Lewis slams 'rubbish' rumours

2012-09-17 09:27

MUMBAI, India - Lewis Hamilton made it clear on Sunday he would not let the rumours and "rubbish" swirling around about his contract negotiations distract him from the main focus of winning a second F1 title for McLaren.

Hamilton, whose deal with McLaren runs out at the end of the season, is at the centre of a storm of speculation that he is set to take Michael Schumacher's place at Mercedes.

The 2008 World champion kept everyone guessing after he won the 2012 Italian GP and on Sunday, on a promotional visit to Mumbai for which organisers estimated that more than 60 000 fans turned out to see Hamilton burn rubber in his McLaren on a damp evening, he said he was yet to sign a contract with any team.


He also refused to set a timeline for a new deal to be struck.

"I don't have a timeline. My focus is on trying to win this world championship. Of course I do have to have those things sorted out but I do have people in the background working on those contract negotiations.

"There's a lot of speculation, there's a lot of stories that aren't true."

The paddock has been awash with rumour since the August break, the latest report in Britain on Sunday suggesting McLaren had sounded out Sauber's Mexican Sergio Perez as a possible replacement.

Hamilton's career has been backed by the UK-based team since his mid-teens when the Briton raced karts and all his 20 GP wins have come at the wheel of a McLaren.


Following Hamilton's win at Monza, McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh dismissed much of the speculation as "fantasy" and said the contract talks could accelerate before Singapore.

Hamilton added: "I think we're all wise enough to understand that people write things and what is written is not necessarily what is true. The most important thing is that I'm 100% focused on winning with this team and taking them forward.

"I've been with the team since I was 13 and we've worked so hard since 2009 to try and win this championship and hopefully, finally, we're in the position where we can."

"So the most important thing is that I do not get distracted by all the rubbish that's been around."

Hamilton has bounced back from a turbulent 2011 season when he had several run-ins with his rivals on track, most notably Ferrari's Felipe Massa, and was criticised for being too impetuous and aggressive.

Having won all the classic races on the F1 calendar, he said winning a second World championship was his top priority.

Hamilton is the only driver other than the ever-consistent Fernando Alonso at Ferrari to claim three victories in one of the closest and most hard-fought seasons in the sport and McLaren has now won the last three races.