Lewis Hamilton met Ferrari chiefs twice as Brit nears blockbuster 2021 switch
Ferrari team principal Mattia Binato yesterday teased making a move to sign Lewis Hamilton in 2021. And now shock reports in Italy suggest the six-time world champion has held private talks this year.
Gazzetta dello Sport claim Hamilton met with Ferrari president John Elkann on two separate occasions.
The Brit is out of contract at the end of next season which also coincides with when Sebastian Vettel’s deal is up.
Ferrari vice-president, Piero Ferrari, who is in Abu Dhabi for the season-ending Grand Prix this weekend, is said to be a big admirer of Hamilton.
And his enormous contract would not be a stumbling block in any negotiations.
Gazzetta dello Sport add that Vettel’ inability to win the world title while at Ferrari will not see him offered a new deal next year.
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Mercedes would be willing to match whatever Ferrari put on the table financially.
And Binotto has hinted the German could be replaced by Hamilton.
“Lewis is certainly an outstanding driver, a fantastic driver,” he said.
“Knowing that he’s available in 2021 can make us only happy, but honestly it’s too early for any decision.
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We are happy with the drivers we’ve got at the moment and I think certainly at one stage next season we will start discussing and understanding what to do.”
Meanwhile, Hamilton has recently explained his desire to stay with Mercedes to break Michael Schumacher’s records.
But the 34-year-old has previously spoken about his dream of one day racing in the famous Italian red.
“Nothing is set in stone but I definitely am enjoying what I’m doing right now and I see no reason in stopping because I love what I do,” said Hamilton.
“When there’s a challenge, a whole massive change in the regulations, that’s a huge challenge for me as a driver to use my skills and the things I’ve learned over the years to help steer the team in the right direction to develop the fastest car and still develop consistencies and punch out performances.
“I don’t particularly see myself going anywhere else. I love being at Mercedes.
“I love being part of the brand and the history.
“The idea of staying with Mercedes – I’ve been with them since I was 13 years old, even beyond Formula 1 – and probably heavily involved within Daimler and beyond, is quite attractive. So, we’ll see how that goes.”
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