Formula One: Hamilton signs blockbuster Mercedes deal to end speculation over future


After scoring several high-profile results so far this season, Leclerc has emerged as the prime candidate to line-up alongside Vettel if Ferrari decides not to keep Raikkonen for next year.

Unquestionably the young Frenchman would jump at the opportunity to join the legendary marque but are the Italian team ready to put their faith in such a young driver and how intent are they in appeasing their No. 1 driver, the title-chasing Sebastian Vettel? Who knows maybe in two years my life will be completely different and I'll want completely different things, I couldn't tell you.

"We've had our ups and downs through this journey as every relationship does, but it has been one of a lot of growth and I really appreciate Toto [Wolff] in being so patient with me, because I'm not the easiest".

"Yeah, I personally wanted to do two [years]".

Daniel Ricciardo starts last on Sunday - can he replicate the incredible overtakes from China?

"Nothing has changed since Silverstone", said the Australian.

And Hamilton admitted the German's achievement is likely to be beyond his reach.

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At this point, there is not much that Buckingham Palace can do or say to keep Thomas Markle Sr. from speaking to the tabloid press.

"As long as there are rumours, that's good for a driver". But although a Mercedes junior, the Frenchman is also linked with Renault. "They're talking about you", Ocon smiled.

"I hope when we do the job this weekend, it won't be focused on whether we did it on their home ground or anything like that", he continued.

"All I can tell you is I still feel pretty great".

Hockenheim - Mercedes confirmed on Friday that Valtteri Bottas will continue as team-mate to Lewis Hamilton for at least another year.

When asked about his contract situation, the Finn smiled at Hockenheim: "What contract?"

'But I'm super focused on making sure we get everything and more out of the vehicle and myself this weekend.' Hamilton's attempt to spoil the party has started well.

Both teams have had multiple swings of momentum this year - Vettel won the opening two races before finishes of eighth in China (he spun after contact with Verstappen) and a pair of fourth place efforts in Azerbaijan and Spain before getting two more wins in Canada and England. The 2005/2006 World Champion wants and deserves a drive in a title-winning auto but a seat is not going to become available for him amongst the "big three" and the Spaniard deciding to draw his 17 year F1 career to a close at the end of 2018 looks inevitable.