Lewis Hamilton had 'made his mind up' he was leaving McLaren says F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone


Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone believes Lewis Hamilton is now in two minds over whether to leave McLaren or join Mercedes.

Press Association Sport learned over the weekend during the Singapore Grand Prix that a deal for Hamilton to stay with the team where he has spent the last 14 years is "85-90%" completed.

The 27-year-old certainly appeared more at ease, as was the case with team principal Martin Whitmarsh, despite the heartbreaking result in which Hamilton was denied a near-certain victory by a gearbox issue.

Prior to that, in particular in Italy where Hamilton won from pole, the Briton barely celebrated either of his feats and his mood was noticeably sombre.

Ecclestone, in particular, has noticed a difference in Hamilton as he told ESPN: "I don't think he knows what he will do.

"These last couple of races he has been doing very well. Before that, why he was upset I don't know, but he was definitely going to move no matter what.

"He had made his mind up he was going. Whether he has changed now I don't know."

Given the current economic climate, Hamilton was initially offered a pay cut of a third on his £10million-per-year deal, putting him on a par with team-mate Jenson Button.

That was understood to be McLaren's final offer, however, it has now been suggested the team have increased that by a further £2million.