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Vettel deal makes my decision a lot easier

NEWS STORY
01/09/2017

While, like most others, Lewis Hamilton wasn't surprised to see Sebastian Vettel stick with Ferrari for 2018; like most others, he was surprised to see the German commit to 2019 and 2020.

Speaking to reporters in Italy, the Briton, whose own contract runs out at the end of next season, admitted that Vettel's three-year deal effectively means that he will be staying put at Mercedes, possibly for the rest of his F1 career.

"I don't know if everyone expected him to sign a three-year deal, but it doesn't really change much for me to be honest," insisted the three-time champion. "I had planned to extend with the team, which we will do at some point in the second half of the season or towards the end of the year.

"I know Toto has said that we will wait to the end of the season," he continued, "and that's generally because that's what I like to do but there's is no rush because we still have another year. I think the last contract went all the way into the mid part of the season before signing, so there is no rush and the team is fully committed to me.

Referring to some of the previous rumours, including a pre-agreement for Vettel at Mercedes, and talk of Lewis himself heading to Maranello, Hamilton said: "I've never picked up the phone and spoken to any of these other teams, so I've made it very clear to the guys that I am not trying to weigh up my options and if I was I would say I would do my due diligence and see what options there are for me.

"But currently I have no plans to do that and it's good for Sebastian that he has signed there," he smiled. "I think all things happen for a reason, and in the plan that I have coming up, my five or six years I have left in the sport, that piece of the puzzle is now in place, so it makes my decision a lot easier."

Asked about comments made in Belgium last week, when Niki Lauda claimed talks had been held with Vettel, a claim subsequently denied by Wolff, Hamilton said: "I'm aware of the background and I'm made aware of who contacts the team, which is down to a really great relationship I have with Toto.

"He's very open with me who calls and it's very interesting to see who's trying to take my seat or take the seat next door to me, and then to see, following those calls, the moves that happen. Such as, for example, Sebastian signing."

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1. Posted by FormerF1Fan, 01/09/2017 9:29

"Hamilton couldn't have a Rosberg situation again, could he?
"

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