Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff says a long-standing “pact” with Lewis Hamilton meant he was “never a millimetre in doubt” about the Formula 1 champion entertaining a move to Ferrari.
While Hamilton’s current Mercedes contract is coming to an end and Ferrari would always consider the driver if he was ever available, the Briton has long since pledged his loyalty to the Silver Arrows.
Hamilton rubbished these reports ahead of this weekend’s Monaco GP. He categorically ruled out any talks with Ferrari having taken place and stressed a new deal with Mercedes was nearly ready.
Addressing the story on Saturday, Wolff praised it for creating headlines but stressed that he was “never a millimetre in doubt” about Hamilton’s future due to a promise the Austrian and his driver have.
Wolff said: “[The story] did well - the avalanche of headlines it created. There's nothing behind that.
“How it is at the moment with us, we're in a super happy position with Lewis. There weren't any stumbling blocks in the contract negotiations.
“We have a pact and we've had that since many, many years that we wouldn't talk to any other driver before we have taken a decision to stay together or not.
“So, I was never a millimetre doubt that there was any discussion.
“Someone just felt to place that maybe in a way to play a role in what seemed to be negotiation. But it is not negotiation.
“It is sitting at a table and saying, ‘Well, what is it we need to adapt in the contract?'.
“So, there's nothing to it.”
Wolff reckoned that from Hamilton originally joining the team in 2013, other than the finer details of marketing day commitments and pay structure, the paperwork between the two had barely changed.
But the team boss did push back on confirming whether 38-year-old Hamilton would stay at Mercedes under a one- or two-year contract extension.
Wolff added: “I don't want to talk yet because the two of us, Lewis and the team, we want to do the best work for each of us.
“We're talking terms, we're talking options and all of that is completely aligned.
“It's really a brainstorming on what's best.”