Lewis Hamilton has pushed back on the Ferrari speculation, declaring a new deal with Mercedes is ‘almost’ done

Speaking at a news conference Thursday ahead of the 2023 Monaco Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton ruled out reports of communications with Ferrari, and outlined that negotiations for a new contract with Mercedes are nearing completion.

“Normally when you’re in contract negotiations there’s always going to be speculation,” he said Thursday. “In the end, unless you hear it from me, that’s how it is.”

Hamilton went on to insist that negotiations between his representatives and Mercedes are continuing, and the two parties are “close” to their end.

“As I said, my team is working closely behind the scenes with Toto. We have almost completed the contract,” said the Mercedes driver. “Getting the team focused on that so I can do my job is a much better position than I was before because I remember I used to do my own negotiations and it was really stressful, so I didn’t have to do that. Again.”

This week started with speculation about a surprise bid from Ferrari to lure Hamilton away from Mercedes at the end of his contract, which expires at the end of this season. Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff dismissed the reports earlier this week, expressing confidence in a new deal with Hamilton.

The Mercedes driver isn’t the only one involved in dismissing the rumours. Speaking to the media on Thursday, Ferrari Team Principal Frederic Vasseur did the same. “You know very well that at this stage of the season, you will have a different story every week,” the Ferrari boss told the media on Thursday. “And we didn’t send Lewis Hamilton an offer. We didn’t.”

While a new deal with Hamilton could solve one problem Mercedes has been facing, there are still lingering problems from the W14, their challengers for this season. After weeks of speculation over their upgrade plans, Mercedes have finally pulled back the cowl on their car, unveiling a new look for the Monaco Grand Prix.

It looks like the zero-pod days are behind us.

Hamilton discussed upgrading also on Thursday.

“We are still a championship-winning team, it’s just that we chose the wrong car, there have been some decisions that have been made over the last two years that have not been ideal and we are working through them. [and] all energy goes [it],” he says.

“We have a new upgrade this weekend, the team has worked really hard to bring this upgrade. We’ve, after Bahrain, decided that’s what we’re going to do,” Hamilton added. “I was a bit disappointed when the last race was canceled because I was really excited to bring this new package. And while it’s not the best platform path here to really see that come to fruition, hopefully we’ll experience it again next week.

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