NOT LEAVING MERCEDES: Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has emphasised his loyalty to the team after rumous surfaced that he's returning to McLaren.Image: AFP/David Ebener
SOCHI, Russia - McLaren denied speculation that Lewis Hamilton is set return to his former team in 2015.
McLaren said the rumour of Ron Dennis' former protege - who is currently leading the 2014 championship for dominant rival Mercedes - was set to return are "utterly without foundation".
The rumours would tie in with the climate of sensation in the F1 'silly season' at present, after Sebastian Vettel announced his departure from Red Bull, ostensibly to replace the disgruntled Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso.
Alonso has been much more strongly linked than his 2007 McLaren team mate Hamilton ahead of the new Honda era in F1.
When asked about Alonso's rumoured interest in Japan last weekend, team supremo Dennis fascinatingly answered: "There's no impediment for Lewis Hamilton coming back. There's no impediment for Fernando Alonso coming back.
"And there's no impediment for Kevin (Magnussen) and Jenson (Button) staying."
The Hamilton rumour, however, is new, but it emerged just as the German magazine Sport Bild went to print with comments attributed to the 2008 Drivers' champion.
Hamilton said: "I feel very happy here, for me it's like a family. The team and I have a positive feeling that we want to keep working together."
Hamilton is under contract for 2015 and team figures have indicated that talks to extend the deal are to take place. The 29-year-old insisted he had "no thoughts" about leaving. "I never have had. Mercedes is one of the coolest and most traditional brands in the world."
Indeed, one of his chiefs at Mercedes - the F1 legend Niki Lauda - thinks it is another former McLaren driver who is returning to the team to lead it into an era of Honda power.
"The agreement (between Alonso and McLaren) was signed last Thursday," Lauda was quoted on Wednesday (Oct 8) in Spain's El Mundo Deportivo.Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 Russian GP this weekend.