Ferrari acknowledge Hamilton contact but say talk of a 2021 move 'premature'

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Ferrari CEO Louis Camilleri has confirmed Lewis Hamilton made contact over a 2021 Formula 1 seat.

As this season came to a close in Abu Dhabi, the prospect of the six-time world champion leaving Mercedes after next year got a lot more real as both praised each other and then reports of talks emerged.

Hamilton himself fell short of confirming them but Mercedes boss Toto Wolff and now the Scuderia themselves have done it for him.

“It has been made public that Lewis has had conversations with our chairman [John Elkann],” Camilleri declared during Ferrari's Christmas lunch with the media on Thursday.

“We clearly are very flattered that Lewis in particular, and other drivers, want to come and join us. Every driver on the grid would like to drive a Ferrari.

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“We have a long-term agreement with one driver [Charles Leclerc] and with the other driver [Sebastian Vettel] the agreement expires at the end of 2020.

“It would be premature to decide anything now for the future. We will look at our options and see what is the best fit for our team.”

The big questions that have always swirled around the possibility of Hamilton joining Ferrari are whether the seemingly contrasting attitudes of team and driver would work and if the Tifosi, Ferrari's passionate fanbase, would accept him?

One man who knows a bit about that, however, is Fernando Alonso, with his five years at Maranello seen as a failure having come second best twice to Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull team.

“That’s a very good question but I think it’s also a very personal answer [that Lewis has to give],” the double world champion told Channel 4 in Abu Dhabi.

“He has to consider all the possible situations and ingredients in the mix and make the decision. I think it is very personal.”

Asked what he would do, Alonso replied: “I don’t know, I think there will probably be some loyalty to put into place with Mercedes as well for all the achievements they’ve had together.

“Also I don’t know what Mercedes is thinking as well [about their own future] for 2021.”