Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto says Lewis Hamilton’s availability for the 2021 Formula 1 season “can only make us happy”.

Six-time world champion Hamilton is out of contract for 2021 after his current deal with Mercedes expires at the end of next season.

While Hamilton is expected to remain at Mercedes - the team he has won five of his six world titles with - speculation regarding his future ramped up over the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend.

Talk of meetings between Hamilton and Ferrari president John Elkann led to suggestions he might be considering a switch to the famous Maranello squad for 2021.

“Lewis is certainly an outstanding driver, a fantastic driver,” Binotto said when asked about the prospect of Hamilton’s availability.

“Knowing that he’s available in 2021 can make us only happy, but honestly it’s too early for any decision.

“So we are happy with the drivers we’ve got at the moment and I think certainly at one stage next season we will start discussing and understanding what to do.”

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, whose own deal at the German manufacturer runs out at the end of 2020, said he expects to sit down with Hamilton to discuss their futures over the winter break.

“Lewis and I have grown close over the last seven years,” he explained.

“We ended up in Mercedes at the same time in 2013 and I think we have built up a lot of trust.

“At the same time, the two of us are part of a wider organisation where everybody is playing in their relative field of competence. I think for him to say that is nice. I’d also like to know where he goes or if he stays in the future.

“And we are having those discussions about the future and I think it is very important between the two of us, like between many others that have played an important role within that team.

“Can I shed more light? No, for me it was important to finish the season in Abu Dhabi. There are many things to be decided on and we will see over the winter.”

 

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