Ferrari 'flattered' by Hamilton's interest in the team

Tanya Simon
December 13, 2019

Meanwhile, Camilleri pointed out that Ferrari have a "long-term agreement" with Charles Leclerc, the 22-year-old driver from Monaco who joined the team in 2015 and is under contract until the 2022 season.

Vettel's future has been the subject of much speculation after Leclerc won more races, pole positions and points than the German this year.

Camilleri said Ferrari was "certainly" studying a fully electric grand tourer auto (GT), but that it would stick to hybrid vehicles for the "current foreseeable future". "That's inevitable when you're the world champion and this young kid comes along and has a phenomenal season". He has surprised even ourselves as to what he has been capable of. However, the air has been cleared.

"Going forwards it gives Mattia a much better way of managing them because they realised how much they screwed up".

Speaking at the lunch, Mattia Binotto said, "We will launch the auto very early".

"I think we need to see as well the performance and how he does fit with the auto and his motivation for the future".

With few significant rule changes next season, in addition to needing to close the gap to Mercedes, Ferrari will be under increasing pressure from Honda, in the second year of a partnership with Red Bull that has already three wins - the same as the Italian team in 2019.

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"We didn't have the best auto in 2019, Abu Dhabi is straightforward", said Binotto.

"It will be important to have drivers with some (Formula One) experience because the cars will be completely new", added Binotto.

Ferrari will launch their 2020 auto on February 11 - eight days before the start of winter testing - and say they consider themselves the "challengers" rather than favourites for next year's title.

"So, we can not be the favourites".

Hamilton's £40m-a-year deal with Mercedes expires at the end of next year.

"So we are the challenger", he added.

"If you look back in the history of Formula 1, where teams have done very well... there is one common thread, which was that there was a lot of stability within the team and therefore they learned to work very closely together", he said.

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