McLaren calm about Lewis Hamilton-to-Mercedes speculation

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh says he remains relaxed about sorting out a new contract with Lewis Hamilton - despite speculation linking his driver with Mercedes

Hamilton and McLaren are in an advanced stage of negotiations for a deal for next year, but the British driver is also believed to be weighing up a serious offer that has been made to him by Mercedes.

Former team boss Eddie Jordan has suggested that a Hamilton/Mercedes tie-up will happen, and that a deal could be announced imminently.

Whitmarsh, however, is sanguine about his team's chances of keeping Hamilton - and says the contractual situation is not a pressing matter for his outfit.

"It will get resolved when it is, but I don't think it is as big an issue in this team as it possibly is in the media room," he told Sky.

Whitmarsh said there is no chance of the contractual situation causing turmoil at his outfit, as it focuses its efforts on trying to win the Italian Grand Prix.

"I don't think it's unsettled the team actually, we are here trying to go motor racing," he explained.

"The media like that sort of speculation, but Lewis and his management have assured me of their intentions. We're focused on working together at the moment.

"This weekend is important for Lewis. He needs to ensure that he gets his championship hunt back on track, and I think that's what he wants as well.

"There's going to be all sorts of speculation, but we are really focused on making sure we do a good job here in Monza."

Whitmarsh added that one of the stipulations it wanted from Hamilton was his total commitment to the outfit if he was going to sort out a deal.

"Ultimately a driver has to drive where he is happy to drive, so the team and I don't want anyone who is not 100 per cent committed to it. You can't work like that. I've made that clear from the outset."

He added: "Lots of very positive things have been said to me, but then again, I've learned over the years that until people support that by inking the paper then you don't get too excited about it."

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