ABU DHABI (Information) – Six occasions world champion Lewis Hamilton didn’t deny assembly Ferrari chairman John Elkann when requested on Sunday about hypothesis linking the Mercedes driver with a transfer to the Italian crew in 2021.
Components One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 1, 2019 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates with a trophy after profitable the race Information/Hamad I Mohammed
The 34-year-old Briton will likely be out of contract on the finish of subsequent season.
The following deal will in all probability be Hamilton’s final in Components One and he has mentioned he’s contemplating choices exterior of Mercedes, the place crew principal Toto Wolff’s future can also be up within the air.
“What occurs behind closed doorways is all the time personal with whoever it’s you find yourself sitting with,” Hamilton mentioned in response to a query about Italian media stories that he had twice met Elkann.
“For a lot of, a few years I’ve by no means, ever sat down and thought of different choices as a result of we’ve been simply driving straight forward into the trail that we’ve been on…,” added the Briton after profitable the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. [nL8N28B0ER]
“I do know Toto can also be taking a look at his choices by way of his future. So I’m ready to see what he’s doing with that.”
Hamilton joined Mercedes in 2013 as a one-time champion, changing seven occasions title-holder Michael Schumacher, and with the British-based crew nonetheless battling within the midfield.
He now has six titles and 84 wins, seven shy of Schumacher’s all-time file of 91, and has averaged 10 a yr since 2014.
He can equal the German’s file title tally subsequent season and the lure of going past that in one of many Italian crew’s purple automobiles may very well be too nice to withstand.
Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto, whose four-time champion driver Sebastian Vettel is out of contract on the finish of 2020, praised Hamilton on Friday and mentioned he was completely satisfied the Briton may very well be accessible. [nL4N2893RJ]
Wolff mentioned there was a 75% probability Hamilton would stick with Mercedes.
“However equally, there’s a 25% probability that we aren’t in charge of,” added the Austrian, who on Saturday mentioned he was completely open to Hamilton talking with Ferrari. [nL4N28A06X]
The Briton mentioned any determination to depart wouldn’t be simple.
“I really like the place I’m so it’s positively not a fast determination to go do one thing else,” mentioned Hamilton, who owns a number of Ferrari street automobiles.
“However in fact it’s solely good and clever for me to take a seat and consider what I need, if it’s the final interval or stage in my profession.”
Modifying by Alan Baldwin/Ken Ferris