Mercedes hit back at Hamilton-Ferrari links

Toto Wolff says suggestions that Lewis Hamilton could be tempted to leave Mercedes for Ferrari have been “blown out of proportion”.

Hamilton has been regularly linked to the Scuderia during the course of his career and recently claimed he would be able to improve things at Maranello if he signed there.

For his own part, Wolff has previously said he would understand if his star man would be seduced by the prospect of driving the red car before he hangs up his racing gloves.

Hamilton is among a clutch of star drivers on contracts that expire before the new regulations come into force in 2021. Ferrari’s four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel is another.

However, predictions that next year’s driver market could go into overdrive may end up being wide of the mark, according to Wolff.

“I think that this Ferrari thing has maybe been blown out of proportion,” Wolff said.

“Lewis has a clear opinion where he sees himself in the future and we are and have always been very loyal to our drivers.

“[In] 2021 everything is different and the drivers, in the same way as the teams, will be looking at opportunities and their future, evaluate options that are on the table, benchmark the teams’ performance.

“At the end of the day the cars’ performance is what counts the most for the top guys.

“These discussions have slowly but surely started but I don’t see this coming to any closure in terms of the 2021 line-up any time soon. That will be going into the next season, is my opinion.”