The present work deals with a new approach to frictional large deformation contact problems. In particular, a new formulation of the frictional kinematics is introduced that is based on a specific augmentation technique used for the introduction of additional variables. This augmentation technique substantially simplifies the formulation of the whole system. A size reduction of the resulting system of algebraic equations is proposed. Consequently, the augmentation technique does not lead to an increase in size of the algebraic system of equations to be ultimately solved. The size reduction retains the simplicity of the formulation and preserves important conservation laws such as conservation of angular momentum. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.