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Lowe 'very keen' to keep current driver pairing

ESPN Staff
September 19, 2012 « McLaren aware of qualifying advantage | 'Mercedes offer him much greater freedom on the commercial side' »
Paddy Lowe wants Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button to be driving for McLaren in 2013 © Sutton Images
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McLaren's technical director Paddy Lowe says he's very keen to keep the current driver line-up of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button next season.

Hamilton's future is the centre of much speculation amid reports of a contract offer from Mercedes for 2013 and beyond, with the team a potentially more attractive proposition when the 2014 engine regulations come in to effect. With McLaren's technical team currently working on the 2013 car and its focus also on the following year, Lowe said he was working under on the pretence that Hamilton would still be driving the car next season.

"We've got two fantastic drivers in Lewis and Jenson, we're very, very keen to keep them and it is our assumption," Lowe said during a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in. "They are the drivers that we assume that we'll be fielding next year and that's how we're working it in to the design of the car for next year."

When asked if it would affect the car's design if there was a driver change, Lowe replied: "Ordinarily it's not a huge issue."

"It is very tough. There's not a huge amount we can do to mitigate the essential point which is that those races have to be done and there's a horrific range of logistics for the guys to manage moving between (races). I think all we can do is just make sure that the team are able to relax when they can and that we just take it steady and keep the hours as sensible as we can. Sometimes that will affect the decisions we take regarding the workload. Beyond that, just trying to keep it sensible; the raw facts are we've just got to go and do those races and a certain amount of work isn't discretionary."