Hamilton link to Mercedes denied

Blackpool Citizen: Claims that Lewis Hamilton is about to sign for Mercedes have been denied by his management team Claims that Lewis Hamilton is about to sign for Mercedes have been denied by his management team

Lewis Hamilton's management team are denying suggestions that the 27-year-old is poised to sign a deal with Mercedes.

Former team principal and current BBC F1 analyst Eddie Jordan has fuelled rumours by claiming he believes "Hamilton and Mercedes have already agreed personal terms and a deal could be imminent".

Such comments, however, have been comprehensively dismissed as a McLaren spokesperson informed Press Association Sport: "We have been told by Lewis Hamilton's management team (XIX Entertainment) the story is untrue."

In addition, a spokesperson for XIX has insisted Hamilton is more on the brink of re-signing with McLaren than moving elsewhere.

The spokesperson told Press Association Sport: "As mentioned in the past by all parties, we are in advanced discussions with McLaren about a new deal. More importantly, at the moment, Lewis is focused on Monza (this weekend's Italian Grand Prix) and competing strongly for the championship."

Mercedes, meanwhile, are playing their cards a little closer to their chest as a spokesperson said: "Until we are in a position to confirm our full driver line-up for next season, it is inevitable there will be speculation around this topic. We would ask for your understanding, however, that we do not comment on speculation."

Hamilton's future has long been the subject of such speculation - he is out of contract at the end of this season - and the fact no new deal has been agreed yet, despite intense periods of negotiation at McLaren, has only added fuel to the fire he could end his 14-year association with the Woking-based team having been initially signed as a 13-year-old.

Mercedes have been mooted as a potential option, in particular as the German manufacturing giant have yet to offer any indication as to whether Michael Schumacher is to re-sign for one more year.

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone appeared to drop a hint over the weekend that the seven-times champion was on the brink of retiring for a second time. Asked about Schumacher, he said: "I'm sorry he's leaving us not being a winner, because he is a winner," referring to the fact the 43-year-old German has not won a race on his return over the last two-and-a-half years.

Schumacher, however, later countered Ecclestone's remarks as he said: "As I told Bernie I had not made a decision."

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