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Though he admits to being a McLaren driver through and through, Lewis Hamilton is adamant that sentimentality will not play a part in his decision as to whether to stay with the Woking team at season end.
Part of the McLaren family since his early teens, the 27-year-old's future is the centre of intense speculation at present. Still in with a chance of taking the title, the Englishman's options would appear to be limited especially after Red Bull opted to retain Mark Webber for another year.
However, speaking to reporters at Spa today, Hamilton insisted that nobody should presume that staying with the team that financed his career and brought him into F1 should be taken for granted.
Asked whether, in his heart of hearts, he wanted to remain with McLaren, the Englishman replied: "Yes... but this is a business.
"I always wear my heart on my sleeve," he added, "but of course you have to be business-minded as well."
Managed by Simon Fuller's XIX Entertainment, which looks after a raft of high profile celebrities from the world of sport and music, it is thought that away from McLaren, which has its own way of conducting business, Hamilton could be built into a brand to rival that of David Beckham, who is also managed by XIX Entertainment.
"There's work being done in the background now and I'm not really focusing on that," said the 2008 champion. "The guys that are paid to do their job are discussing that and working on getting that resolved. It's important at the moment that the team know I am massively committed to them winning the championship."
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