Ferrari boss admits the team are 'happy' Lewis Hamilton could be available in 2020

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Lewis Hamilton is preparing to wind down from another successful Formula 1 season, having secured his sixth drivers’ championship title earlier this month.

The Brit is now the second most successful F1 driver of all time, and is within one championship title of equalling Michael Schumacher’s record.

Hamilton’s three consecutive titles mark the epoch of his career, a period that has aligned with his move to Mercedes in 2013.

A spell marked by intense competitiveness with teammates Nico Rosberg, and later, Valterri Bottas, Hamilton has cemented his status as arguably the greatest racer of the decade.

For most in and around the sport, Hamilton remains one of the strongest favourites for next year’s championship, alongside the likes of Bottas, Max Verstappen, and rising Ferrari star Charles Leclerc.

With Hamilton’s contract at Mercedes expiring at the end of the 2020 season, there have been whispering that

he could switch lanes and join the Frenchman at Mattia Binotto’s team.

A number of high-profile drivers are out of contract at the end of next year, and one of those is Leclerc’s current driving partner Sebastian Vettel.

Vettel, 32, has refused to disclose when he will retire, although he confirmed that he wouldn’t look to re-enter Formula 1 when he did.

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With Vettel increasingly slipping behind Hamilton in their rivalry, Ferrari may look to partner budding star Leclerc with experienced champion Hamilton, creating a potentially-unbeatable partnership.

It is understood that Hamilton is likely to stay with Mercedes, but Binotto did not rule out a move for the 34-year old.

“Lewis is certainly an outstanding driver, a fantastic driver.

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

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"Certainly at one stage next season we will start discussing and understanding what to do."

Mercedes boss Totto Wolff appeared keen to retain Hamilton, but did not confirm that any agreement had been reached.

“I'd also like to know where he goes or if he stays in the future.”

"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.”

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