Contract saga giving Hamilton title focus says boss
23 September, 2012
Depending on who you ask in the F1 paddock, the 2008 world champion is on the verge of jumping ship to Mercedes.
Whether that’s true or not, Briton Hamilton has most certainly been dithering over a new McLaren contract, with boss Martin Whitmarsh finally admitting this weekend that the dispute is centrally about money.
“I don’t think you could say that drivers are the most loyal people in the world, that’s for sure,” he is quoted by the Spanish newspaper El Pais.
“They are extremely individualistic. Each of them wants to be the best, make the most money and enjoy the greatest privileges.”
That may be true, but Hamilton – although on blistering form that on Saturday was described by Alonso as being from “another planet” – does not, at first glance, seem to be enjoying life at McLaren.
“No, I’m pretty happy,” the 27-year-old insisted after dominating qualifying on Saturday.
Is he worried his contract dithering and his dark mood could alienate the team, just when his 2012 title challenge is really heating up?
“Yes, 100…no, 1 000 per cent confident…I have 1 000 per cent confidence in my team,” Hamilton insisted.
Whitmarsh’s brave face continued on Saturday, the Woking based team’s chief putting the argument that the ‘Hamilton saga’ may actually be helping the driver.
“He’s creating barriers around him – he realises [that] the championship is achievable,” Whitmarsh said.
“He is in a really good place and it is quite possible all the chat has caused him to put the barriers up and focus on driving.”
Subbed by AJN.