Lewis makes eyes at Ferrari
LEWIS Hamilton has admitted he is flattered by Ferrari’s interest, refusing to shut down a move to the Italian giants.
Ferrari has ramped up their pursuit of Hamilton at the season-concluding race in Abu Dhabi by publicly wooing Britain’s six-time world champion.
Italian media have reported that Hamilton, who is out of contract with Mercedes at the end of next season, has spoken on two occasions with Ferrari chairman John Elkann this year.
While in a further intriguing twist on Saturday evening, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff – whose own future with Formula One’s record-breaking team is also in doubt – revealed he would not stop his £40m-a-year driver from entering into talks with their Italian rivals.
Hamilton will start Sunday’s race as the favourite to close out his world championship year with an 11th victory after putting his Mercedes on pole position.
But, in the moments after claiming the 88th pole of his career, the Englishman was asked for his response to Mattia Binotto’s comments in which the Ferrari team principal described Hamilton as an ‘outstanding driver’, adding that his potential availability in 2021 could ‘only make Ferrari happy’.
“It is the first compliment I have had from Ferrari in 13 years,” said Hamilton.
“It has taken all these years for them to recognise me, but I am grateful. It is positive and it is a team that I have always appreciated.
“They have got two great drivers so who knows what the market is going to be doing over the next year.”