Lewis focuses on the small print
Lewis suggests issue of keeping trophies a 'push point' in talks
Last Updated: 05/08/12 3:52pm
Lewis Hamilton has dropped another hint that only small details may now stand in the way of him renewing his McLaren contract after reiterating his desire to keep his race-winning trophies under any new deal.
The 2008 World Champion plans to sit down with McLaren's hierarchy to begin formal contract renewal talks over the summer break, with comments from both sides in recent weeks suggesting that a new deal beyond the end of the season is increasingly likely to happen.
Although both the length of the contract and its financial terms are set to be key factors in the negotiations, with McLaren Chairman Ron Dennis having told Sky Sports F1 last month that Hamilton's management company will have to acknowledge the current financial climate, the Briton himself has also spoken publicly about wanting a change to the team's policy which currently sees drivers have to hand over the podium trophies they earn after a race in exchange for a replica.
Speaking in the aftermath of the 19th win of his F1 career at the Hungaroring on Sunday, Hamilton suggested the silverware issue was a "push point" in any new agreement.
"We haven't spoken about it yet," he was quoted as saying by The Daily Telegraph.
"In a lot of other teams the drivers get theirs."
Hamilton added that, in addition to a personalised crash helmet, winners' trophies were the spoils of a driver's hard graft.
"They are the two things that are the most valuable," he added. "I don't care if they don't give me my cars, but those two things are what you put your blood and sweat in to."
Mark Webber's decision to extend his Red Bull contract by another season has limited Hamilton's options should he have been assessing a move away from McLaren, with Mercedes the most likely alternative should Michael Schumacher retire for the second time.