Hamilton: Competitive car key to future

Lewis Hamilton says that while McLaren offers him a competitive car he sees no reason to leave the outfit, amid rumours linking him with a move to Red Bull Racing in 2013

Hamilton: Competitive car key to future

The 2008 Formula 1 world champion, who has endured two disappointing and controversial outings in Montreal and Monaco, is currently fourth in the championship after incidents in the past two races have placed him already 76 points behind Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel after seven grands prix.

AUTOSPORT revealed on Monday that Hamilton met with Red Bull boss Christian Horner in private on Saturday evening in the Montreal paddock, raising speculation about a possible link in the future as Hamilton's current contract expires at the end of 2012.

While speaking to reporters at Watkins Glen International, where he swapped rides with two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart, Hamilton was asked about his future beyond 2012 and the chances of him considering a switch to Red Bull Racing or even NASCAR.

Hamilton stated that his immediate future remains in Formula 1 and that his place would be at McLaren as long as the Woking outfit provides him with a competitive car.

He underlined the fact that his team has been the only one to beat Red Bull Racing to victories this year, as done by his team-mate Jenson Button last weekend in Montreal.

"I think for NASCAR, I mean I've grown up wanting to be world champion and I've definitely not achieved all that I want to [in Formula 1]," said Hamilton. "So definitely I'll be spending as much time as I can there until I do achieve what I've always wanted to do.

"In terms of where I am, again I'm just very fortunate to be a part of McLaren. It's one of the best teams there with great history and we've now got a car which is capable of winning, as my team-mate showed at the weekend.

"We are the only other team that has won grands prix this year so I don't see why you'd particularly want to move when you have the most competitive car.

"So as long as we have the car that can do the job, then there will be no reason to leave."

Asked if he had met with Christian Horner over the Canadian Grand Prix weekend, Hamilton did not deny having done so and said he has known the Red Bull Racing chief for many years - even before he reached Formula 1.

He added that he enjoys a good relationship with many other bosses in the F1 paddock.

"Well I know all the managers, the bosses and I know lots of people at the teams," Hamilton said.

"I know Stefano Domenicali and we chat all the time and with Norbert Haug we chat all the time and Christian - when I was going from Formula 3 to GP2 I went and had a meeting with Christian when he was [running] the Red Bull [backed] team back in Formula 3000 I think it was.

"But I know everyone, so I speak to all the people during the weekend."

Hamilton is the only other driver to win a grand prix this season other than Vettel and Button - his victory came in the Chinese Grand Prix.

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