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Hamilton dismisses Ferrari rumours and says new Mercedes deal is “almost” done · RaceFans

Lewis Hamilton says he is poised to renew his contract with Mercedes and dismissed reports he could join Ferrari as “speculation.”

Reports earlier this week claimed Ferrari made a contract offer to the seven-times world champion, but team principal Frederic Vasseur denied that was true earlier today.

Speaking in the FIA press conference ahead of this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix, Hamilton also said there had been no communication between his representatives and Ferrari.

“Naturally when you’re in contract negotiations there’s always going to be speculation,” he said. “Ultimately, unless you hear it from me, that’s what it is.”

Asked where he believed the story had come from Hamilton said: “There’s a certain individual in this room that’s written at least one of them. Maybe last weekend with the race being cancelled they just got bored.”

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff revealed weeks ago that talks had begun over a new deal. Hamilton said they are now close to an agreement.

“As I said, my team’s working closely behind the scenes with Toto. We’re almost at the end of having a contract ready.

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“Having the team focus on that so I can just do my job is a much better position than I was in before because I remember I used to do negotiations on my own and it was very stressful, so I don’t have to do that any more.”

Mercedes’ performance has slumped since Hamilton agreed his last deal, which keeps him at the team until the end of the year. However Hamilton, who is in the longest win-less streak of his career, said that “doesn’t have a bearing” on his commitment to the team.

“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 [and] all the energy is going toward [it],” he said.

He said he is eager to try the upgrade package the team have brought for this weekend’s race.

“We have a new upgrade this weekend, the team have worked incredibly hard to bring this upgrade,” he said. “We already, after Bahrain, decided that’s what we are going to do.

“I was a little bit gutted when the last race got cancelled because I was excited to bring this new package. And while here is not the best platform track-wise to really see those come to fruition we’ll hopefully experience that more next week. Otherwise, my team are having discussion with the team in the background and we’re almost there.”

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2023 Monaco Grand Prix

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