Lewis Hamilton has claimed that he had "casual conversations" with Ferrari about the possibility of joining the team in the past, but ultimately decided against a move to Italy.
The future of Hamilton in Formula 1 with Mercedes has been debated throughout 2023, after several delays to his current contract.
Speculation over whether he would join Ferrari was made midway through the season, before a multi-year extension was eventually announced between Mercedes and Hamilton at the Italian Grand Prix.
When asked whether Ferrari had put a contract in front of him before, Hamilton told German newspaper Blick: “Never."
“Okay, I’m sure we’ve had a few casual conversations. I know a lot of good people there. But I never felt ready to move to Italy.”
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Hamilton explains contract delay
Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff offered insight into why the contract negotiations were "tricky" between the pair, after striking a deal to have his services until at least the end of 2025.
Hamilton said that it is not the first time that him and Wolff have "haggled" over details regarding certain clauses in his contract.
“This is not the first time that the two of us discussed for hours and haggled over details," explained Hamilton.
“Always under the motto: From Thursday to Sunday, I belong exclusively to Formula 1.
“There are so many details about my promotional activities. I’m in a happy position with Toto. He is respected and admired by everyone. It’s easy to negotiate with him. And that makes him a great leader."
When asked if he reads the contract details himself, Hamilton responded: “Of course, I want to know exactly what’s in there.
“But now it’s over 200 pages, or a f**king book. And that takes you days!”