Formula One: Hamilton expected to extend McLaren deal
Reuters , Tuesday 29 Nov 2011
Lewis Hamilton has given a strong hint that he intends to stay at McLaren for the long term

Britain's 2008 Formula One world champion has a contract to the end of next year but he told reporters after Sunday's season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix that talks were under way to extend that.

"(Team boss) Martin (Whitmarsh) has already spoken to me about re-signing, so I know it's there at some point, and I'll guess we'll sit down (to discuss it)," he said.

Asked whether he felt it was more than likely he would stay, he replied: "Yeah, I do."

Hamilton's team mate Jenson Button, the 2009 champion for Brawn GP, signed a multi-year extension to his contract earlier this year and has also said that deal is unlikely to be his last.

While Button has had a standout season, finishing second overall, Hamilton has been beaten in the overall standings by a team mate for the first time in his motor racing career.

This year has been marked by crashes, controversy and personal pain but Hamilton, winner of three races including the penultimate one of the season in Abu Dhabi, has shown signs of being far happier of late.

"What is most important for me next year is getting back to where I should be, back to the good performance, back to winning, back to enjoying life, and enjoying the year," said the 26-year-old, who made his debut for McLaren in 2007.