Lewis Hamilton backed to find his form by Jonathan Neale

By Tom RostanceBBC Sport

McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale has backed Lewis Hamilton to be "firing on all cylinders" next year.

The 2008 World Champion has endured a frustrating season and is currently fifth in the drivers' championship.

Team-mate Jenson Button, who won in Japan, has finished ahead of Hamilton in each of the last five races.

"We are very confident that Lewis will be firing on all cylinders again and we are just trying to give him a car to get the job done," said Neale.

"He's tough on himself and he's massively disappointed. We'd be disappointed if he didn't feel that as well.

"Lewis is a phenomenal driver. He's had 16 race wins. He's constantly exciting on the circuit, always in the action and we love him for that.

"Certainly I'm concerned to make sure that he feels and understands that we're 100% behind him, and this team certainly is. The workforce here love everything about Lewis Hamilton.

"We want to take care of him. It's been a difficult season for him. We didn't really give him the car to get the job done this year, but what he's done with it has been fantastic."

Hamilton, 26, has won twice this season but has not been on the podium since winning in Germany back in July.

Neale admitted that his driver had not been at his best in recent races but said he expected him to hit form in 2012.

"I'm confident that Lewis wants to be here next year and we want Lewis to be here next year," Neale added.

"I'm under no illusions, any driver wants to be in a team that can win but consistently at McLaren we have shown that we can do that.

"We are disappointed not to win the World Championship this year but we have put up a good fight.

"We have shown that Red Bull are beatable and we have just got to work harder.

"In Lewis's last few races he hasn't had the results that he wanted.

"We can all turn around and say 'where's Lewis?' but the reality is he is a really quick driver who gives everything.

"He doesn't like to be rolling around in fourth and fifth, that's not where Lewis Hamilton's heart is and that's not where we want him either.

"Lewis has some stuff to learn and can get better but the same goes for me. I am twice Lewis's age and I am far from the finished article.

"We are in this to win races and that is our ambition in Korea and beyond."

Sebastian Vettel won his second title in Suzuka and with four races of the campaign remaining Neale is already concentrating on the car for 2012.

"Inevitably we are shifting our focus to 2012 but we want our cake and eat it," he said.

"Clearly the biggest change for next year is the reinterpretation of the exhaust rules but anything we can invent for next year's car that looks exciting we will bring forward as soon as we can."

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