Lewis Hamilton insists his team are “almost there” as they look to agree a new contract with Mercedes – and denied reports that Ferrari have approached him.
The 38-year-old’s current contract with the Silver Arrows, where he has been since 2013, expires at the end of this season.
A report this week suggested Ferrari have offered the seven-time F1 world champion – who has won six of his titles with Mercedes – a £40m-a-year contract to join the Scuderia from 2024.
Yet Hamilton, who covets a record-breaking eighth crown after missing out controversially in Abu Dhabi in 2021, revealed that his representatives are close to concluding negotiations with Mercedes over an extension.
“My team is working closely behind the scenes with [Mercedes team principal] Toto [Wolff], and we are almost at the end of having a contract ready,” he said, in his pre-race press conference in Monaco.
“This is the first time that I have not been negotiating myself. I have a great team in the background that does the work and I focus on the job on hand. I say what I want and that is what we are working towards so hopefully in the coming weeks [it will be decided].”
When asked if Ferrari had been in touch, Hamilton simply replied: “No.”
He added: “Last weekend maybe with the race cancelled they [the media] got bored.”
Hamilton also insisted Mercedes’ dethroning as kings of the Formula 1 road will not impact his decision to re-sign with the Brackley side.
The Brit will get his first taste of a major Mercedes upgrade in practice on Friday which the seven-time world champion hopes will haul him up the grid.
“We are still a championship-winning team,” he added. “We have just had the wrong car, and there have been decisions that have been made over the past two years that have not been ideal. We are working our way through that.
“We have a new upgrade this weekend. The team have worked incredibly hard to bring this upgrade to this race after we decided that was the direction we wanted to take.
“Although this is not the best track to see it come to fruition, we will hopefully get a better experience of that at the next race.”
Ferrari boss Fred Vasseur also emphasised that his team have not been in contact with Hamilton.
“You know perfectly that at this stage of the season, you will have each week a different story,” he said in Monaco.
“And we are not sending an offer to Lewis Hamilton. We didn’t do it. We didn’t have discussions. I think every single team on the grid would like to have Hamilton at one stage. I think it would be bull**** to not say something like this.
“If I discuss with Hamilton, I discuss the last 20 years, I discussed almost every single weekend with Hamilton. I don’t want to have to stop to discuss with them because you are chasing me.”
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has been adamant in the past few months that despite the delay, Hamilton will extend his deal with the team.
“It’s 11 years that we’ve been together,” Wolff said.
“Every single time when we talk about Lewis’s contract, it takes months of, ‘Where we are? What is happening?’ And we keep saying the same thing: that it is rolling on.
“There’s not any difficult contract negotiations, it’s just putting different numbers in there and that’s what we’re doing and we’re working on this.
“It’s a work in progress, bouncing emails back and forth and eventually we’re going to sign it.”