Wheels24

Hamilton gives mixed signals

2012-09-10 11:54

Uncertainty about Lewis Hamilton’s future at McLaren seems to be growing even after his success at the 2012 Italian F1 Grand Prix. Spectators noticed the driver looked miserable as he celebrated the Monza victory with his team.

Observing the post-race events, Express journalist Bob McKenzie said: "Hamilton looked like a man who has the world on his shoulders rather than in front of him."

NO SMILE

Images of the British team's traditional victory photograph depicted Hamilton, 27, as the only McLaren member without his fist aloft in triumph.

"There appeared to be tension in the air," said another observer, writing for the French news agency AFP. "As team boss Martin Whitmarsh hugged Hamilton the embrace looked strained and then the 2008 champion struggled to raise a smile, or a clenched fist, when asked to by photographers."

Whitmarsh said: "We want Lewis to stay if he wants to stay."

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

Was Hamilton's mood indicative of a terminal falling-out with McLaren on the eve of a rumoured 2012 switch to rivals Mercedes? A report in the Daily Mail said Ron Dennis, McLaren's impresario, was at Monza for the GP but failed to applaud when Hamilton collected the winner's trophy.

Asked if it would be a shame if McLaren did not have two Britons at the wheel next year, Dennis answered: "It is not essential, we always have the two best available drivers."

Writing in The Times, Kevin Eason suspected the cat may be out of the bag after a recent meeting between Hamilton and Bernie Ecclestone. Not long after the get-together Eddie Jordan was telling the world Michael Schumacher was going to be replaced by Hamilton in 2013.

STILL UNCERTAIN

Truth be told, Hamilton still has the entire paddock guessing.

Asked if was a shame his team mate Jenson Button, who thinks Hamilton will stay in the team, could not complete a McLaren 1-2 on Sunday, he teased: "Maybe next year."

Not, however, if some of Hamilton's McLaren colleagues have anything to do with it.  One unnamed McLaren staffer told Der Spiegel at Monza: "We are extremely upset with him.

"He should go."

GMM