McLaren in no rush to sort out Lewis Hamilton's new contract
|By Jonathan Noble||Tuesday, November 29th 2011, 09:00 GMT|
McLaren is in no rush to sort out a fresh contract extension with Lewis Hamilton, despite suggestions the former world champion is ready to commit his future to the Woking-based outfit.
Hamilton's current deal with McLaren runs out at the end of next season, and there has been speculation he could then be in the frame for a switch to Red Bull Racing ever since he held secret talks with its team principal Christian Horner at the Canadian Grand Prix.
But even though McLaren has already tied down Jenson Button's long-term future, it appears that a decision on Hamilton's plight will now wait until the 2012 campaign is under way.
When asked by AUTOSPORT about the Hamilton contract situation going forward, Whitmarsh said: "We will see. Lewis and ourselves are in a really good place, and he is in a good place. He loves the team, we know him well, so we are not putting any timeframe on it.
"We will see what happens in the course of the next year. There is plenty of time."
Hamilton was widely quoted by the British media on Tuesday as saying that he was happy to wait too - so both parties would have a better idea of how much they have recovered from the trials of this season.
"I am in no rush," he said. "I don't think there is any real pressure about my commitment to the team so there is no rush to have to do anything. Just focus on the next stage.
"Martin [Whitmarsh, McLaren's team principal] has spoken to me about re-signing already. I know it is there. At some stage, when we have time, we will sit down and discuss it. Again, the most important thing is to focus on the season ahead.
"I feel positive about it. I feel fortunate to be in the position I am in. I still feel very, very fortunate about the opportunities I have ahead of me and I feel fortunate I have still got a year left on my contract."