Hamilton: No deadline for deciding future team

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MONZA, Italy (AP) - Lewis Hamilton has been at the center of speculation that he will leave McLaren at the end of the season and move to Mercedes.

Hamilton declined to comment on his future Thursday ahead of the Italian Grand Prix this weekend.

"I don't have a deadline, but obviously I need to decide before the end of the season," he said. "I'm in a great position and I need to focus on preparing for these races.

"There's a long way to go before the end of the season. Jenson (Button) and I have shown there's good potential in the cars and the team, so that's what I'm focusing on."

McLaren is second in the constructors' championship, having won the past two races. Mercedes trails by 106 points after just one win this season.

"Mercedes and Ferrari are on one level in terms of history," Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg said. "To drive the silver arrow is something special for any driver."

Hamilton had a turbulent time at the Belgian GP last weekend. His race ended after a wild multi-car accident caused by Lotus driver Romain Grosjean not long after the start. He also got into trouble for posting sensitive data on Twitter.

He is hoping to put all that behind him at Monza.

"The head of the PR department asked me to take the picture off, so I did," Hamilton said. "We've moved on from it and it won't happen again. I just want to focus on this weekend's race now."

His teammate Button coasted to his second victory of the season on Sunday at the Belgian Grand Prix. F1 championship leader Fernando Alonso was sent flying off the track in the crash but was unhurt. Defending champion Sebastian Vettel finished second and cut Alonso's lead to 24 points, putting the two-time champion right back in contention.

"Jenson drove fantastically well in the last race and showed we are very competitive, and we should have a similar performance this weekend. I'm looking to pick up the pieces and get back to racing. We've done a lot of work, a lot of analyzing for this weekend ... so it will be nice to get into the race."

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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