Lewis Hamilton has denied his commitment to McLaren is wavering, but according to the British team the 2008 world champion has bigger issues to consider.
The 26-year-old made comments earlier in Shanghai that suggested he might soon move on to win more world championships, but in a subsequent interview Hamilton played down the resulting wave of speculation.
Asked by BBC Radio 5 about his comment "loyalty has its limits", he said late on Friday: "That's just a saying. That's the way of life, but there's no questioning my loyalty to my team."
According to McLaren's technical director Paddy Lowe, Hamilton has some fast learning to do after running out of tyres during the Malaysian Grand Prix last week.
That's the way of life, but there's no questioning my loyalty to my team
"How you use the tyres in qualifying has a big consequence on your race result, which we saw to Lewis' cost," Lowe said in China.
"Crucial phases of the race where he lost out were a consequence of tyre consumption that he had done in qualifying so (it's a) great spectacle I think and a job for us to manage it well," he added.