Lewis Hamilton admits ‘speaking’ with rivals Ferrari amid rumours of a switch, before extending his current deal at Mercedes. The seven-time world champion has also made a startling admission about his new contract with the Silver Arrows.
Hamilton ended speculation over his future last month by signing a new contract with Mercedes despite being disgruntled with his current car. The 38-year-old won six of his world titles in seven dominant years for the Silver Arrows, before Red Bull and Max Verstappen ended his dominance two years ago.
After being controversially denied the 2021 title, Mercedes have struggled to match their rivals for pace in the last two years. Hamilton failed to win a race last year for the first time in his F1 career and looks set to miss out on a victory again this season.
Hamilton was linked with a switch to join Ferrari earlier this year and confirmed in an interview with Swiss newspaper Blick that he had spoken to them. However, the Mercedes star said a contract was ‘never’ on the table. He said: “Okay, we’ve definitely had a few irrelevant conversations. I know a lot of good people there. But I never felt ready to move to Italy.”
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Hamilton now looks set to end his career with the Silver Arrows following lengthy contract negotiations. When asked if he read all of the contract paperwork himself, the star revealed just how long the agreement is.
“Of course I want to know exactly what’s in there,” he said. “[It used to be 80 pages long] but now it’s over 200 pages or a damn book. And that takes you days!”
Which direction Mercedes will go in during the next two years is unclear as their current W14 car still lacks the pace of rivals Red Bull. Team chief Toto Wolff has hinted that the car will be ‘thrown in the bin’ as his drivers are without a win and have secured just six podiums combined this season.