Date: 14th March 2012 at 9:16am
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The 2012 Formula One season may not have begun, but some seems to already have one eye on the 2013 season.

This is mainly down to a number of possible driver changes coming in a years time.

All of the four top teams have drivers coming to an end of their current contracts.

Red Bull’s Mark Webber’s current deal with the team is set to expire, McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton is also out of contract come the turn of the year.

Ferrari Felipe Massa has admitted that he is fighting to keep his place in the team, while Michael Schumacher could also be looking towards a second retirement when his contract comes to an end with Mercedes.

The possible driver merry-go-round, has always been a talking point amongst the media, but when in recent years movement amongst the top teams has been pretty static, it is inevitable that this season the intrigue is going to be reported on from the very start.

The main focus is on 2008 Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton, the British driver has grown up around the McLaren team, but after a disappointing season last time out, could he really be on his way out of the team at the end of the year? And if so where could he go?

If Red Bull remain the pace setters, then obviously Red Bull would be an option, but do they want him?

‘I think that it’s difficult to envisage Lewis in our team,’ Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner told the Daily Telegraph as quoted by Sky Sports.

‘I think he’s comfortable in the environment he is in and we’re certainly comfortable with the two drivers we have.

‘We also took a decision to invest in youth and we have two really exciting youngsters entering grand prix racing in Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo [with Toro Rosso] – both really talented drivers and both deserve that opportunity. So we’re more likely to look inwardly than outwardly.’


Horner also didn’t dismiss the idea that Mark Webber could also be handed a new contract if the veteran Australian shows consistent form this year.

So it would seem that Red Bull are unlikely to enter the equation, not that Hamilton himself is too bothered about comments in the press as he quickly dismissed the remarks when he was asked by the BBC.

He told reporters: ‘It’s the first time I’ve heard of [the comments] but they definitely don’t wind me up, There are a lot of opinions, and everybody has their right to an opinion, but it doesn’t really affect me.

Lewis Hamilton would appear to have returned from the break refreshed and focussed on the new challenge ahead of him this season and only then will we really see where his future lies.