Ferrari boss comments on Lewis Hamilton’s contract saga

Fred Vasseur, the Ferrari team principal, has addressed Lewis Hamilton's contract saga ahead of the 2023 Dutch GP.

As Lewis Hamilton’s contract negotiations continue, Fred Vasseur has insisted that he “knows nothing” about theml.

The Frenchman is instead concentrating on securing the services of his current drivers, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.

Both Leclerc and Sainz’s contracts with the Scuderia expire at the end of 2024.

Sainz has been transparent about his desire to become a stable feature within Ferrari’s setup.

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Due to this dynamic, it is Sainz whom Vasseur is most interested in talking to at the moment.

The Frenchman said: “That’s why we’re going to sit down with Carlos before the end of the season.”

The Ferrari boss still wants to open a dialogue with Leclerc sooner rather than later.

He said: “There are still 18 months before the contracts end, but we want to clarify the situation with the lineup of the team before the start of the next season.

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“This means we need to discuss everything before the end of the year, but we still have 4 or 5 months to make a decision.

“But we are perfectly aligned with Carlos and we will start next season with a clear picture.”

Vasseur only became Ferrari team principal at the beginning of this F1 season.

He conceded that settling in at the Maranello has proven challenging, especially with the language barrier.

The Frenchman admits that he has used his downtime to take Italian lessons.

Vasseur remarked: “I’m struggling. My wife is improving much faster than me and I feel the pressure.”

There have been rumours that Lewis Hamilton has finally struck a finalised deal with Mercedes that is yet to be announced.

Ferrari spent months pursuing the British driver, whose contract expires at the end of the year.

When asked about this situation, Vassseur was nonchalant.

He said: “Honestly, I am not concentrating on this at all.

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“The discussion is only between Lewis and Toto (Wolff). I know nothing about it.”

Vasseur says his sole focus is on rebuilding Ferrari, who have suffered another sub-par season.

The French principal says the Scuderia will unveil a “completely different” car in 2024 in an attempt to regain its standing.