F1 digest: Lewis Hamilton to quit Mercedes and join Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari?
German driver Vettel admits he has no say in choosing Ferrari teammate
Fans have described it as Formula 1’s dream driver partnership but could we ever see four-time world champions Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel become teammates in the Ferrari red?
The two champions didn’t completely rule it out when the question was posed during a press conference ahead of this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix.
Hamilton has yet to sign a new deal with Mercedes, and Sky Sports reports that the title rivals had a jovial exchange when talking about their futures. Some commentators have claimed that Vettel has the “power” at Ferrari to decide on his teammate - but that claim was debunked by the German, says the Daily Mail.
Asked if he would welcome Hamilton to Ferrari next season, Vettel said: “I don’t know, he hasn’t asked me!”
Hamilton replied: “He has a veto, so that wouldn’t happen.”
“I don’t!” Vettel smiled. “I wouldn’t mind, but to be completely honest, I’m happy with the relationship I have with Kimi [Raikkonen].”
To which Hamilton, also smiling, said: “I think we have a better relationship, do you not think?”
The Mail adds that Hamilton remains in contract talks with Mercedes, but he says there is “no rush to announce a new deal”.
Return of the ‘beautiful women’ in Monaco
F1 looks forward to the glitz and glamour of Monte Carlo this weekend, and the sport’s showpiece race will also mark the return of the controversial “grid girls”.
Both Hamilton and Vettel have welcomed the move, after grid girls were replaced by grid kids at the start of the season.
Although they won’t be holding driver name and number placards, promotional models will be “taking pictures and displaying messages on social media” for luxury watch brand Tag Heuer, CNN reports.
“I think women are the most beautiful thing in the world,” said Hamilton. “When we pull up to the grid and there’s beautiful women on the grid, that’s the Monaco Grand Prix, that’s a lovely thing.”
On the controversy of grid girls, Vettel added: “I agree with Lewis, I like women, I think they look beautiful. Bottom line, I think it’s too much of a fuss nowadays. I think all the women that took part as a grid girl in the past did it because they want to. I’m sure if you ask any grid girl on Sunday if they’re happy to stand there, their answer will be yes.
“I don’t think there’s anybody that forces them to do it. So it speaks a little bit for our times that sometimes there’s a lot of noise for nothing.”