Hamilton says he's close to new deal with Mercedes
Seven-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton has denied being approached by Ferrari and is hopeful a contract extension with Mercedes will be finalised "in the coming weeks".
Recent reports have linked Hamilton to a move to the Italian giants but the British driver said at the Monaco Grand Prix on Thursday there have been no talks with Ferrari and his personal team is negotiating with Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff.
"Naturally, in contract negotiations, there's always going to be speculation," Hamilton said.
"My team's working closely behind the scenes with Toto. We're almost at the end of having a contract ready."
Hamilton, the F1 record-holder with 103 grand prix wins and 103 pole positions, was asked when he expected a contract to be signed.
"That's what we're working towards, so hopefully in the coming weeks," he said. "I've got a great team in the background doing all the work."
Hamilton didn't win a race last year for the first time in his career, dating back to 2007.
He has not won yet this season, either, but still believes Mercedes can turn things around and insists the recent performance isn't weighing on his decision whether to stay with the team.
"It doesn't have a bearing, I think, because we're still a championship-winning team," he said.
"It's just, we've had the wrong car. There have been some decisions that have been made over the past two years that have not been ideal, and we're working our way through that."
Meanwhile, Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur also dismissed rumours of having approached Hamilton regarding a potential move to his team next year.
"You know perfectly that, at this stage of the season, you will have each week a different story. And we are not sending an offer to Lewis Hamilton. We didn't do it," the Frenchman said. "We didn't have discussions."
Hamilton also hailed Real Madrid soccer player Vinicius Jr as 'incredibly brave' for his response to racist insults in Spain and said the incidents brought back painful memories from his own career in motor racing.
Brazilian forward Vinicius called LaLiga and Spain racist when he took to social media to complain about the abuse he suffered from the crowd during a match in Valencia on Sunday.
"It's devastating to think that in 2023 we're still seeing these things and hearing these things," said Hamilton, who is the sport's only Black driver.
"It really hits home for me, it really brings up emotions about things that I experienced, whether it's back in the UK or when I was racing in Italy or in France or in Spain.
"It can be so hurtful the things that people say. I think he's been incredibly brave."