McLaren not contemplating who could replace Lewis Hamilton

McLaren insists it has not spent any time considering who could replace Lewis Hamilton if the Briton elects to accept a deal to move to Mercedes next year

McLaren not contemplating who could replace Lewis Hamilton

Ahead of talks between McLaren and representatives of Hamilton's management to try to sign off a fresh contract for 2013, McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has revealed that his only focus has been on keeping his current drivers next year.

"I haven't given plan B any thought," he said when asked about alternatives if a deal with Hamilton cannot be agreed. "We want Lewis to stay, and we want him to stay if he wants to stay.

"I've a number of priorities, in terms of when you are trying to win a championship, and you divide your time, energy and focus on those things.

"One of them is making the car faster, better; another is dealing with all the operational issues to make sure you don't make mistakes, and the other is dealing with your own drivers.

"But rightly or wrongly I haven't spent a lot of energy on that subject [of drivers]."

Whitmarsh said he was not surprised that Hamilton's management has been in contact with rival teams, and felt that it would have been more of a shock if they had not considered other options.

"It's a small paddock and they [XIX Entertainment] have to be seen to do their due diligence, as you can imagine, so I'm not surprised," he said. "I have some knowledge, in fact, of what's been going on."

When asked whether it was a revelation when former team boss Eddie Jordan claimed Hamilton had actually agreed a deal with Mercedes, Whitmarsh said: "I don't think it was a revelation, I think it was fantasy."

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