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Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton sought Wolff for talks after Ferrari contact

Earlier this year, Lewis Hamilton was linked with a switch to Ferrari before committing his Formula 1 future to Mercedes.

Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff has revealed that Lewis Hamilton sought him out for talks when rumours regarding a potential switch to Ferrari surfaced earlier this year.

Throughout the season, Ferrari was constantly linked with offering Hamilton a contract to join next season after the expiry of his Mercedes contract - although the British driver reiterated on several occasions his desire to stay with the Brackley team.

In August, Mercedes announced that it had tied Hamilton down to a new two-year deal, keeping him at the squad until the end of 2025.

Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport, Wolff revealed that Hamilton was always clear regarding his intentions for the future.

"The announcement was a bit delayed, but it was clear that it would go on like this, with Lewis staying with us," Wolff said.

"He and I are always very transparent towards each other.

"A while ago he said to me: 'I saw [Ferrari chairman] John Elkann at a dinner, but you should know I'm not going anywhere'.

"When [media] wrote about a possible switch, he told me: 'Toto, I am not negotiating. I don't understand where the stories are coming from.'

"[Lewis's] signature on the contract came after six months, but there were marketing and judicial reasons for that.

"For me, there was never a millimetre of doubt.

"Besides, we also have two more years with [George] Russell, who is the future of this team, raised in Mercedes, the next generation after Hamilton. We are happy.”

Hamilton's future

While Wolff is keen to retain a relationship with Hamilton after he retires, he asserted that the seven-time World Champion's primary focus is currently on driving.

"During the negotiations of the current contract, we talked about his current activities, with his role at Tommy Hilfiger and his future as an entrepreneur,” he said.

"However, his main focus now should be on racing, which Lewis knows how to do best and that remains the most important point for now.

"What might happen in the future, we are very open about that. Maintaining a relationship with the best driver of all time is obviously a great opportunity for Mercedes.

"It's a journey that should continue as far as I am concerned, even after he stops racing."

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