Monaco Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes -News

Lewis Hamilton says no contact with rival Formula 1 team Ferrari over the seven-time world champion joining them

Lewis Hamilton says he is yet to enter into talks with Ferrari and he and Mercedes are close to agreeing a new contract to keep him at the team beyond the end of the season.

Hamilton’s deal with the Silver Arrows expires at the end of the season.

He said he had a team working with Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff on the new contract.

This week, reports emerged that Ferrari had contacted Hamilton about his move to the Italian team.

Hamilton said Mercedes’ struggle to remain competitive from 2022 “has nothing to do with his willingness to stay”.

He added: “For the first time I’m not negotiating in person, I have a great team behind me doing all the work and I can focus on the work. I say what I want and that’s what we’re working towards. ”

But both the seven-time champion and the Italian team have denied that as F1 gathers in Monaco this weekend for the grand prix.

“Naturally, when you’re in contract negotiations, there’s always speculation, and unless you hear it from me, that’s it,” Hamilton said.

“Maybe with the cancellation of the game (at Imola last weekend) they were just bored.

“My team is working closely with Toto behind the scenes and we’re almost ready for the contract. It’s a lot easier now because I’ve done it all myself.”

Asked directly if Ferrari had been in touch, Hamilton said: “No.”

Ferrari principal Frederic Vassell said: “You are fully aware that at this stage of the season you have a different story every week and we are not going to make an offer to Lewis Hamilton. We are not doing that.

“We didn’t have a discussion. I think every team in qualifying would like Hamilton to be at one stage – not to say something like that is rubbish.”

Vasseur said it was too early for Ferrari to start talks with their drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz about their future. Both contracts will run until the end of 2024.

“The most important (thing) for us is to continue to follow the development of the current season,” Vassell said.

“In a few months we will have the opportunity to discuss the future.

“We agreed that we would talk about the contract later and I don’t want to change that because there are rumors that Lewis might come, or Charles might go, or Carlos might go. We are working on our stuff internally and I will focus on the plan. “

mercedes upgraded driver

Hamilton said he was looking forward to trying out an updated version of the car Mercedes is bringing to Monaco, a development launched after Wolff admitted in the first race of the season that the team had made a mistake in pursuit of their unique car. First steps concept of planning.

Mercedes designed revised sidepods, floor and front suspension in a similar style to that pioneered by Red Bull when new F1 rules are introduced in 2022.

Aspects of the design also bear similarities to Aston Martin, which has been a surprise for the 2023 season.

“It will be interesting to see how it works,” Hamilton said. “I don’t think we’ll be fighting to win, but hopefully we’ll be fighting more.

We’re still a championship-winning team, but we picked the wrong car and made some decisions that weren’t ideal. “

Teammate George Russell said Mercedes would not draw any conclusions about the performance of the upgrade this weekend because of the unique nature of the Monaco circuit’s tense twists.

Russell said: “We know it’s a very unique track and we’re not going to put any interpretation into the performance that the new update shows this weekend.

“There will always be outliers in teams that do well and teams that don’t at a track like Monaco. But in the end we’re not going to design a car that peaks in Monaco.

“I trust the team and I don’t think anything terrible will happen with the upgrade to take us off-piste.

“We will treat it as unique and then reassess it in Barcelona (next weekend).

“I’m glad we’re working on it because you always want to improve the performance of the car as much as possible and if we know we have some performance, it’s going to be a demoralizing weekend for all of us.”

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