I want to keep my trophies… Hamilton fires warning to McLaren ahead of crunch talks
10:11 GMT, 31 July 2012
Lewis Hamilton says keeping his trophies will be a 'push point' in talks over a new contract with McLaren.
The 27-year-old former world champion has been with the McLaren “family” since the age of 11, spending his entire Formula One career with the team.
Family matters: Hamilton wants to keep the trophies he's won with McLaren
His current deal expires at the end of this year, though, and he heads into the month-long summer break – on the back of his second victory of the season in Hungary on Sunday – poised for talks over a fresh contract.
And he says an agreement which would see him allowed to keep the silverware he wins – it is a McLaren tradition for the team to keep the original, with the driver receiving a replica – could be crucial.
Quoted in several newspapers, Hamilton said: '[McLaren executive chairman] Ron [Dennis] and the team have all the trophies in the cabinet and the drivers get replicas.
Champagne moment: Hamilton is set for talks with McLaren over the summer
'In a lot of other teams, the drivers get their original trophies. As a racing driver, what you work for and what you want to take home are two things; one is your crash helmet and the other is your trophy. For me, they are priceless.
'I don't care if they don't give me a car, but those two things are what you put your blood and sweat into – and they keep those at the moment. So whatever contract I'm having next, that is going to be a push point.
'But I don't feel I have a tough decision to make. It is my career I'm talking about however – the last part of my [professional] life. It's the first time I've been in this position, so I guess it still remains an important decision.'