Lewis Hamilton has denied reports that Ferrari has approached him with an offer to join the Scuderia and stated emphatically that he will continue racing in Formula One for Mercedes with a new deal anticipated to be inked within weeks. Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has denied reports that Mercedes will release him from his contract this year.
With this team, Hamilton has won six titles, and he has made it clear that he plans to remain a member for the foreseeable future. Earlier this week, though, it was rumored that Ferrari was willing to match his £40 million annual Mercedes contract in exchange for the transfer of their driver, Charles Leclerc, to Mercedes. Before this week’s Monaco Grand Prix, Hamilton denied the rumor and said he was certain he would soon have a new contract with Mercedes’ principal Toto Wolff.
He said, “Naturally, when you are in contract negotiations, there will always be speculation, and unless you hear it from me, then that’s what it is.” I’ve been told that “my team is working closely behind the scenes with Toto and we are almost at the end of having the contract ready.”
Hamilton: I’m staying at Mercedes, I’m not going anywhere
When asked whether Ferrari had reached out to him, Hamilton replied, “No,” without hesitation. He also dismissed the idea that Mercedes’s dismal performance over the prior two seasons influenced his choice.
We are still a championship-winning team, so it doesn’t matter,” he remarked. It’s just that we’re driving the wrong vehicle; some poor choices were made in the last two years, and we’re trying to fix that.
So that I can provide my undivided attention to the task at hand, I have a fantastic team of people behind the scenes handling all of the [negotiation] work. I’ve been very clear about what I want, and I think we’ll be able to get there in the next few weeks.
Hamilton has little motivation to switch to a team where he would have to create working ties from scratch because Ferrari is still behind championship leaders Red Bull by some margin. Since joining Mercedes in 2013, he has expressed a desire to finish his career there, possibly even serving as an ambassador once his racing days are done. Wolff has previously stated his anticipation of quickly reaching a new agreement.
As Hamilton pointed out, the team is under the microscope this weekend as they compete with the updated version of their car. After admitting after the season’s first race in Bahrain that they had gone on the wrong design path, Mercedes spent the subsequent months developing a new idea that will make its debut in Monaco.