Lewis Hamilton: Ferrari not offering Mercedes driver contract, says Frédéric Vasseur ahead of Monaco GP | F1 news

Lewis Hamilton was reportedly offered £40m to join Ferrari, but the Italian team boss denies this; Hamilton has been with Mercedes since 2013 and his future has been a major talking point this month; Watch the Monaco GP live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend


14:26, UK, Thursday 25 May 2023

Ferrari has not reached a deal with Lewis Hamilton, says team boss Frédéric Vasseur.

Earlier this week, it was reported that Ferrari had made a £40m offer for Hamilton, with the seven-time world champion currently set to be a free agent until 2024 as his Mercedes contract expires at the end of this season.

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz are both contracted to stay at Ferrari next year.

„As a joke, two weeks ago you send Sainz to Audi, a week ago you send Leclerc to Mercedes – now I’m alone,” Vazur said ahead of this weekend’s Monaco GP.

„You know very well that every week at this stage of the season you have a different story and we didn’t send Lewis Hamilton an opportunity, we didn’t.”

Asked if he had spoken to Hamilton or if he would, Vazur replied: „We haven’t had a discussion. I think every team would like to get Hamilton at some point, it wouldn’t be bull****. Say something like that.

„If I’ve debated with Hamilton, I’ve debated with Hamilton every weekend for the last 20 years, and I don’t want to stop debating with him because you’re chasing me.”

Sky Sports News’ Craig Slater assesses the impact Mercedes’ new upgrades could have as the first images of their updated car emerge.

No talks with Leclerc and Sainz

Leclerc signed a five-year contract with Ferrari in 2019, while Sainz penned a new multi-year contract that takes him until the end of 2024.

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Vasseur says he doesn’t have to reassure his drivers about their future with the team.

„Last week you sent them to Saber and Charles to Mercedes and they didn’t come to see me – don’t worry 'Fred it’s not true’,” he said.

„We know that every week we get a new rumor and we just focus on the car.”



Image:
Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc, left, and Carlos Sainz

Sainz reiterated Vasier’s comments, but admitted he wants to confirm his future at the start of next season.

„I don’t think I want to [talk with Vasseur about my future],” explained Sines. „I know there are always rumors like this around this time of year. It’s the silly season.

„A week and a half ago I went to Audi, a week ago Charles went to Mercedes, now Lewis is coming to Ferrari. It’s the story of our lives when we come to this time of year. I’ve been there. [in F1] Long to know it’s that time of year.”

Ferrari focuses on the car

Ferrari challenged Red Bull in the first half of last year and led the championship early on, before mistakes and reliability failures saw their title challenge disappear.

With Leclerc in Baku they are the only team other than Red Bull to take pole position and Vasseur says Ferrari are more focused on their car than the future of their drivers.

„I told you last week or two, the most important thing for us is to focus on development in the current season,” he said.

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„We will have an opportunity to discuss the future in two months and that will be the time to discuss.

Craig Slater gives update on Ferrari rumors to sign Lewis Hamilton

„I didn’t want to discuss an extension with them, I didn’t change, I said my position that the most important thing is to try to take a step forward to compete with Red Bull, and let’s focus on this.”

The Ferrari team boss added: „We agreed that we will discuss the contracts later and I don’t want to change because of rumors from someone that Lewis may come or Charles may go or Carlos may go. We handle our work internally and I will focus on the project.”

Why should Hamilton leave now?

Hamilton is fourth in the drivers’ championship after five races of the 2023 season, 63 points behind leader Max Verstappen, but 12 points and 22 ahead of Ferrari’s Sainz and Leclerc respectively.

Mercedes have an 18-point lead over Ferrari in the constructors’ championship, but the latter have taken pole position.

Sky Sports F1s Simon Lazenby has questioned why Hamilton would want to join a team that is currently out of the championship race.

Sky F1’s Simon Lazenby questions whether Lewis Hamilton thinks his best chance of winning an eighth world title is with Ferrari.

„After watching the first five races of the season, I think why would he bother moving at this point?” he said.

„Apart from Aston Martin, it’s not like anyone else has profited. Christian Horner in Miami asks 'Where are the others?’

„I understand the appeal of Ferrari, but when you look at them over the last 15 years, they’ve been consistent achievers – they’re a team in constant transition. Whereas Mercedes, despite having the pedigree, they made a philosophical mistake and now they’re in transition again – maybe that transition. Time will take last year, this year, and if these improvements take them to the point where they are on track to play a development battle with Red Bull, they will know they are already a year behind.The start of next season.

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„It’s almost a Hobson’s choice for Lewis – why not stay with the team that brought you that victory rather than say 'I was a Ferrari driver’ at one point in your career? They’re not on Sundays.”

Sky F1’s Ted Kravitz believes Lewis Hamilton can still win an eighth world title in Formula 1.

Sky Sports F1Live Monaco GP Schedule

Friday 26th May
10.05am: F3 Qualifying
12pm: Monaco GP Practice One (Session starts at 12.30pm)
2.05pm: F2 Qualifying
3.45pm: Monaco GP Practice Two (Session starts at 4pm)
5.30pm: The F1 Show: Monaco

Saturday 27th May
9.55am: F3 sprint
11.15am: Monaco GP practice three (session starts at 11.30am)
1.30pm: F2 Sprint
2:30 pm: Monaco GP Qualifying Build-up
3pm: Monaco GP Qualifying
4.45 pm: Dead qualification notebook

Sunday, May 28
7.15am: F3 feature race
8.45am: F2 feature race
12.30pm: Grand Prix Sunday Monaco GP Build-up
2pm: Monaco Grand Prix
4pm: Checked flag Monaco GP reaction
5pm: Dead Notebook
5.30 pm: 107th Indy 500

Formula 1 now takes to the streets of Monaco for the sixth Grand Prix of the 2023 season – watch all the action on Sky Sports F1 from 26-28 May. Get Sky Sports

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