x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Hamilton focused on winning

The driver assures team that his search for a new manager will not distract him from his quest to once again become the Formula One world champion.

Martin Whitmarsh, left, the McLaren-Mercedes team principal, and Lewis Hamilton plot the Briton's challenge for a second F1 drivers' title.
Martin Whitmarsh, left, the McLaren-Mercedes team principal, and Lewis Hamilton plot the Briton's challenge for a second F1 drivers' title.

Lewis Hamilton has assured Martin Whitmarsh, the McLaren-Mercedes team principal, that his search for a new manager will not distract him from his quest to once again become the Formula One world champion. Whitmarsh expressed concern at the weekend that Hamilton could lose focus this season if he allowed matters ongoing in his private life to affect his racing.

Hamilton has been without a manager since splitting from his father, Anthony, just before the start of the season. The 25-year-old and Whitmarsh have since received numerous offers from a variety of people, some high profile, others more of a jokey nature. Whitmarsh is worried one of the leading international players will attract Hamilton into their fold, and turn his head with celebrity at a time when he is chasing a second world title.

It is why Whitmarsh is hoping Hamilton will wait until the winter before turning his attention to a new manager, and the Briton has agreed. "Martin's obviously played a key role in my career, and for me the championship is the key, so all focus has to go on that," Hamilton said. "I don't believe there should be a point in the year when I'm distracted. That's never me. "If I feel trying to search for a manager and working on something is going to distract me from winning the championship then I'll can it.

"I will not let a single thing come between me and my focus for a championship, so that's not a bother." In fact, Hamilton is quite relaxed about his management situation and sees no reason why he should be hurried into an appointment. "As you've seen I'm not rushed, I've not had any meetings, I don't have any meetings booked, I don't have any plans," Hamilton said. "I'm still reading over all the information I've got about all the different people, and over time I'll take a view.

"But there is no rush. It's really for next year. This year is fine." * PA