Dennis: Hamilton is “paid more than I am!”

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Lewis Hamilton’s contract expires at the end of the 2012 season. That much we do know. Where he will be at the start of the 2013 season isn’t as clear. In recent weeks the media have suggested that there has been an initial offering from McLaren for a five-year, £100m contract. Perhaps those numbers are too  high?

Sky Sports’s Martin Brundle caught up with McLaren chairman Ron Dennis and the boss wasn’t too sure that blue-sky payday Hamilton may be seeking is an option given current global climates.

“It’s a complex situation. He’s on the end of a contract which was signed at a time when the economy was somewhat different and now there has to be a balance between that.”

Does that mean that the offer will be lower than the expiring contract or a reduction of compensation due to the global economic climate? Brundle asked about a potential pay cut and Dennis said:

“He’s very highly paid. He’s certainly paid more than I am!”

Rumors have swirled about a possible move to Ferrari or Red Bull but Hamilton hasn’t said much publicly about his options. Dennis feels it’s only natural for driver and team to explore all options:

“You’re obviously going to look at what’s available; where can he go – he’s going to look at that – we’re going to look at who’s available,” Dennis added.

“At the end of the day, hopefully, the fact that he’s been part of this team from the beginning of his career will pay a significant role in whatever decisions both sides make. But it’s a little early to be talking about it.”

What do you think? Should McLaren be looking elsewhere or is Lewis the man they need for the future. No doubt the combination has been successful but Dennis is the man who nurtured Hamilton from the ripe age of 13 and it’s interesting to hear him sound a little more bullish on the prospect of losing Hamilton.

In the end, it’s business and money is money regardless of how long the team has worked with Lewis. Are there other factors such as the way Lewis works with the team that have numbed them on the prospect of losing Hamilton? Is it purely money and if Hamilton does leave, where would he best be placed? Who would be a worthy successor to his seat at McLaren?

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