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McLaren form won't affect Hamilton talks - Whitmarsh

ESPN Staff
July 9, 2012 « Grosjean happy to salvage sixth | Red Bull keen to sign Webber for 2013 »
Martin Whitmarsh does not think Lewis Hamilton's decision on his future will be swung by recent results © Sutton Images

Team principal Martin Whitmarsh is confident that McLaren's dip in form at the British Grand Prix will not dissuade Lewis Hamilton's to stay at the team beyond 2012.

Hamilton's contract is set to expire at the end of the season, with both team and driver setting their stalls out in the negotiating process. Hamilton has picked up just four points at the last two races after an accident with Pastor Maldonado at Valencia and then experiencing a general lack of pace at Silverstone, where the team had hoped to be strong.

But when asked whether the recent dip in form would have a bearing on contract talks with Hamilton, Whitmarsh said: "No, I think he's smarter than that.

"He's got to want to be at this team, which I believe he does. He knows that racing has highs and lows, and this hasn't been one of the highs as a weekend. Four weeks ago it was a different situation and in two weeks' time it could be a different situation again. He knows that, I know that and we're disciplined enough and battle-hardened enough these days to know that. You've got to take stock, learn from these weekend and sometimes you learn more from these than the successful ones. We will continue to develop the car and make sure we do better job in two weeks' time."

Hamilton is now 37 points off Fernando Alonso at the top of the championship while team-mate Jenson Button is 79 points adrift. But Whitmarsh said both drivers could be happy with their performances.

"I think the drivers are happy with their job. I think they know what we know, which is that we need to work on the car and make that better. Those are the things that are part of our job."

He added: "What you can do is learn about the tyres and do a better job with the tyres because we know they're very significant and bring the upgrade packages as quickly as we can. We've got a reasonable upgrade package for Germany and we'd like that to be a big a performance boost and as successful as we can in fortnight."