Mar.3 (GMM) Lewis Hamilton says he is not concerned about the strengthening speculation that McLaren boss Ron Dennis is set to imminently step back from the helm of the British team.
The 23-year-old driver has long been a protege of Dennis, who at 60 is understood to be on the verge of announcing that Martin Whitmarsh will succeed him after nearly three decades in control of the Woking based outfit.
But even though Hamilton was groomed through his formative years at the personal behest of Dennis, the 2007 championship runner-up insists that he would be happy with the arrangements for the future.
"If Ron wants to go, then he will go," he is quoted as saying by the German news magazine Focus."My relationship with Mercedes-Benz is absolutely as strong as my relationship with McLaren," Hamilton added.
"On this issue, I am quite relaxed."To the newspaper Bild-Zeitung, meanwhile, Mercedes' Norbert Haug rejected rumours that the German manufacturer - which holds a 40 per cent share in McLaren - pushed for Dennis' exit.
Indeed, he said the speculation, mere days out from the first race of 2008, has not been "helpful"."I am now in my fourteenth year together with Ron, and in that period, only one out of all the other teams has been more successful," Haug said.
"As team leader, Ron has made a huge contribution. Everything else is speculation that has certainly not originated from our side," he added.