Lewis Hamilton has hinted that he is close to signing a new contract with Mercedes, amid rumours that talks were deadlocked due to interest in the world champion from Ferrari.
After his first defeat of the season at the hands of team-mate Nico Rosberg in Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix, Hamilton was quick to rebuff the Ferrari rumours, saying: “That is not the case. It’s utter b*******. All stories that have come out money-wise are generally b*******. You’ll see it in Monaco [the next GP] – I will have some news for you in Monaco.”
In the previous four races, which he started from pole position, Hamilton had things pretty much his own way. But on Sunday he never got close to Rosberg, who was on pole, and had to fight his way past Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari after making a poor start.
“It was the clutch,” Hamilton said. “I worked as hard as I could all weekend and just couldn’t get it right. It just wasn’t the perfect weekend. I came second and I had some problems to deal with, so I couldn’t fight for first.”
What pleased him is that Mercedes again clearly had the pace on Ferrari, who brought a very heavily updated car but saw it finish 45 seconds behind Rosberg and 28 seconds behind Hamilton.
Meanwhile, Vettel’s former team Red Bull have repeated their claim that they will pull out of Formula One if they cannot get either a competitive engine with current suppliers Renault or Audi refuse to replace them.
Red Bull are frustrated with Renault’s failure to master the hybrid engines introduced last year and their motorsport adviser, Helmut Marko, said the team were keen on doing a deal that would see Audi enter F1.
“If we don’t have a competitive engine in the near future, then either Audi is coming or we are out,” he said.
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