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McLaren head: Hamilton contract wrangling normal

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SINGAPORE — The contract negotiations between Formula One team McLaren and Lewis Hamilton won't dampen the English driver's quest to win the title, according to team principal Martin Whitmarsh.

There's been speculation that Hamilton may switch to Mercedes next season, and his future remains in limbo while he pushes for a more lucrative McLaren offer.

"I am sure he will want more money and I am sure we will want to pay less — that is how the business normally works," Whitmarsh said Friday.

The McLaren head said both driver and team will not be distracted by the contract dispute over the remainder of the 2012 season as he and the team challenge for Formula One titles.

"His is very, very focused on doing the job," Whitmarsh said. "He realizes this year we have a strong opportunity to win a world championship and we all realize the right thing to do is focus.

"There are lots of stories and speculation that swirl around. But that's F1, and we are content to get on with the job quietly."