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Hamilton: I love Mercedes but it's smart to think about my options

By Ben Spratt

Abu Dhabi, December 2: Lewis Hamilton says he loves Mercedes and has not held talks with Ferrari but the Formula One champion is open to considering his future for 2021.

Murmurings of a blockbuster switch from Mercedes to rivals Ferrari emerged this year as Hamilton cruised to his sixth drivers' championship, a third in a row.

The Briton is set to line up with the Silver Arrows once again for the next campaign, yet the possibility of a move at the end of 2020 remains.

And the subject was brought up at a post-race news conference as Hamilton reflected on his season-ending victory at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday (December 1).

The 34-year-old suggested Mercedes chief Toto Wolff's future could impact his own, although he insisted any decision would be based on his continued desire for success on the track.

Asked if he had met with Ferrari president John Elkann, Hamilton replied: "Well, naturally, everything that happens behind closed doors is obviously always private with whoever it is you end up sitting with.

"But I think for many, many years, I've never, ever sat down and considered other options, because we've been just driving straight ahead into the path that we've been on and the journey that we've been on.

"And to be honest, I still think we're on that path and I think there's very little that's going to shift it from that.

"But I know Toto is also looking at his options in terms of his future, and only he will know what is the best thing for him and his family. So I'm waiting to see what he's doing with that.

"I love where I am, so it's definitely not a quick decision to do something else, but of course I think it's only smart and wise for me to sit and think of what I want if it is the last period or stage in my career.

"Actually, I want to keep winning, I want to keep being able to fight with these guys as well. I can't really tell you what else is going to happen moving forwards."

Scuderia star Charles Leclerc was asked if he would welcome Hamilton as a team-mate the season after next.

He replied: "Well, of course. At the end, we are in Formula One and we want to fight against the best.

"I've had a big opportunity this year to have Seb (Vettel) next to me, who is a four-time world champion, and I've learned a lot from him.

"You can always learn from this type of champion, so, yes, of course (I would welcome Hamilton)."

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Story first published: Monday, December 2, 2019, 2:20 [IST]
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