- McLaren designing 2013 car for Hamilton
- Kovalainen tells Hamilton to stay at McLaren
- Media muzzle won't stop Hamilton future rumours
- Sauber would run Schumacher in 2013
- Coulthard sure Ecclestone will save Singapore
McLaren designing 2013 car for Hamilton
McLaren's 2013 car is being designed with Lewis Hamilton in mind, technical director Paddy Lowe has revealed.
Media speculation is rife that the team's 2008 world champion is on the verge of signing with Mercedes for next season.
But McLaren's Lowe on Wednesday sounded confident Hamilton will still be alongside Jenson Button in 2013.
"That's how we're working in terms of the design for next year," he said.
"It is our assumption that they are the drivers who we will be fielding next year. We have two fantastic drivers in Lewis and Jenson and we are very keen to keep them."
But he also admitted that whether or not McLaren has to change a driver at relatively short notice is "not a huge issue" in terms of engineering and design.
Hamilton, meanwhile, has played down suggestions his foul mood after winning last weekend's Italian grand prix was a sign he is set to quit McLaren.
"We buried my aunt that week, so she was constantly on my mind ... it has been a tough time for the family, and (I) just had a lot on my mind," he is quoted by Reuters.
"It was nothing to do with being unhappy. Trust me, I was happy," he added.
Kovalainen tells Hamilton to stay at McLaren
Lewis Hamilton's former McLaren teammate Heikki Kovalainen cannot understand why the 2008 world champion is considering quitting the famous British team.
Finn Kovalainen, who has revived his reputation at Caterham after a bad pair of seasons alongside Hamilton in 2008 and 2009, is now being mentioned as a possible successor for the 27-year-old Briton.
Hamilton switching to Mercedes would theoretically open the McLaren seat to Kovalainen, but still the Finn has advised his former teammate to stay put.
"If I was him, I would stay there," the 30-year-old told the Daily Mail.
"McLaren is a great, great team and every year they are there or thereabouts and if they have some difficulties they are able to come back."
Kovalainen questioned whether McLaren-to-Mercedes is the wisest choice for Hamilton.
"There are not a lot of better places than McLaren in terms of history, facilities, stability and budget," he insisted.
"But in the end it is Lewis' decision and sometimes you might feel like you need a change."
Kovalainen, who has also been linked with Sauber and Lotus, said he is yet to speak with Caterham officials about the future beyond his 2012 contract.
"I've been there since the beginning so it's a big deal for me but of course I want to move forward and to move higher up the grid," he admitted.
"I will talk to them (Caterham) first and then after that I will see where I am, what I need to do, and make the next plan from there."
Media muzzle won't stop Hamilton future rumours
Lewis Hamilton is no longer talking about his future.
Earlier in Singapore, the Briton drive a McLaren road car for a promotional event, but the team's press officers insisted questions about Hamilton's contract were off-limits.
Then, as the 2008 world champion sat down to talk to the media on Thursday, he started by laying down the rules of engagement.
"I'm not here to speak about anything apart from the weekend," he told the two-dozen journalists.
"I've got no extra news for you so use your time wisely to speak about other things if you can," said Hamilton.
The media muzzle will do little to calm intense speculation the 27-year-old is weighing up a huge monetary offer to switch to Mercedes in 2013.
In the rumoured hot-seat to succeed him is Sergio Perez, but some have found the prospect of a Ferrari-contracted development driver at the wheel of a McLaren in 2013 hard to imagine.
Asked if the Ferrari link is a show-stopper for a hypothetical McLaren switch, the Mexican said on Thursday: "No, not really.
"I am just part of the Ferrari academy, not part of the Ferrari team, so it doesn't affect ... as I said, still a long way to go in the season and I'm fully focused on the next races," added Perez.
Sauber would run Schumacher in 2013
Eddie Jordan has had a starring role in the 2013 'silly season', recently predicting with confidence that a retiring Michael Schumacher is set to be replaced by Lewis Hamilton.
But where did that Mercedes scoop come from? "Bernie (Ecclestone) told me," German reports on Thursday quote the former F1 team boss and now TV pundit as saying.
Along with the Hamilton saga and the uncertain future of Ferrari's Felipe Massa, whether Schumacher stays or goes is regarded as a key to the entire 2013 driver market.
So what if there is no room for the seven time world champion at Mercedes?
"I would take him immediately," Peter Sauber, whose Mercedes-backed sports car team provided the springboard for Schumacher's formula one career more than two decades ago, smiled to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.
Rosberg not worried about Hamilton pairing
Sep.20 (GMM) Nico Rosberg on Thursday sounded unfazed by the uncertain identity of his 2013 teammate.
According to the paddock grapevine, the German's Mercedes teammate next year will either be Michael Schumacher, who needs to renew his expiring contract, or the current McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton.
"For my part, I am happy if we keep going as we are now," said German Rosberg, referring to Schumacher.
"But if it's different, that's ok as well.
"I've been following the rumours, of course," Rosberg admitted. "Personally, I'm happy with my position with the Silver Arrows," he said, dismissing suggestions he might move over to McLaren to replace Hamilton.
As for whether having the highly-rated yet finely-balanced Hamilton as his teammate would bother him, Rosberg insisted: "Not at all. I've known him for so many years."
Coulthard sure Ecclestone will save Singapore
David Coulthard on Thursday said he is confident Singapore will stay on the formula one calendar into the future.
The contract for F1's highly popular night race on the streets of the Asian city-state is set to expire, with Singapore officials and Bernie Ecclestone reportedly clashing over the sanctioning fee.
"All of us hope that it will be renewed because it's such an important race on the calendar," said Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg.
Coulthard, a former McLaren and Red Bull driver and now a commentator for British television, sounded confident F1's chief executive would renew the deal.
"Bernie knows how important (Singapore) is," he is quoted by the Straits Times.