilton has already decided to leave due to repeated team errors and a mysterious lack of pace. At the same time, it has emerged there has been “serious contact” between McLaren and Paul di Resta, who ironically is managed by Hamilton’s manager Anthony.
Writing in the Times, correspondent Kevin Eason dismissed the reports as “wild rumours” that McLaren have also felt the need to “react to”.
“Hamilton has no desire to leave McLaren,” he insisted, “a team that has provided at least two victories in every season of his career. “Hamilton has repeatedly said that he was happy to stay with McLaren, even on Sunday night, after a disappointing Monaco grand prix”, Eason added.
The journalist, however, conceded that Hamilton’s management – led by XIX Entertainment’s Simon Fuller – “are known to have contacted rivals”, even though “no other approaches” with the exception of Red Bull have been made.
McLaren quoted Hamilton as saying last Friday: “Even though everything hasn’t gone right for us, I’m confident that myself and the team are doing everything we can to ensure we’re in the best possible position to challenge for victory each and every weekend.”