Lewis Hamilton claims his fans in Italy urge him to join Ferrari.
The reigning world champion and Mercedes claim they are now close to a deal to extend the 30-year-old’s contract beyond 2015.
But the long-delayed deal is still not done, triggering rumours boss Toto Wolff is reluctant to agree to the British driver’s wage demands.
Now, the Mirror newspaper claims Hamilton, who is no longer represented by a personal manager, was approached twice last year by Ferrari, who are reportedly “prepared to make Hamilton the best paid driver in the sport”.
The fabled Maranello team has recruited Sebastian Vettel for 2015, but teammate Kimi Raikkonen’s current contract runs out at the end of this season.
At the same time, Hamilton has told the Italian magazine Autosprint that his following in Italy is growing every year.
“The welcome and cheers that I had at Monza last year were incredible,” he said, “and totally different to 2007 and 2008.
“People now stop me and say ‘Come to Ferrari, come to Ferrari’.
“What do I like about Italy? The food, the passion, the beautiful girls. You also make a couple of very nice cars,” Hamilton smiled.
“What do I dislike about it? Nothing,” he added. (GMM)