Comments made by Lewis Hamilton in Melbourne have been interpreted by the British media as a sign the reigning world champion might consider leaving McLaren.

Comments made by Lewis Hamilton in Melbourne have been interpreted by the British media as a sign the reigning world champion might consider leaving McLaren.

While admitting to reporters that even scoring points at Albert Park this weekend will be difficult, the 24-year-old Briton was asked on Thursday if the situation could lead to him shopping around for a better drive.

"I haven't had offers from other teams and I am not talking to anyone but I would listen to an offer if someone asked," he said. "It would be a compliment and it would be silly if I did not."

The quote was interpreted as an "admission he could leave" McLaren (the Guardian), that he has "doubts over future" (the Times), and a "hint" that could "alert Ferrari" (the Telegraph).

Hamilton, however, is under contract until 2012, and he has previously said he never intends to leave the Mercedes-powered team.

But he also admitted to reporters that, unlike last year's '8 out of 10' MP4-23 with which he won the drivers' title, the single seater he will race this weekend scores just a 'four'.

"I honestly don't know (why)," Hamilton admitted. "I think we focused so much on last year's car, we maybe left it a little bit late to focus on this year's car."

 

Lewis Hamilton would 'listen' to rival team offers