Hamilton rejects rumor linking Vettel to Mercedes

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Lewis Hamilton has rejected rumors suggesting that Sebastian Vettel could join Mercedes in the near future, despite Niki Lauda appearing to be chasing the signature of the triple world champion.

“It’s not something I need to think about, because it’s not going to happen,” Hamilton told The Daily Telegraph.

“Nico qualified on pole in the last race, so he clearly has the speed and deserves to be here. I have just come to the team and I’m not doing too badly, so I doubt they will be replacing me.”

Hamilton is just four races into his three-year contract with the team, but the rumor has been lingering for some time. However, the 2008 world champion insists that the stories have not had any bearing on him.

“It doesn’t affect me in the slightest. Why should it? I’m comfortable where I am. I have a solid contract and a great lawyer, as have Mercedes.”

Mercedes have surpassed their own expectation so far this season, with Nico Rosberg claiming the team’s third consecutive pole position at the Spanish Grand Prix. He will be joined on the front row by Hamilton as the German team searches for its first win of the season.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).