Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Monaco, 2023

Hamilton dismisses Ferrari rumours and says new Mercedes deal is “almost” done

2023 Monaco Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says he is poised to renew his contract with Mercedes and dismissed reports he could join Ferrari as “speculation.”

Reports earlier this week claimed Ferrari made a contract offer to the seven-times world champion, but team principal Frederic Vasseur denied that was true earlier today.

Speaking in the FIA press conference ahead of this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix, Hamilton also said there had been no communication between his representatives and Ferrari.

“Naturally when you’re in contract negotiations there’s always going to be speculation,” he said. “Ultimately, unless you hear it from me, that’s what it is.”

Asked where he believed the story had come from Hamilton said: “There’s a certain individual in this room that’s written at least one of them. Maybe last weekend with the race being cancelled they just got bored.”

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff revealed weeks ago that talks had begun over a new deal. Hamilton said they are now close to an agreement.

“As I said, my team’s working closely behind the scenes with Toto. We’re almost at the end of having a contract ready.

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“Having the team focus on that so I can just do my job is a much better position than I was in before because I remember I used to do negotiations on my own and it was very stressful, so I don’t have to do that any more.”

Mercedes’ performance has slumped since Hamilton agreed his last deal, which keeps him at the team until the end of the year. However Hamilton, who is in the longest win-less streak of his career, said that “doesn’t have a bearing” on his commitment to the team.

“We’re still a championship-winning team, it’s just we’ve had the wrong car, there have been some decisions that have been made over the past two years that have not been ideal and we’re working our way through that [and] all the energy is going toward [it],” he said.

He said he is eager to try the upgrade package the team have brought for this weekend’s race.

“We have a new upgrade this weekend, the team have worked incredibly hard to bring this upgrade,” he said. “We already, after Bahrain, decided that’s what we are going to do.

“I was a little bit gutted when the last race got cancelled because I was excited to bring this new package. And while here is not the best platform track-wise to really see those come to fruition we’ll hopefully experience that more next week. Otherwise, my team are having discussion with the team in the background and we’re almost there.”

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2023 Monaco Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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25 comments on “Hamilton dismisses Ferrari rumours and says new Mercedes deal is “almost” done”

  1. I guess we’ll see. The last few times when the contract was “alsmost done” it took several more months to actually sign it!

    1. Yes, he has to sign with name and surname, so I guess a couple letters per month, just to draw it out till 2024!

    2. Those negotiations are always protracted, not sure why. I wonder if Toto ever gets fed up with it. There are plenty of fast drivers who would happily jump on that Mercedes seat. But nah, I think Hamilton has that seat on lock

  2. Sigh. Sounds like it won’t happen, though why Lewis would sign before seeing how the next, say, third or even half of a season pans out with the attempts to redesign the car, I don’t know. A shame if he doesn’t leave as I think this is the last window for Hamilton to make this move, or any move to another front-running team, while still at a peak. Presuming a multi-year contract with Mercedes. A straight swap of Leclerc and Hamilton would have been ideal and fascinating.

    1. I am with you on the sigh. The sport has been incredibly dry and boring (to me) since the controversy at the end of 2021. “Alonso on the podium!!! How crazy!!!.” Hamilton to Ferrari is the type of thing that can wake things up a bit.

      1. It’s all too predictable. I’m trying to think of an equivalent of such a big surprise move in the recent past – maybe just Alonso to Ferrari? The only drivers with mega-star status right now are Hamilton and Verstappen (and Alonso just about). Only one of them switching to one of the current big three of Red Bull, Ferrari or Mercedes would really waken up the sport at present. And really Red Bull/Verstappen are closed off for now.

    2. In 2022, I said that Hamilton will not win another championship. I’m sticking to that. He has had a great career, even if he doesn’t surpass Michael’s 7 wins.

  3. Shame he wasn’t wearing a massive number 27, instead of 23! Clearly a big Albon fan.

    1. His clothes are hilarious though

      1. I’m sure your Mr Tom Ford 🙄

  4. There is always the possibility that Ferrari are just not interested in Lewis. They might think he’s yesterday’s man and not worth any extra costs for salary?

    I am not saying I agree. Funny as well that I never considered Charles and Lewis swapping teams. I thought it would have been Carlos leaving and Ferrari going for the dream team of LH and CL. I don’t know why I thought this.

    1. I agree to a certain extent. But imho Charles did (against expectations) not yet get at that level that Ferrari can confidently state he will deliver the same as Hamilton will. Then it would make sense to go for the future. Charles, again imho, needs to get rid of these small mistakes and consistently bring the car back in 4th or 3rd for a full season to be able to be regarded at Lewis’ level. Now he sticks right below that. But judging Ferrari decisions over the last 10 years I expect them to put their believe in Leclerc despite he is not quite there. Bringing in Lewis costs a lot and will frustrate the other driver. Not worth it when you have Charles level, which is substantially good vs the rest of the field (except maybe 2 or 3 others).

      1. Yes, shouldn’t be an unreasonable target to constantly get 3rd and 4th places with this year’s situation, first 2 places are locked in, alonso is most likely gonna be 3rd, leclerc is a fast driver, so he should be able to beat the others regularly.

    2. Agreed, Hamilton will be 39 at the start of the next season. He’s already lost one title battle against the new generation, and last year it was Russell that took Mercedes’ sole win. Hamilton at Ferrari was a nice idea, but even if he’d probably still be an upgrade over Sainz, parting ways with Leclerc to take Hamilton would be a bad swap at this stage. Leclerc hasn’t quite reached the level of a Verstappen, but he’s much closer to it than Sainz.

      1. Proesterchen_nli
        25th May 2023, 23:26

        Unless they know something about Charles we can only suspect – that he’s not showing any signs of getting a handle on his mistakes.

        Then his age doesn’t matter and the best you can do is trade him to some other team and get something valuable in return.

        It’s still high risk, and you may look stupid if Charles comes good somewhere else.

        1. Yes, I compare him with younger verstappen, but the last year where verstappen made a lot of mistakes, and actually the one where he made most, is 2018, which was his 4th season; leclerc started in 2018, so his 4th season was already in 2021, it’s quite some time after that and ofc he’s faster than sainz, but mistakes are too costly if he ends up with less points than a slower driver.

  5. Another fake news from Daily Mail ! It’s all so tiresome.

    1. Another fake news from Daily Mail

      “Fake news” “Daily Mail” the ultimate tautology?

    2. @carlosdavid if you really want to rant at somebody, you should be having a go at the Gazetta dello Sport – they’re the ones who were responsible for initiating these rumours in the first place, and have also been the ones who have been pushing this story the hardest.

  6. Shame. Would’ve loved to see him at Ferrari.

    1. Yes, that would have been nice. And an (distant?) opportunity to win titles with three different constructors. That would be something.

      1. Indeed, only Fangio has taken the title with more than two different constructors (although one might quibble about the definition of that term in those days).

        1. And without a (road) driver’s licence?

        2. That’s indeed a rare achievement, and I was thinking about who got closest to doing it recently, ofc I didn’t examine all cases, just what I remembered and came up with alonso: in 2012 he got incredibly close to winning with ferrari, and I see him winning with the 2018 ferrari, which was very competitive and I consider that a wasted opportunity for vettel, and he also came extremely close with mclaren + won with renault. So he won with 1 but was extremely close to 3.

  7. Should try the beer can regattas instead

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