F1: No talks with other drivers amid Hamilton ‘pact’

(GMM) There are “no stumbling blocks” in Toto Wolff’s negotiations with Lewis Hamilton over a new Mercedes contract.

The pair arrived in Monaco this week amid swirling rumors about a big-money offer to the seven time world champion supposedly made by Ferrari president John Elkann.

Even Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko doesn’t believe it.

“46 million is not that much in the league in which Hamilton moves,” the 80-year-old Austrian said.

“I can’t imagine there’s anything to it.”

Red Bull Racing Team Consultant Dr Helmut Marko walks in the Paddock after qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 27, 2023 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 legend Jacky Ickx, a famous former Ferrari race winner, has a similar opinion.

“I don’t see any serious reasons for Lewis doing that,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport at Monaco.

“Even talking about this makes me think about a serious problem that exists in modern society – when you hear some news, you don’t know if you can trust it.”

Mercedes team boss Wolff says the entire story is “nothing but rumors”.

“We are in a super position with Lewis,” he said in Monaco. “There are no stumbling blocks in the contract negotiations.”

The Austrian also dismissed claims that he has already kicked off talks with Hamilton’s potential successor Charles Leclerc.

“Years ago, Lewis and I made the pact that we would first have to finish the negotiations with each other before we talked to other drivers,” said Wolff.

As for Hamilton’s current teammate, George Russell, he’s not fussed either way.

“I don’t care at all whether Lewis stays or Lewis goes because I believe I can beat anyone on the grid,” he told the Daily Mail.

Confident he can beat Lewis Hamilton. #63 George Russel, Mercedes during the Monaco GP, 25-28 May 2023 at Monte Carlo, Formula 1 World championship 2023.


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