- Lewis Hamilton has opened up on speculation that he could have joined Ferrari
- The seven-time world champion said he was ‘never’ made an offer by the team
- It comes amid large speculation that Hamilton could have left Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton has finally admitted he spoke to Ferrari before signing his new £100million deal to stay at Mercedes.
As Mail Sport revealed in May, the seven-time world champion was in dialogue with Formula One’s most famous team as he weighed up where to spend the last of the best years of his career.
At the time, Hamilton, 38, denied any contact had been made.
Asked ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix if there had been an approach from the Scuderia, he said ‘no’.
Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur was also pressed into denying the red team made any attempt to sign Hamilton.
Lewis Hamilton has opened up on speculation that he was close to a shock move from Mercedes to Formula 1 rivals Ferrari
Speculation had been bubbling this summer that the driver was linked with a switch to Ferrari
Team Principal Frederic Vasseur (second right) was also questioned over the subject
That was despite Mail Sport’s revelation that Hamilton spoke to Ferrari president John Elkann – either as a negotiating ploy or in seriousness.
Despite the courtship, Hamilton committed himself to Mercedes at the end of August, signing a two-year deal worth £50m per annum, which takes him to the age of 40.
But now Hamilton has come clean – partly – by admitting their wire was contact without going into detail on the full extent of the discussions.
Speaking to Swiss outlet Blick, Hamilton shared: ‘Okay, we’ve definitely had a few casual conversations. I know a lot of good people there. But I never felt ready to move to Italy.’
When asked whether Ferrari had offered him a deal, he said: ‘Never’.
Hamilton’s new deal with Mercedes will see him become the joint top earner, alongside Max Verstappen, in the sport, but the decision did not always seem straightforward.
The seven-time champion has been vocal about his struggles with the Mercedes over the last two seasons.
But Hamilton (pictured) signed a two-year contract to stay at Mercedes, making him the joint highest paid driver in F1, alongside Max Verstappen
Questions have also been raised over whether Hamilton would retire but he has said that his team-mate George Russell (right) was giving him ‘motivation’ to keep racing
‘But it’s become a love-hate story,’ Hamilton continued. ‘There are days when I would prefer not to get into the cockpit,’
‘But then the duels with my team-mate [Russell] give me motivation. You always have to be wide awake.’
The Mercedes driver finished fifth in Japan last week, with his last podium finish coming the week prior; securing third place at the Singapore Grand Prix.
He is yet to win a race this season, despite having finished second in Spain and Australia. His last win came in December 2021 in Saudi Arabia.