According to reports last week, Hamilton has been offered just two-thirds of his current £15m-a-year deal by McLaren, while Mercedes are believed to have offered more than £20m.
McLaren’s team principal Martin Whitmarsh is sure that Hamilton will want more money, but they are not likely to pay him the money he wants. Whitmarsh said: «That is how business normally works.»
Whitmarsh also seemed to suggest that the signing of Hamilton was not one of McLaren’s top priorities, saying: «It seems a long time because of the speculation that people have made but when you sit down and seriously put your mind to entering into a new contract it doesn’t take too long. I think it is a question of priorities and other things we have been doing.»
Hamilton’s immediate future has once again dominated the agenda in Singapore before Sunday’s race, with the driver apparently undecided over whether he should leave the team that have guided him for more than half his life. A decision is expected in the next fortnight.