Last Updated: May 26, 2023, 01:48 IST
Lewis Hamilton has been in discussions with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff for several months, but recently passed the task of completing what may be his final contract in Formula One. (AP File) Image)
The seven-time world champion’s current contract expires this year
Lewis Hamilton on Thursday denied all reports that he has been approached by Ferrari and said he was set to re-sign with Mercedes “in the coming weeks”.
The seven-time world champion’s current contract expires this year.
He has been in discussions with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff for several months, but recently passed the task of completing what may be his final contract in Formula One to his personal management team.
“I think, naturally, when you are in contract negotiations there is always going to be speculation,” Hamilton, 38, told a news conference at the Monaco Grand Prix.
“But, unless you hear it from me, that’s all it is. There is a certain individual in this room that has written at least one of them – I don’t know, but maybe with last weekend being cancelled, they just got bored.
“But my team is working closely behind the scenes with Toto and we are almost at the point of having the contract ready. I’m having the team focused on that so I can just do my job.
“It’s a much better position than I used to be in before because I used to do the negotiations on my own and it was very stressful. I don’t have to do that anymore.”
He added when asked, that he hoped the contract would be completed “hopefully in the coming weeks”
Hamilton’s denial of any approach from Ferrari followed an earlier rejection of the speculation by Ferrari team chief Fred Vasseur.
He said also that despite a long win drought since the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, he remained keen to stay with Mercedes.
“I think we’re still a championship-winning team,” said Hamilton.
“It’s just that we’ve had the wrong car. I was a bit gutted when the last race was cancelled because I was excited to try our new package there. This (Monaco) is not the best platform for it track-wise but hopefully we’ll see more next week.”
Meanwhile, Hamilton hopes he and team-mate George Russell will be “more in the fight for victory” this weekend where Mercedes will run a heavily-revised version of their hitherto disappointing 2023 car.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s 80th edition of the classic race, Hamilton admitted he had been excited and filled with anticipation and hope, citing a feeling that the team had “found the north star” again.
A wide-ranging update package has given the team a new direction in design philosophy for their car and enlivened hopes of a revival after a run of disappointments.
“I don’t think we will be fighting for a win necessarily, but hopefully we will be more in the fight. I’ve been so excited to get in the car again and to feel these changes,” said Hamilton.
“I feel that hopefully it puts us on the right path to progress forward and try and catch the guys ahead.”
He added: “I’m really encouraged when I go to the factory and see how hard everyone is working. Last year we were a little bit lost in terms of how to fix the issues we had.
“But now, I feel like the team have found the north star. They know exactly where we need to go and how to get there.”
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – AFP)
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