Lewis Hamilton has dismissed suggestions Sebastian Vettel could join Mercedes’ Formula 1 team in the near future, saying he knows the Ferrari driver does not want to become his teammate.
Vettel is out of contract with Ferrari at the end of the year and is yet to announce a new deal, leading to speculation he may angle for a move to Mercedes in place of Valtteri Bottas, who is also a free agent for 2018.
While both Vettel and Bottas are expected to continue with their respective teams, Hamilton said ahead of this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix he doubts the Ferrari driver would be interested in the move across so long as he remained at Mercedes.
“I think it is highly unlikely that he will be here. I don’t think he wants to be my teammate – I know he doesn’t want to be my teammate,” Hamilton said.
“He wouldn’t be in the position he is now in his team in terms of how [Mercedes] operates.
“But I’m always ready to race whoever it is. Racing against the best drivers is always a great thing.”
Hamilton and Bottas have enjoyed a friendly, trouble-free partnership so far at Mercedes in 2017, with the Briton doubtful the team’s management will want to make any changes for next year.
“The last race was a very good example of how great the team is currently,” Hamilton said, referring to his late position swap with Bottas in Hungary.
“Coming into this season, I haven’t changed a single thing that I do, but there is another new element in the team and it works.
“I don’t believe any of the bosses or anyone in the team is unhappy with what is currently in place.
“I find it hard to believe that they will change that.