Hamilton and Mercedes officially crowned 2019 champions

Hamilton and Mercedes officially crowned 2019 champions

He used the advantage of his tyres in the final stint to catch and pass Aston Martin Red Bull Racing's Alexander Albon for fifth, but overall it was an unsatisfactory afternoon for the Ferrari driver.

"There's been lots of great races, the last few years have been intense with Ferrari, but having another team [Red Bull] up there in the loop has made it more challenging for us all".

Neither Hamilton nor Verstappen have contracts in place with the former believed to be considering a switch to Ferrari which would free up a space at Mercedes.

Six times Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton celebrated the success of his Mercedes team on Friday (Dec 6) and suggested they were being bombarded with calls from rivals wanting to be in his position.

Hamilton, who has been linked to Ferrari with Italian media reporting two meetings with Ferrari chairman John Elkann, said it would be hard to leave Mercedes, who completed an unprecedented sixth successive title double this year.

Ferrari have not denied their interest in Hamilton and the British driver has been flattered by their advances.

Hamilton added: "When we started this season our auto was a real heap to drive - it wasn't that great at the beginning - in testing we couldn't quite get it and it wasn't until the last day when we got it to work, and then we went to the first race and had some great results. It's not easy as the competition is very strong", he said.

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Despite the rumours of a big shuffle among the top drivers though, team boss Christian Horner doubts much will change. "It has been the qualified year I'd tell of my profession I am in actuality cheerful with what we beget done as a bunch", acknowledged Hamilton, who is now factual one title timid of the direct seven world championships held by Michael Schumacher. The two of us have been together for quite a while, we trust each other, we have gone through hard times together and we have come out stronger with a better bond.

"A bit of off track, a bit of wheel-banging, which I think is quite cool and normally it doesn't really happen in F1".

"I think it's taken us time to build that, to build the strength and depth from within and have the consistency we've had".

"I know there are other possibilities of course after next year".

"It was always going to be - the first engine [manufacturer] change we've had in 13 years".

But while earlier this year while Verstappen denied reports he has been in regular contact with Wolff, Hamilton says the Dutchman has been asking for a job. "We have to give him a good auto next year so that we can keep him".

"I have one more year under contract".

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