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Hamilton's £80m deal puts end to Ferrari's chase


By Philip Duncan

Lewis Hamilton yesterday refused to deny that Ferrari attempted to lure him away from Mercedes.

Hamilton put an end to more than seven months of agonising contract negotiations to finally commit his future to the Silver Arrows with a deal which will see him become the sport's first £40million-a-year driver.

Hamilton's new two-season deal will also cement his status as Britain's biggest sporting earner, with the 33-year-old - who was raised on a council estate in Stevenage - set to bag £2m a race until the end of 2020.

The announcement comes on the eve of Mercedes' home event in Germany with Hamilton trailing Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel by eight points.

"In terms of other teams approaching (me), one did, but I didn't give it any air," he said.

Pushed on whether the team was Ferrari, he replied: "You can make whatever assumption you want."

Both Red Bull, who pay Max Verstappen in excess of £20m, and McLaren, the Woking team with which Hamilton started his phenomenal career, distanced themselves from the Briton's claim. Ferrari are the only other constructor which has the financial muscle to compete with Mercedes.

Belfast Telegraph

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