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JUNE 13, 2013

Whitmarsh says Hamilton absence not cause of McLaren slump

While Lewis Hamilton tries to up his game at Mercedes, Martin Whitmarsh insists losing the 2008 world champion is not linked to McLaren's 2013 slump.

Asked if needing to replace the highly rated Briton with controversial Mexican rookie Sergio Perez has contributed to McLaren's problems, team boss Whitmarsh answered: "I don't think so.

"Lewis is a great driver and a good asset and we have not got him. But I think both our drivers are doing a good job," he is quoted by Sun newspaper.

Hamilton moved to Mercedes over the winter, but at recent races he has looked glum as teammate Nico Rosberg scored a hat-trick of poles and won in Monaco.

The 28-year-old Briton, however, had a better weekend than Rosberg in Canada, finishing on the podium.

He is quoted in the Independent newspaper as saying he was "determined to regain everyone's confidence in me".

But Mercedes insists it never lost faith in its new recruit.

"I don't have that feeling we lack confidence in him," team director and co-owner Toto Wolff said.

"I think we are going to see great races from Lewis. I've no doubt."