Lewis Hamilton expects to stay at McLaren beyond 2012
Lewis Hamilton hints he will sign a new deal with McLaren next year to extend his contract beyond 2012
Lewis Hamilton has dropped his biggest hint yet that he will sign a new deal to stay at McLaren beyond 2012 next year.
Hamilton was forced to pull out of Sunday’s season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix with a gearbox problem, bringing to an end a difficult 2011 for the 26-year-old.
But the McLaren driver, whose current deal with the Woking-based team expires at the end of next season, is expecting to extend his contract beyond 2012.
“What is most important for me next year is getting back to where I should be – to the good performances, to winning, to enjoying life, enjoying the year,” Hamilton said.
“I’m at a positive place within myself. Things are getting better, and I just want to continue on this path because it would be good. I don’t think there’s any question of my commitment to the team, so there’s no real rush to have to do anything. I’ll just focus on the year.
“Yeah, I do [think I will stay]. I’m confident about that. Martin [Whitmarsh] has already spoken to me about re-signing, so I know it’s there at some point, and I guess at some stage when we have time we’ll sit down [to discuss it further].”
Hamilton also revealed that he had brought an end to his long-running feud with Felipe Massa by speaking with the Ferrari driver after the race at Interlagos.
The rivals had not been on speaking terms after colliding six times during the course of the season.
“It was good to have a nice chat with Felipe,” said Hamilton. “I have great respect for him and I’m looking forward to racing him again next year.”
Massa said: “I was pleased that Lewis came around to see me. It was a very nice gesture on his part.”