Lewis Hamilton said he gets on well with Ferrari chairman John Elkann and team principal Fred Vasseur after Christian Horner‘s explosive claim that he spoke to the Italian giants before re-signing with Mercedes.
But Hamilton denied the rumour that he was interested in jumping ship to Maranello, after initially shooting down similar reports in May that Ferrari had offered him a £40 million contract.
In August Hamilton announced his Mercedes contract extension until the end of 2025 and that appeared to end any speculation, until Horner‘s incendiary Daily Mail interview broke ahead of the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
“I know John pretty well, we met years ago in the Google camp,” Hamilton told the media. “I went to the Google camp in Sicily and that’s when our friendship started, we’ve always remained in touch.”
Hamilton: Great Vasseur relationship, but nothing more
Hamilton raced for Fred Vasseur‘s ART team in GP2 and was victorious in his rookie season of the series in 2006 before earning his promotion to McLaren the following season to replace the departing Kimi Raikkonen.
That was after Vasseur had overseen Nico Rosberg win the championship the previous season, but it took longer for the Frenchman himself to reach F1.
He took over as team principal of the new Renault team in 2016 but left at the of the season after disagreements with managing director Cyril Abiteboul, and was signed by Sauber midway through the following season.
That proved to be a more fruitful partnership though, Vasseur stayed at the team for five years and oversaw Charles Leclerc‘s incredible rookie season, before joining his former charge at Ferrari as team principal for 2023.
“I’ve known Fred since 2005 and we’ve always had a really great relationship,” Hamilton added. “We talk often, particularly more so since he’s been in Formula 1.
“When I was in his team we would talk all the time obviously, when I was in his team and then I came to Formula 1 and you have less contact with the Formula Two series.
“But since we’ve been back, we’ve met here, we’ve travelled together with Toto. That’s really as far as it comes.”