Written by Reuters
13 Dec, 2019 | 2:16 pm
Reuters: Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari chairman John Elkann have met socially but talk of a move for the six times Formula One world champion is premature, according to chief executive Louis Camilleri.
Italian media have reported Hamilton twice met Elkann this year, triggering speculation that the 34-year-old Briton could move to Ferrari once his Mercedes contract expires at the end of 2020.
Ferrari had previously not confirmed the meetings, while not denying them either.
Camilleri told reporters invited to a lunch at the Italian team’s Maranello factory with he personally had not met Hamilton.
Asked whether Ferrari might let Hamilton have the same freedoms he enjoys at Mercedes, with the Briton pursuing interests in fashion and music and outspoken on the environment and racial issues, Camilleri drew a line under the questioning.
Ferrari’s 2020 line-up is four times world champion Sebastian Vettel, who will also be out of contract, and 22-year-old Monegasque Charles Leclerc who has a longer-term deal.
Vettel’s future has been the subject of much speculation after Leclerc won more races, pole positions, and points than the German this year.
Team boss Mattia Binotto said Vettel remained “a key driver” and “central to our projects” with Leclerc learning a lot from him, but he also left no doubt that the future was open.
Hamilton has said he is also waiting for Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff to decide his own future, with the Austrian talked of as an eventual replacement for Formula One chairman Chase Carey, appointed by commercial rights holders Liberty Media.
Camilleri said Ferrari would be against such a move.
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