Hamilton: “We’re almost at the end of having a contract ready”

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Rumours broke out last week that there was a possible team swap between Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton. With Hamilton’s contract ending this year and Leclerc’s ending in 2024, questions arose on their respective futures in the sport.

This is not the first contract negotiation that the seven-time world champion had to go through with Mercedes. However, with the team struggling to hold on to the third position in the constructors’ championship, let alone build a championship-winning car.

This left the door wide open for speculation on whether Ferrari can manage to bring him as a replacement for Charles Leclerc or make him his potential teammate.

Lewis was quick to deny any potential moves to Maranello, affirming that his management team are very close to signing a deal with the Brackley-based team.

“I think naturally, when you’re in contract negotiations, there’s always going to be speculation,” he said.

“I think, ultimately, unless you hear from me, then that’s all it is.”

Asked if the current pace struggles have played a part in the talks, he said:

“It doesn’t have a bearing I think, because 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.”

He also expressed his gratitude that he’s not the one working out the terms of his contract with Toto Wolff, Mercedes’ boss himself.

“My team is working closely behind the scenes with Toto,” he added. “We’re almost at the end of having a contract ready.”

“I’m having a team focused on that, so I can just do my job. That’s a much better position than I was in before, because I remember I used to do my negotiations on my own, and it was very stressful. So, I don’t have to do that anymore.”

When asked directly if Ferrari had contacted him or his team regarding an offer, Hamilton said, “No.”

As for Leclerc, when asked about the potential pairing he said: “Lewis is such an incredible driver, has achieved so much in the sport. So, I think anybody on the grid will love to have Lewis as a teammate, as everybody will learn a lot from him. But yeah, again, I’m happy where I am. And with Carlos, it’s a great relationship too.”

Photo credit: Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team