London, Oct 4(ANI): McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has rubbished claims that Lewis Hamilton's move to Mercedes next season would hand him any kind of performance advantage when new engine regulations are introduced in 2014.
Hamilton's departure from McLaren at the end of the current season, following a 14-year working relationship, was confirmed last week.
While much has been made of the extra freedom over image rights understood to be included in Hamilton's Mercedes contract, the desire of his management company, XIX Entertainment, to market the 27-year-old as a global brand will simply fail if he is no longer winning races.
But with engines in Formula One set to be changed from the current 2.4 litre normally aspirated V8s to 1.6 litre turbo V6s the season after next, there is a window of opportunity for teams to get a major leap on their rivals.
But McLaren are themselves powered by Mercedes engines and, as a result, Whitmarsh does not believe Hamilton will be expecting to have a major performance advantage in 2014.
"Lewis knows that we are strong team if you measure us over the short, medium or long-term," the Telegraph quoted Whitmarsh, as saying.
"We have got a long-standing partnership with Mercedes. If you look at our track record since we have had this relationship with Mercedes, in terms of race wins, podiums etc, we have been pretty successful," he added.
"We enjoy great relationships with them both in Stuttgart, Brackley and Brixworth. I don't think that is material in this particular issue," he said. (ANI)