Lewis Hamilton says any interest in him from Ferrari is not a waste of time following comments from Mattia Binotto at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Of Hamilton, Binotto said, “Knowing that he’s available in 2021 can make (Ferrari) only happy,” with Sebastian Vettel’s deal expiring at the same time. Hamilton claims it is rare for Ferrari to say positive things about him, and welcomed Binotto’s words amid reports in Italy he has also met with Ferrari chairman John Elkann this year.
“I think that’s the first compliment I’ve had from Ferrari in these 13 years,” Hamilton said. “I don’t remember them mentioning me ever. So thank you and I’ll take it! It doesn’t really mean anything — it’s all talk, but it’s nice that they are finally recognizing me after all these years.
“It’s positive. I think it’s never a waste of time to be nice to someone, and as I said it has been a very long time and it’s a team I have always appreciated over the years. So to earn the respect from someone over there who is very high up is not a bad thing.”
However, Hamilton also insists he is not thinking about his future plans until the season is over, after taking pole position for the season finale in Abu Dhabi.
“I think they have got two great drivers as it is and who knows what the driver market is going to be doing next year. I am not really focused on that at this second — I want to finish this season strong. I have got this incredible group of people behind me where I am and I feel I owe it to them to give my heart and my energy 100 percent, particularly as I am still in contract and negotiations haven’t started yet.
“I don’t know how the next phase of the contract is going to go; it’s weird you have to do it almost a year before it ends and it can’t be done towards the end, but it’s just the way it goes.”