LEWIS Hamilton faces the heat and humidity of Singapore this weekend with his future still the burning subject of speculation.
Report by Independent
Press Association Sport has learned fresh talks have taken place over the past few days since Hamilton’s victory in the Italian Grand Prix.
However, there remains no resolution as Hamilton continues to mull over the biggest decision of his entire career.
The choice is simple: either stay with McLaren, a team that has taken care of him since he was 13, or gamble and switch to Mercedes in the hope they will become a powerhouse when the new engine regulations kick in from 2014.
It is understood final contract offers are on the table from both teams with the ball now firmly in Hamilton’s court, and with the likelihood a decision will be made by the middle of next month at the very latest to avoid keeping either party waiting.
It means the “will-he/won’t-he-leave-McLaren” saga will rumble on for the next few days under the bright lights of Singapore’s Marina Bay Street circuit as Formula One again revels in its only night race.
The distraction for Hamilton, when his focus needs to be singularly on the world championship battle at this particular juncture, would appear unwanted.
But as he proved at Monza, the 27-year-old is not going to let the gossip get the better of him as he followed up his 23rd career pole position with his 20th race victory.
Earlier this week Hamilton insisted the “rubbish” surrounding him and a possible move to Mercedes would not shatter his attention from the task at hand.
With McLaren on a roll of three consecutive race victories — two for Hamilton in Hungary and Italy sandwiching team-mate Jenson Button’s win in Belgium — the momentum is with him as he seeks to close the 37-point gap to championship leader Fernando Alonso.
“We’re now inching closer to the finishing line, and this is where it starts to get exciting,” said Hamilton, looking ahead to seven long-haul races on three continents in the space of 10 weeks.