Hamilton 'closer' to McLaren deal
Lewis Hamilton is reportedly in talks to extend his stay at McLaren
McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale says Lewis Hamilton is close to signing a new contract with the Formula One team.
Hamilton has been linked with several moves away from McLaren, but looks likely to stay on for at least another season. The Englishman made his debut for McLaren in 2007, finishing second in the drivers' standings before taking the world championship the following season.
Neale said both McLaren and Hamilton were hopeful of reaching an agreement. "We are closer and of course we are in dialogue," Neale told Sky Sports.
"For obvious reasons I can't speculate more at the moment. We are working very hard to find a common ground."
Fourth-placed Hamilton is 47 points behind world championship leader Fernando Alonso, but Neale believes with nine races to go there is enough time to chase down the Ferrari driver.
"Mathematically it is still possible, 25 points for a win and it doesn't take much to switch those," he said.
"We have got a quick car. Our car was in better shape than Ferrari at the last race. He is a fighter, he loves a challenge. He just needs a sniff of it and to feel that the team is behind him and pushing.
"And I think if he feels we are pushing and bring the upgrades and dealing with the issues as they arise then he will be fighting for the title at the end of the season."
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Why is it that in reports about F1 drivers, which relate to their negotiations over contracts, the dialogue almost always seems tilted in favour of the drivers influence rather than that of the aspirations of F1 Teams? Most comments appear to relate to the F1 teams having to deliver some unmentionable something, other than the fastest or an extremely competitive car, to attract/retain the services of an F1 pilot.
As the aspirations of an F1 Team are a given, is it simply a question of how much an F1 pilot thinks he may be able to extract from a/the F1 Team? F1 teams had a financial limit imposed upon them, ostensibly to make it easier for the less financially secure teams to compete on developmental terms, so why not impose a maximum remuneration limit for Team personnel including the pilots?
(Developmental input from the drivers notwithstanding, of course.)