McLaren F1 team boosted its future contract offer to Lewis Hamilton following rumors that he has try to signing a deal with Mercedes for 2013 F1 season.
According to a British news media, The Guardian reports that McLaren have offered an additional £2 million a year on top of their original offer of £10 million in order to oppose the offer from Mercedes, which the Times believes stands at £10.5 million.
ESPNF1 reports that both deals fall short of Hamilton’s current contract with McLaren, but the Mercedes option would allow Hamilton to chase lucrative personal sponsors, which McLaren limits in order to prevent disagreements with its commercial partners.
McLaren still believes that Lewis Hamilton will continue with the team, team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: “We will see what we can do. I am not going to make any predictions.”
F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone believes Hamilton is presently weighing up the two offers, but told ESPNF1 that the driver had been planning to leave McLaren earlier in the year.
“I don’t think Hamilton knows what he will do,” Ecclestone said. “These last couple or three races he has been doing very well. Before that, why he was upset I don’t know, but he was definitely going to move no matter what. He had made up his mind that he was going. Whether he has changed now a little bit I don’t know.”