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Pay: Lewis up for 2013 fight

2012-08-31 09:41

PREPARING FOR TALKS: Lewis Hamilton's contract with McLaren soon expires at the end of the season and he claims he is ready to be hard-headed during talks with the team.

Alan Baldwin

Lewis Hamilton has indicated he is prepared to be hard-headed in talks with McLaren about extending his F1 contract which will expire at the end of the season.

Hamilton, 27, has been part of the McLaren family since he was in his early teens and it would be a surprise if he walked away from the UK-based team.


While recognising those strong bonds, he told reporters ahead of the Belgian GP that other considerations could not be overlooked. He would like to stay at McLaren but realised he had to consider that business aspect of the whole situation.

"I always wear my heart on my sleeve," he confessed, "but of course you have to be business-minded as well."

Some reports have put his current deal at the equivalent of about R200-million a year and indicated that he wants more.

McLaren chairman Ron Dennis said in June, however, that any new contract would have to recognise changes in the global economy. Team principal Martin Whitmarsh also indicated this month that negotiating a contract with Hamilton was proving more complicated than it had been with others such as his team mate Jenson Button.


The team may feel it is in a strong position, with no vacancy at Red Bull and Ferrari unlikely to take the risk of pairing him with Fernando Alonso after their uncomfortable time together at McLaren in 2007.

Mercedes, McLaren's engine supplier and former partner, might be an option if seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher decides to call time on his comeback but other teams would likely baulk at the cost.

Hamilton, winner of two races this season but fourth in the championship and 47 points behind leader Alonso, said his contract position remained little different to the start of the season.

"There's work being done in the background now and I'm not really focusing on that," he said. "The guys that are paid to do their job are discussing it and working on getting it resolved... It's important at the moment that the team knows I am massively committed to them winning the championship."

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2012 Belgian F1 weekend.

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