McLaren boss Ron Dennis has hinted at a pay cut for Lewis Hamilton after his current contract expires at the end of 2012.
The news has come in amid speculations of the Brit looking to move other teams beyond 2012. Although Hamilton has never clearly said that he is going to leave McLaren but he has not entirely assured that he will stay on.
Hamilton currently has a deal with the team that provides him around £14 million a year. There have been rumours that McLaren were keen to sign Hamilton up for another five year contract deal for £20 million a year, but recent developments hint at a different picture.
“It’s a complex situation,” Dennis told Sky Sports. “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. You’re always going to look at what’s available and where can he go. He’s going to look at that, we’re going to look at who’s available. At the end of the day, hopefully, with the fact that he’s been a part of this team from the beginning of his career will play a significant role in the decision both sides make. But it’s a little early to be talking about it.”
Hamilton was asked specifically if he would be ok to have a pay cut, Dennis said, “He’s very highly paid. He’s certainly paid more than I am.”
He said that the recent economic downturn is the reason McLaren might not be able to offer Hamilton a contract as lucrative as was being reported.
Talking about Hamilton, Dennis said that he has no doubts over the ability of Hamilton and even though the Brit had a relatively poor 2011 season he has somewhat bounced back in 2012 and is leading the drivers table at the moment.
Dennis said that last year was tough for Hamilton for a lot of reason and not all of them were on track his personal life suffered as well but that is life and he is confident he will be able to do much better in the future.