Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton has had a difficult week after receiving hefty criticism for choosing not to attend the F1 London Live event..

Lewis Hamilton reportedly makes stunning admission to close friends about F1 future

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More controversy is beginning to simmer around Lewis Hamilton in the build up to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone after rumours started to circulate that the Briton had claimed that he would love to end his career at Ferrari.

Hamilton's current contract at Mercedes is set to expire at the end of next season and it is believed that he has told some of his close friends of his wish to join the Italian giants.

That is according to the Daily Mail, anyway.

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As yet, there is no concrete evidence to support these rumours, with no signs of talks between Hamilton and Ferrari, but it will be very interesting to see how the story develops over the coming weeks and months.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner added further fuel to the flame by suggesting that Mercedes chief Toto Wolff is trying to ensure that Ferrari number one Sebastian Vettel is available for the 2019 season.

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"I would think Seb's got Toto in his ear trying to say extend for just a year (beyond the end of this season), and then he's probably got Ferrari saying it's three years or nothing," said Horner.

Hamilton has been less than subtle in the past when it comes to potential team changes, after marching into the Red Bull paddock in full view of all present to ask for a move to the then dominant team in 2011 during his McLaren days.

It's no secret that Hamilton is a fan of Ferrari's road cars, and perhaps he feels the time has come for him to get behind the wheel of one of their Formula 1 cars.

Meanwhile, Mercedes were the fastest team during the Friday practice session at the famous Silverstone, with Hamilton coming in just behind his teammate Valtteri Bottas.

F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain - Practice

However, Bottas was handed a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change which leaves Lewis Hamilton as favourite for pole position.

The 32-year-old will be looking for a record equalling fifth victory at the British Grand Prix as he looks to mend fragile relations between himself and the local fans after snubbing the F1 London Live event earlier in the week.

Hamilton's absence from the event, as he chose instead to take a few days off, caused outrage amongst some of the home fans who were less than impressed that the three-time world champion was nowhere to be seen.

Formula 1 royalty Sir Jackie Stewart led the charge against Hamilton, saying: "He was taking a couple of days off. Can you imagine what I was doing when I was driving racing cars?

F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain - Practice

"Eighty-six times I crossed the Atlantic one year and I still won the world championship. Back and forwards because of obligations."

Speaking after practice, though, Hamilton did his best to remedy the brittle situation.

"Each time I left the garage I gave the fans a wave and I could see them waving back. I just want them to know that I can see them and I really appreciate all the love and support.

"Today's been a really good start to the weekend and it's great to be back here at Silverstone. The track is absolutely incredible with these new cars. It was already one of the very best circuits in the world, but with this car and the speed we are able to carry through the corners, it's just phenomenal - like the greatest rollercoaster ride ever."

F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain - Practice

Sebastian Vettel, on the other hand, was going about the business of testing a new driver safety aid known as 'the shield' during his practice session.

The German only managed three laps before claiming that the new device, designed to deflect on track debris away from the driver, made him feel dizzy.

Hamilton will be looking to close the twenty point gap between himself and vettel who sits pretty atop the driver standings in the world championship race.

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