Lewis Hamilton has responded to the speculation that he could make a switch to Ferrari for the 2024 Formula 1 season.
Over the last week, various reports have suggested that Ferrari is interested in bringing the seven-time World Champion to its team.
Hamilton’s contract at Mercedes expires at the end of the year, and rumours of Hamilton’s exit have been fuelled by the Brackley-based squad enduring a poor run of form since the start of the 2022 season.
Ferrari team boss Frederic Vasseur moved to squash the rumours ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix weekend.
Hamilton, too, denied that conversations have taken place while insisting that he is close to extending with Mercedes.
“I think, naturally, when you are in contact negotiations there is always going to be speculation,” he said. “And unless you hear it from me, that’s all it is.
“My team is working closely behind the scenes with Toto and we are almost at the point of having the contract ready. I’m having the team focused on that so I can just do my job.
“It’s a much better position than I used to be in before, because I used to do the negotiations on my own and it was very stressful. I don’t have to do that anymore.”
Hamilton has failed to win a race since the penultimate race of the 2021 campaign as Mercedes has struggled amid the introduction of new regulations.
It will introduce upgrades at the upcoming race weekend from Monaco as it looks to reroute itself towards the front of the field.
But Hamilton denies that Mercedes’ difficult position in the pecking order is having an impact on where he wants to be in 2024.
“No, it doesn’t have a bearing,” he said. “We are still a championship-winning team, it’s just we’ve had the wrong car and made some decisions over the past few years that have not been ideal.
“We are working through that and all the energy is going towards the new upgrade this weekend.
“The team has worked incredibly hard to bring this upgrade and we already decided after Bahrain it was what we are going to do.
“I was a little bit gutted when the last race got cancelled because I was excited to try this new package, and while here is not the best platform track-wise to really see those come to fruition, we will hopefully experience that more next week.
“My team is chatting and having the discussions with the team in the background and we are almost there.”