Hamilton hopeful over new deal
Lewis Hamilton is ready to play hardball with Ron Dennis when it comes to future contract negotiations, but still expects to come out smiling.
Hamilton recently made it clear he will likely wait until towards the end of the year before sitting down with his management team and McLaren group chairman Dennis to begin talks about extending his stay with the Woking-based marque.
The 27-year-old's sole focus at present is on what he now sees as the "toughest championship" he has been involved in since he came into the sport in 2007.
However, former team boss Dennis threw a spanner in the works in Canada recently when asked as to the prospect of Hamilton staying with the team.
At the time Dennis made clear Hamilton is "very highly paid", and added: "He is on the end of a contract which was signed at a time when the economy was somewhat different.
"Now there has to be a balance."
It suggested Hamilton and XIX Entertainment would have to soften their stance come the time they commence talks, that there is no longer the money in the pot there used to be.
Suggested to Hamilton he would have to ease off on his financial demands, given it is reputed he earns £10million per year, he replied: "Ron is a very tough negotiator.
"He was very tough when we negotiated the contract I have now, and I expect him to be the same when I go back in.
"But I don't see that many problems to be honest."
It was an indicator from Hamilton he is now more than likely to re-sign with McLaren, a team he has been with since the age of 13, although to that suggestion he played a straight bat.
"I'm not really focusing on it. At some stage my management will sit down when I tell them to and focus on it," said Hamilton.
"But I'm not putting any energy into it. At the moment it's about focusing on trying to win this championship, which is the toughest for a long, long time, at least in my career.
"I need to make sure I have 100% focus on that, and all the other things will fall into place at the right time."
Following his victory in Canada, Hamilton goes into this Sunday's European Grand Prix in Valencia as favourite to become the first driver to win twice this year.
At Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Hamilton extended the record for different winners to start a season to seven.
But even he concedes, as Valencia sweltered in temperatures of 35 degrees and with track temperature hitting 44, it promises to be another venture into the unknown.
"I'm excited and looking forward to seeing what the hell is going to happen this weekend," said Hamilton.
"With this temperature I know it's going to be so tough.
"Physically it's not a problem because we always prepare for it, but studying the tyres and making them work is going to be the interesting thing."
In Canada track temperature hit the mid-40s, suggesting Hamilton should perform well around the Valencia Street Circuit where the win has eluded him as he has finished runner-up three times in four races.
"In Canada we lucked in on our strategy. We did everything right and others...the result could have been different," said Hamilton.
"If Fernando (Alonso) had pitted at the same time as me, which he should have done, then it would have been a different race and a lot tougher for us, but that is not how it went.
"I think this weekend they (Ferrari) will be a lot wiser in their decision making, so we have to make sure we do even better than in the last race.
"But looking after the tyres here, I really don't know how they are going to behave, however, I have always gone well here."