Hamilton may leave McLaren for Mercedes

BRITAIN’S Lewis Hamilton is close to swapping McLaren for Mercedes next season, according to former Jordan GP owner Eddie Jordan.

Jordan believes that Hamilton will replace Michael Schumacher at Mercedes with the German expected to retire at the end of the year.

Hamilton signed a lucrative five-year contract with McLaren in 2008 and is yet to agree new terms with the manufacturer.

Jordan said: “I can now confirm his people have had meetings with Mercedes. Bernie Ecclestone made it clear to me live on television on Sunday that Schumacher was leaving, although Schumacher later played it down.

“So it would appear Michael is leaving and Lewis is arriving at Mercedes. In fact the team have made it clear they cannot offer him as big a salary as his current $15m (£9.42m) deal, which was negotiated before the global financial crisis.”

A McLaren spokesman said: “We have been told by Lewis Hamilton’s management team that the story is untrue.”