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

Lewis Hamilton insisted on Friday that he has no intention of slowing down to mark his 200th Formula One race

Lewis Hamilton insisted on Friday that he has no intention of slowing down to mark his 200th Formula One race

Lewis Hamilton has scotched any suggestion of Sebastian Vettel joining Mercedes next season, saying: "I know he doesn't want to be my team-mate".

McLaren driver Vandoorne joined Hamilton and Sauber's Marcus Ericsson in trialling the controversial halo cockpit protection device at the start of FP1, with Vandoorne and Hamilton returning to the pits at the end of their out-lap while Ericsson continued onto a second.

"I think it's highly unlikely that he would be here".

"I don't know, we'll see".

Pushed on if it would be soon, Vettel added: "Yep".

"But now we're here [in Belgium], there's no news yet, and the main focus now is not to focus on news, the main focus is to focus on the race. You have to go and ask them".

Hamilton and Vettel have both won four grands prix this season, but it is Vettel's consistency which sees him hold the championship advantage heading into the remaining nine races.

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.

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"Lately it's been a bit better, we've been feeling more comfortable and can try what we want and suddenly the results look better".

He went quickest just before the 90-minute session's halfway mark on a 1m46.439s on supersoft tyres, and went nearly a second faster in the final half an hour on softs.

Vettel's contract at Ferrari is up for...

But Vettel does not think his opinion was a major factor in Ferrari's decision. There's no discussion about his talent or his speed.

"I have zero interest to waste my time or the team's time to be a part of it, it's not the nicest place to just hang around".

He said "Coming into this season I haven't changed a single thing that I do, but there is another new element in the team and it works. But obviously I'm not the guy who decides", Raikkonen said.

"I thought about lots of things over the summer break, but one thing for sure is I am here for blood, I am here to win and I am here to stay".

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