Martin Whitmarsh has denied that a team rift could lead to Lewis Hamilton's premature departure from McLaren.

Martin Whitmarsh has denied that a team rift could lead to Lewis Hamilton's premature departure from McLaren.

It was reported last weekend that the reigning world champion is now enduring a trying relationship with many of his mechanics.

Reports said the mechanics lost faith in Hamilton, 24, after the 'lie-gate' saga cost long-serving Dave Ryan his job, while at the same time the British driver made veiled threats about leaving the team.

Hamilton then fuelled the speculation further by twice refusing to simply answer "yes" when asked by reporters in Shanghai if he will honour his full five-year commitment to McLaren.

McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh told the Mirror: "Lewis has come to me at the last two grands prix and told me he loves the team and this is where he wants to be. He's asked me what he can do to help.

"This talk of him being disliked by his mechanics over what happened to Davey is just rubbish.

"The reality is that there is an agenda here: some people are out to get us," Whitmarsh continued.

Whitmarsh believes Hamilton's mixed popularity is a failure to understand the two distinct sides of his personality.

"Champions have to be hard as nails, but Lewis is different because he also has this humanity and that gets misunderstood sometimes," he said.

 

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