Lewis Hamilton refuses to rule out Ferrari switch after Abu Dhabi win


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“Naturally, everything that happens behind closed doors is always private with whoever it is you end up sitting with,” Hamilton said.

“For many years, I’ve never ever sat down and considered other options, because we [Mercedes] have been driving straight ahead, on the same path.

“We’re still on that path, and there’s very little that’s going to shift it.”

Hamilton started to add “But there’s no harm in …” before saying “I know [Mercedes team principal] Toto [Wolff] is also looking at his options, in terms of his future, and only he will know what is best for him.”

Wolff’s future is also undecided, amid reports he could possibly move into another role within Formula One.

“I love where I am, so it’s definitely not a quick decision to go and do something else,” Hamilton said.

“But it’s only smart and wise for me to think about what I want, if it is the last stage of my career.”

Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes celebrates in parc ferme at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.Credit:Getty

Ferrari’s team principal Mattia Binotto called Hamilton “an outstanding driver” on Friday and tantalisingly added “knowing that he’s available in 2021 can make us only happy”.

“I think it’s the first compliment I’ve had from Ferrari in 13 years … Thank you. I’ll take it,” Hamilton said on Saturday after clinching a record-extending 88th pole position.

The 34-year-old British driver added: “[Ferrari is] a team I’ve always appreciated. To earn the respect from them is obviously very high up.”

Wolff was asked after Sunday’s race how he rates Hamilton’s chances of staying.

“I would rate it at 75 per cent,” he said. “There is a 25 per cent chance that we are not in control of. So we’ll see how the next months pan out.”

AP

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