Martin Whitmarsh on Wednesday played down speculation about a driver change at McLaren for 2010, but at the same time admitted that Heikki Kovalainen needs to up his game.

Martin Whitmarsh on Wednesday played down speculation about a driver change at McLaren for 2010, but at the same time admitted that Heikki Kovalainen needs to up his game.

It is strongly rumoured that German Nico Rosberg has been in talks with the Woking based team.

"I can confirm that contrary to some of the speculation we are not in discussions with any drivers outside this team at the moment," boss Whitmarsh said during a teleconference, amid rumours McLaren is under pressure from team partner Mercedes to finally hire a German national.

Kovalainen, 27, has had 5 failures to finish this year and just three points-scoring results, prompting suggestions McLaren might look around for a stronger teammate for Lewis Hamilton.

"By his own evaluation he hasn't raced as well as he would have liked, and we would have liked him to, this year. I was just talking to him on the subject about three minutes before I came to this call, as he's in the factory at the moment," Whitmarsh said.

"He's working hard. But it's true to say we haven't confirmed our driver lineup for next year. A lot of us want to see Heikki get some good results this year and that will ensure that he will remain with us," the Briton added.

 

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