Hamilton's unusual contract request

Hamilton's unusual contract request
By Eurosport

31/07/2012 at 18:49Updated 31/07/2012 at 19:36

Lewis Hamilton says that being able to keep his race trophies will be a key point in his imminent contract talks with McLaren.

The Hungarian Grand Prix winner is expected to resolve his future over the summer break, with it now appearing almost certain that he will remain at the Woking-based team.

But speaking in the wake of his latest triumph, he has revealed that a 'push point' in the talks with be about trophies, with McLaren having historically always kept its drivers' winning silverware.

"Ron [Dennis] and the team have all the trophies in the cabinet and the drivers get replicas," Hamilton told the British media.

"In a lot of other teams, the drivers get their original trophies. As a racing driver, what you work for and what you want to take home are two things; one is your crash helmet and the other is your trophy. For me, they are priceless.

"I don't care if they don't give me a car [to keep], but those two things are what you put your blood and sweat into, and the team keep those at the moment. So whatever contract I'm having next, that is going to be a push point.

"I don't feel I have a tough decision to make. It is my career I'm talking about however - the last part of my [professional] life. It's the first time I've been in this position, so I guess it still remains an important decision."

McLaren has been aware of Hamilton's demands over the trophies for several weeks, and team principal Martin Whitmarsh told AUTOSPORT earlier this month that he was confident the matter would not get blown out of proportion.

"I've known Lewis a long time and I think we have a very good understanding on one another," he said. "I think there is a lot of mutual trust and respect - I hope and believe both ways. So I don't see that [the trophies] as a big issue. We will see."