Ferrari boss speaks out on Lewis Hamilton talks

Fred Vasseur, the Ferrari team principal, has disclosed there have been ongoing talks between him and Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton.

Amid the drama surrounding Lewis Hamilton’s contract extension, Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur has announced that he is in “constant dialogue” with the British racer.

Hamilton’s contract with Mercedes is set to expire at the end of 2023.

The Silver Arrows have repeatedly insisted that the seven-time world champion will renew his contract with them.

Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolff, raised eyebrows when he said that contract negotiations were “emotionally done.”

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At last month’s Belgian GP, Wolff said they had entered the “lawyers speaking to lawyers” phase, indicating that an agreement was in place.

However, Hamilton has given reason for speculation to circulate over his future.

In May, the Brit was heavily linked to a big-money move to the Scuderia.

It was reported that Ferrari president, John Elkann, was personally involved in attempts to secure the services of Hamilton.

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It’s well-known that Hamilton has good relations with Vasseur, with the Frenchman overseeing his landmark title-winning GP2 campaign in 2006.

This directly preceded his promotion to F1 with McLaren, with whom he won his first championship in 2008.

Vasseur told Italian media sources: “I talk to him at every GP, he raced for me 20 years ago and we are still close.

“I helped him when he went to McLaren at the beginning of his F1 career and we talk from time to time.

“Clearly if we are seen together in the paddock a fuss comes out, but the relationship has remained.

“I don’t want to compare him to our drivers, that would not make sense. But the contribution of a top driver is not only driving.

“It’s also technical, strategy, help in hiring an engineer.

“And in this case if you have Hamilton, [Max] Verstappen but also Leclerc it’s easier.

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“Those who work in F1 are passionate about racing, they like to work with Champions.”

Both Vasseur and team Ferrari have come under fire in recent times, even being blasted by the partisan Italian media.

The Corriere della Sera newspaper labelled Ferrari a “shrimp in retreat” following the Hungarian GP last month.