Lewis Hamilton has no concerns about the possibility of Sebastian Vettel joining him at Mercedes as he believes that the German does not want to be his teammate.
The fact that Vettel has yet to be confirmed at Ferrari for 2018 – and no announcement of a contract extension for Valtteri Bottas – has led to suggestions that the Stuttgart manufacturer still harbours hopes of signing the German for next year.
Hamilton says that such a move will not happen, while also insisting that he would be happy to take on anyone in the same car.
“I think it’s highly unlikely that he will be here,” he said. “I don’t think he wants to be my teammate.
“I’m always game to race whoever it is, and racing against the best drivers is always a great thing.”
Asked why he was so sure about Vettel he added: “Umm, stating the obvious. I know he doesn’t want to be my teammate.
“He wouldn’t be in the position he’s in now, in his team, in terms of how the team operates, if he was here.”
Hamilton is adamant that Mercedes is in a good situation at the moment, and that there is no reason for the team not to retain Bottas.
“The last race is actually probably one of the best examples of it, just how great the team is currently. Coming into this season I haven’t changed a thing that I do. But there is another new element in the team, and it works.
“I don’t believe any of the bosses or any individual in the team who is unhappy with what is currently in place, so I find it hard to believe that they would change that.”
Bottas repeated that he’s not worried about the lack of news on his future.
“For me it doesn’t make any difference,” said the Finn. “I am here this weekend not thinking about it-
“I am used to these situations already the last few years, same thing – there is no confirmation about next year, now we start race weekend with practice tomorrow.
“It won’t be on my mind for sure, I will focus on driving and weekend and getting the most out, so no pressure from there.”
Vettel’s future beyond this season remains unclear, with the four-time world champion suggesting there will not be an update until after the next race at Monza at the earliest.
“I don’t know [when there will be news about his future],” said Vettel. “We’ll see. At some point there will be news. Now we’re here, there’s no news yet.
“The main focus now is not to focus on news, it’s to focus on the race. That will be the same next week. I don’t expect news within the next two weeks.”
Ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix weekend, Ferrari announced his teammate Kimi Raikkonen would be staying on next season.
When asked whether he had any influence on the decision on a scale of zero to 10, with zero being no influence, Vettel said: “Never say 10. I want to say zero because when they asked me, obviously I say I would be happy to keep going, I have no problem with Kimi.
“If that influenced the decision, you need to ask Maurizio.”
He added: “There is no discussion about his talent or his speed. It’s nice to see the team appreciates the work he is doing behind the scenes. It’s quite straightforward to work with him.
“Everyone who knows him knows he is quite straightforward in this regard. He’s a good match.”