MARANELLO, Dec 12 — Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari chairman John Elkann have met socially but talk of a move for the six times Formula One world champion is premature, according to chief executive Louis Camilleri.
“I think it has been public that Lewis has had conversations with our chairman,” Camilleri told reporters invited to a lunch at the Italian team’s Maranello factory.
“It was a social event, which has sort of been blown somewhat out of proportion, but it was a social event. They have some common friends.”
Italian media have reported Hamilton had twice met Elkann this year, triggering speculation that the 34-year-old Briton could move to Ferrari once his Mercedes contract expires at the end of 2020.
Ferrari had not previously confirmed the meetings, while not denying them either.
“What happens behind closed doors is always private with whoever it is you end up sitting with,” Hamilton told reporters after this month’s season-ending Abu Dhabi race when asked about the meetings.
Camilleri said he had not met Hamilton.
Asked whether Ferrari might let Hamilton have the same freedoms he enjoys, were he to switch teams, Camilleri drew a line under the questioning.
“Honestly, I don’t want to go there. You are trying to push a bit too hard on the Lewis story,” he said.
“It’s totally premature and we’ll look at our options at the appropriate time and we will see what is the best fit for us as a team.” — Reuters