McLaren chief Whitmarsh confident of long-term deal with Hamilton

London: McLaren team principle Martin Whitmarsh has expressed confidence that driver Lewis Hamilton would sign a new long-term deal with the Woking-based outfit.

Hamilton had earlier said this week that he intends to talk about an extension to his current deal, which expires at the end of the season, in next month`s summer break.

The former Formula One champion also warned McLaren that if he doesn’t gets a competitive car then he might move on, as he intends to keep winning to maximise his career

However, Whitmarsh is not affected by any such warnings, and in fact, he is optimistic of a new deal with Hamilton sooner than later.

“Lewis has been a member of this team for a long time, and we have been concentrating on a season,`` said the McLaren boss, who claimed he does not understand why the future of one of Britain`s most well-known sportsmen is causing such a stir.

“I think there`s been more speculation, more concern, more interest in this situation in the media than perhaps within the team or in Lewis` mind. We appear nowadays to be asked questions about it, but I don`t think it occupies as much time in our minds as it does in column inches,” he added.

“I don`t think we should put any timeframe on it. For both parties it`s something that`s got to be determined, preferably before the end of the season. But I don`t think there`s any need to do so against any tight timeframe,” he said.