Oct.7 (GMM/Inautonews.com) There are signs Lewis Hamilton’s relationship with McLaren is now breaking down.
The Independent newspaper has already claimed that the 2008 world champion is taking a “newfound interest” in the technical details of his current car.
Boss Martin Whitmarsh played down his fears Hamilton is collating McLaren secrets to take to Mercedes, but teammate Jenson Button revealed that his departing teammate is now being locked out of “meetings” about the 2013 project.
Button insisted: “What Lewis has seen (already) is not a concern.
“This year we will share everything about the car but if there’s a chat about next year’s car, then no.”
And McLaren is also sticking to the letter of Hamilton’s expiring contract, refusing the driver permission to visit the Mercedes factory.
“I won’t be going to the Mercedes factory at Brackley. I am contractually bound,” Hamilton confirmed.
“I don’t come out of contract here until the end of December. It’s a little bit late but that is how it is.”
Hamilton has been walking around the Suzuka paddock this weekend with a black armband around his bicep.
He is not mourning a loved one, but instead covering a new tattoo — presumably at McLaren’s behest.
And his relationship with teammate Button may also be failing, as it emerged the 32-year-old has ‘un-followed’ Hamilton on Twitter, with Button signing up instead to follow his 2013 teammate Sergio Perez.
Button also made clear that if he moves aside for Hamilton in the last races of 2013, it is only to help “the team” win the titles.
“I said that I’d do anything to help the team win the championship,” said the Briton, emphasising the word ‘team’.