Lewis Hamilton has reportedly warned McLaren that his “patience will be seriously tested” if the team does not raise the standard of its competitive game sharply, offering the rather barbed viewpoint that he is far from content “with being in F1 and just existing” like Williams driver Rubens Barrichello.

“In terms of my career, I have at least another five to ten years,” he reportedly told The Sun recently. “At some stage, if it continues the way this is going – which I don’t think it will – then patience will be seriously tested.”

Hamilton also warned; “Seb (Vettel) will come back [next year] just as confident as he has been this year, so we have to raise our game.  We had a big technical review meeting recently and I am pushing. No-one asked questions except for me. I was like ‘sorry, I have some questions.’

“There are some drivers that are content with being in F1 and just existing. Maybe they have families. Look at Rubens Barrichello, he seems content with where he is. Then there are people like me who only exist to be the best. If you aren’t busy trying to be the best, then you’re not busy doing anything.”

Barrichello, an 11 times Grand Prix winner, who was twice runner-up in the championship standings behind Ferrari team leader Michael Schumacher, might feel minded to point out that if Lewis didn’t want to drive a McLaren then he would be very happy to take his place alongside Jenson Button.