Lewis Hamilton has said that he is not concerned about his future with Mercedes despite reports in the paddock this weekend suggesting that Sebastian Vettel may be on the German marque’s radar.
According to Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko, Vettel has been subject to approaches from both McLaren and Mercedes for 2016, which would appear to leave Lewis out in the cold following Nico Rosberg’s contract extension. The Briton’s contract runs out at the end of next season.
As a German team, Mercedes may be keen on having the two best German drivers in the sport on its books, but Hamilton is not bothered by these stories.
“I’m not worried about it, but another German driver, I’m not sure if that’s something Mercedes would like, but at the moment I’m here until the end of next year, so it’s not going to be any time soon,” Hamilton said. “But that’s normal, Mercedes is the best, and so everyone is going to want to drive a Mercedes.”
With just 18 months left on his contract, negotiations for a fresh deal should begin shortly. Hamilton confirmed that there is interest from both parties to extend the partnership, but no official talks have taken place yet.
“My representatives haven’t, but we’ve both shown an interest in sitting down and talking,” Hamilton said when asked if any negotiations had begun. “We haven’t sat down yet, but the team know that I would like to push to continue, and I think they made clear that they would like to do the same.
“I’ve been with Mercedes since I was 13, so I very much feel like I have Mercedes imprinted on my chest. It’s very much a family for me, but you never know what’s going to happen in the future, but I can’t particularly see myself anywhere else.
“If they happen to want someone else, that’s the way it is, I’m not going to whinge about it. There’s places for everyone.”
As the 2014 F1 season reaches its summer break, silly season is starting to get underway. It says a lot about the reputation Mercedes has now created in the F1 community that drivers are being linked to seats with the team for the season after next; the car is that good.
Would Vettel really walk away from Red Bull? “I think any offer has to be considered but nothing has changed,” he said on Thursday in Hungary.
It’s going to be a long summer of wild rumors, and frankly, silly season is only just getting started.