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Thu Apr 17 06:15:09 SAST 2014

Hamilton may have to take pay cut

TEAMtalk Media | 12 June, 2012 11:140 Comments
Canadian F1 Grand Prix - Race
Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and McLaren Mercedes celebrates with his girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls after winning the Canadian Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on June 10, 2012 in Montreal, Canada
Image by: Mark Thompson / Getty Images

Ron Dennis has hinted that Lewis Hamilton may have to take a pay cut if he opts to commit his future to McLaren.

With just a few months left on his initial McLaren contract, the 2008 World Champion is facing a tough decision as he decides between sticking with what he knows or trying his hand at a new adventure.

McLaren, though, are believed to be keen to retain the Brit and have reportedly put a deal worth £60m on the table. The deal is for three years with an option to extend for a further two at £20m per year.

However, it appears those figures may not be very accurate as McLaren chairman Dennis says given the current economic climate Hamilton may have to settle for less.

"It's a complex situation," Dennis told Sky Sports F1's Martin Brundle.

"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."

Pressed by Brundle as to whether that meant Hamilton would have to accept a pay cut, Dennis said: "He's very highly paid. He's certainly paid more than I am!"

But McLaren are not Hamilton's only option for next season.

Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes all have one driver out of contract at the end of this year, paving the way for a possible move for the Brit.

Dennis, though, is hoping that after considering his choices Hamilton will still re-sign with McLaren.

"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.

"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."

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