McLaren Yet to Approach Hamilton on Contract Extension
Hamilton's deal with the Woking based team expires at the end of the 2012 season, but neither the 2008 world champion, nor his team manager seem very keen on getting something signed for the future. Considering that Ham has been with the team ever since he began his racing career, Whitmarsh fully trusts his driver to make the right decision when the time comes.
“Lewis has a long career ahead of him and I think he's intelligent enough to realise that the environment he has here is good for him and plays to his strengths,” said Whitmarsh, according to the Mail on Sunday.
“Lewis has made it clear to me he wants to stay in the team and I've made it clear to him I want him to stay. At some point, we need to get a contractual agreement that reflects that, of course. But I don't think — despite the media interest — that either of us thinks we have to get to a contract in three months or six months. I trust him and I think he trusts me.”
Additionally, he questioned the other teams' long-term projects in Formula 1, with a clear reference to Red Bull Racing. According to Whitmarsh, McLaren and Ferrari are the only teams that can emerge as top contenders season in and out, while the majority of the other teams don't have a historic legacy to back their F1 efforts.
“We are focused on winning the championship this year, next year, in five years and 10 years' time, as motor-racing is our core business. Ferrari can also say that with some credibility. But a lot of other teams are selling consumer goods, cars or high-caffeine drinks. I'm not criticising them. But can they say, consequently, that they are in F1 for the long run?”