Ferrari lift lid on meetings with Hamilton

Ferrari CEO Louis Camilleri has confirmed that Lewis Hamilton has met with Scuderia president John Elkann, but says suggestions that it means a swoop for the six-time world champion is imminent are wide of the mark.

The season-ending Abu Dhabi GP was played out to the backdrop of intense speculation regarding Hamilton potentially seeking a switch from Mercedes to Maranello.

Hamilton did not deny a report in Gazzetta dello Sport that he twice met with Elkann in 2019, with the Italian newspaper suggesting that a 2021 deal was very much the subject of discussions.

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto said Hamilton’s availability made him “happy”, while Mercedes counterpart Toto Wolff has said he will not stand in the Briton’s way if he wishes to seek a move.

Camilleri said of Hamilton’s meeting with Elkann: “Obviously, it was a social event, which has sort of been blown somewhat out of proportion, but it was a social event. They have some common friends.”

Leclerc’s deal is understood to expire in 2022, leaving Vettel at risk if Ferrari were to pursue a deal with Hamilton, but Camilleri says a decision is still some way off.

“The fact is we have a long-term agreement with one driver and with the other driver the agreement expires at the end of 2020,” he said.

“We clearly are very flattered that Lewis in particular, and other drivers want to come and join us, but it would be premature to decide anything today. It would be premature to decide anything now for the future.”