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Hamilton: Vettel doesn't want to be my team-mate

53   //    24 Aug 2017, 23:43 IST
VettelHamilton - cropped
Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel (L) and Lewis Hamilton (R) of Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton does not think Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel would want to race with him at Mercedes.

Vettel's contract with Ferrari will expire at the end of the season and the four-time world champion has been persistently linked with a switch to Mercedes since the end of the previous Formula One campaign.

While his future may be uncertain, the German is threatening to end Mercedes' dominance of the sport as he sits top of the drivers' standings and possesses a 14-point advantage over closest rival Hamilton.

Valtteri Bottas will be out of contract at the end of the season, but Hamilton does not envisage Vettel filling the Finn's seat in 2018 due to his presence on the team.

"I think it's highly unlikely that he would be here. I don't think he wants to be my team-mate," said Hamilton ahead of this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix.

"I'm always game to race whoever it is and racing against the best drivers is always a great thing.

"I'm stating the obvious, but I know he doesn't want to be my team-mate. He wouldn't be in the position he is in now in terms of how the team operates if he was here."

With Mercedes top of the constructors' standings and Bottas having won two races and finished on the podium in the past five grands prix, Hamilton expects the line-up to be retained next year.

"I think the team is in a very, very good [place]... the last race is actually one of the best examples of how great the team is currently," said Hamilton, referring to him handing a position back to Bottas at the Hungarian Grand Prix after being allowed to pass for an attack at the leading Ferrari duo.

"Coming into this season I haven't changed a single thing that I do but there is a new element in the team and it works.

"I don't believe any of the bosses or any individual at the team is unhappy with what is currently in place, so I find it unlikely they would change that."

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