Sport Hamilton: First Ferrari F1 compliment in 13 years 'just talk'
'I don't think it is going to happen but that doesn't bother me': Lewis Hamilton not expecting knighthood despite landing sixth F1 championship
Former Labour cabinet minister Lord Hain has written to Downing Street calling for Hamilton to be rewarded with an upgrade on the MBE he received after he won his maiden championship in 2008. Hamilton's British sporting contemporaries Andy Murray, the three-time Grand Slam champion, and Mo Farah, who won double Olympic gold at the 2012 and 2016 Games, have both been knighted in recent times.But speaking ahead of the penultimate round of the campaign, Hamilton, 34, said: 'I don't think it is going to happen.
Lewis Hamilton says he is "grateful" for Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto's comments about his ability but thinks the Formula 1 team's "first compliment in 13 years" is "all talk".
Ferrari team principal Binotto was asked ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix if Hamilton, one of several drivers whose contract expires next year, was of interest to the team for 2021 and beyond.
His response included calling Hamilton an "outstanding" driver whose availability after next season could "only make us happy", while a report from Italy claimed Hamilton has met with Ferrari chairman John Elkann twice this year.
Merc explain Hamilton strategy 'error'
Mercedes have admitted they made a "rookie error" with their late strategy gamble for Lewis Hamilton in the Brazilian GP.With Hamilton running second to Verstappen after twice being overtaken by the Red Bull driver, the appearance of a second Safety Car with five laps to go for the Ferraris' collision prompted Mercedes to pull the world champion in for a third stop and fresh tyres in a bid to win the race.
Read more:(Daily Mail)
Asked for his thoughts on Binotto's comments, six-time world champion Hamilton said: "Well, this is the first time I've heard of that.
"I think that's the first compliment I've had from Ferrari in these 13 years!
"I honestly don't remember them ever mentioning me so thank you, I'll take it.
"It doesn't really mean anything, it's all talk but yeah, it's nice.
"It's taken all these years for him to recognise maybe, but I'm grateful."
Hamilton, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas, Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull's Max Verstappen all need new deals beyond 2020.
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Ferrari's 'intense' winter awaits
Ferrari are expecting a "very intense" winter heading towards 2020 when they will attempt to mount a challenge to Mercedes.Ahead of 2019's season finale in Abu Dhabi this weekend, the Scuderia are already guaranteed to finish second to Mercedes for the third consecutive season.
The nature of the long-term deal Ferrari's other driver Charles Leclerc signed for this season is not explicitly known, but he may also be available.
However, staying with Mercedes is considered Hamilton's most likely decision.
Hamilton joined the Mercedes works team in 2013 and has won five of his six drivers' titles since then, playing a key part in its domination of the V6 turbo-hybrid era.
He has also contested every one of his 249 grands prix with the manufacturer, having spent 2007-2012 driving for McLaren when it used Mercedes engines.
Asked if Binotto's words were a waste of time, Hamilton said it was "never a waste of time to be nice to someone".
He added: "It has been a long, long time and a team that I've always appreciated over the years, so to earn their respect from someone from there who's obviously very high up is obviously not a bad thing.
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Watch: Hamilton's career in numbers (The Independent)
"I think they've got two great drivers as is so, who knows what the driver market's going to be doing over the next year.
"If I'm really honest, I'm not really focused on that right this second: I'm trying to make sure I finish off strong.
"I've got this incredible group of people where I am and I feel like I just continue to owe it to them to give my heart to them and my energy 100% to them, particularly as I'm still in contract and negotiations haven't started yet.
"I honestly don't know how the next phase is going to go when it comes to contracts.
"It's very odd that you have to do it almost a year before it ends and it can't be done towards the end, but that's just the way it goes."
Slideshow: The last 30 Sports Personality of the Year winners (ReadSport)
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