Admitting McLaren wants to keep Lewis Hamilton beyond 2012, managing director Jonathan Neale on Thursday played down claims the team’s loss of form and repeated errors could convince the 2008 world champion to jump ship.
Back to top form in 2012, Hamilton admitted frustration with McLaren’s repeated errors and mysterious slip in pace after yet another difficult weekend in Monaco recently. But Neale told reporters ahead of the Canadian grand prix that he doubts the team’s short-term issues will be the reason if 27-year-old Hamilton decides to leave McLaren at the end of his expiring contract.
“I wouldn’t put the last two or three races into a professional like Lewis’ mind in terms of where he’s going to be comfortable in the future,” he said. “We would like Lewis to continue racing for us. We have plenty of time.
“We don’t need to make that decision until much later this year. You have to judge the performance of the team in the long term relative to other teams and we stand fairly well placed. But I’m not going to walk away from the fact that we have to continue to work hard to eliminate mistakes and find the upgrades and performance.
“Six races and six different winners – nobody’s consistent at the moment.”