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DATE News (chronologically)
07/20/10
f1
Hamilton not yet McLaren's de facto no.1 - Whitmarsh
(GMM)  McLaren is not ready to concede that Lewis Hamilton is its best bet for the 2010 drivers' world championship.

At the head of the title standings, Hamilton is 12 points ahead of his teammate Jenson Button, but the Red Bull runners are close behind with a faster car.

But when asked on Tuesday if Hamilton is now recognized as McLaren's title favorite, team boss Martin Whitmarsh answered: "Not yet.

"I'm sure Jenson hasn't given way to Lewis and he will want to win this weekend and move that momentum back in his favor," said the Briton in a teleconference with reporters.

Despite also fighting for F1's biggest prize within the same team, Hamilton insists he and Button are not likely to clash personally as have Red Bull's Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel.

"No, there's respect," he told Reuters, albeit acknowledging that he rarely spends off-track time with 30-year-old Button.

"He gave me a lift home at Silverstone last week and I would do the same for him," added Hamilton.

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