Lewis Hamilton says he came nowhere close to signing a deal with Ferrari despite having initial talks to understand what might be possible with the Italian team.

Hamilton is expected to continue at Mercedes under a new contract, but a meeting with Ferrari president John Elkann at the end of the 2019 season led to speculation that he could join the famous Italian team.

In a recent interview with Italy’s Gazzetta dello Sport, Hamilton said the two sides have probed each other, but the talks did not progress beyond the basics.

“[It was] never very close, “he said.” We spoke from time to time, but we did not go beyond understanding what options were on the table and were not the right ones. “

Hamilton added that the timing of a change to Ferrari did not match his own contractual situation.

“Our positions have never been aligned, I think time matters and things happen in the end for a reason. In recent seasons, my contract always expired in different years than everyone else’s. In the end it was like that.”

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff told the BBC earlier this week that he expects contract negotiations with Hamilton to begin now that both the constructors ‘and drivers’ championships are secured.