Formula 1


McLaren slump unrelated to Hamilton loss, says Whitmarsh

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McLaren has dismissed claims the loss of Lewis Hamilton has played a part in the team's slump in performance in 2013.

Hamilton had been a part of the McLaren family from a young age and joined the famous British team in 2007 alongside Fernando Alonso.

Asked if replacing Hamilton with Sergio Perez had an impact on the 2013 campaign, team boss Martin Whitmarsh said: "I don't think so.

"Lewis is a great driver and a good asset and we have not got him. But I think both our drivers are doing a good job," he is quoted by The Sun.

Hamilton made the move to Mercedes over the winter, to much debate among his fan base however the decision has been vindicated as Mercedes have been a much stronger team this season while McLaren have struggled.

Over the last few races Hamilton has been slightly off the pace of his team-mate Nico Rosberg, the German claiming three straight poles from Bahrain - Monaco and claimed the win on the streets of the Principality.

However, in Montreal, a circuit Hamilton has been very strong at in the past, Hamilton was much more competitive easily beating Rosberg, while the Achilles heel of the Mercedes, it's high tyre wear, saw Hamilton drop down one place from his second place grid slot to take third.

After the race Hamilton told the Independent newspaper he was "determined to regain everyone's confidence in me."

Although Mercedes responded saying they had never lost any faith in their new driver.

"I don't have that feeling we lack confidence in him," team director and co-owner Toto Wolff said to reporters.

"I think we are going to see great races from Lewis. I've no doubt."

Finally McLaren moved to deny claims James Allison is set to join the team's new engine supplier Honda as designer of a test car for the Japanese car maker.

On Tuesday Finland's Turun Sanomat newspaper reported: "According to our sources, Allison has accepted the offer and will lead a small group to produce a car for the testing of Honda's turbo engine."

But McLaren spokesman Matt Bishop told on Wednesday: "This (report) is untrue."

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