F1 2017: Hamilton cuts Vettel's championship lead with Belgian Grand Prix win

However, the hierarchy within the Mercedes team were at loggerheads as to whether they spoke to Vettel about joining their team.

"When I do get asked the Ferrari question it's coming more from fans and media, and not necessarily from Ferrari", he said.

While it's a no-brainer for Ferrari to keep the guy who's now leading the F1 world driver's championship, there was some speculation that Vettel might only opt for a one-year contract in hopes of nabbing a better deal in 2019, NBC Sports notes.

Ferrari clinched its last drivers' title in 2007 - when Raikkonen won in his first stint there - and its last constructors' title the year after. "I know he doesn't want to be my team-mate".

Hamilton's third Spa win helped him trim championship leader Vettel's advantage over him to seven points, with eight races left in what is shaping up to be a nail-biting finish.

"I have always admired him and I still do today".

The safety vehicle stayed out for four laps, which was too long for Hamilton's liking, and he used an expletive of his own to complain.

"It works [with Valtteri] so I don't think any of the bosses or any individual in the team is unhappy with what is now in place so I find it hard to believe they would change that".

Hamilton made a good start to the race on the long climb up to Eau Rouge, but Max Verstappen's hopes ended on lap 8 when his Red Bull lost power.

Raikkonen was confirmed as retaining his racing seat by Ferrari for 2018 earlier this week.

Hamilton, a victor twice before at Spa, is now 14 points down on the German in the championship chase. "In the end it was getting better, we made quite big steps", Bottas said.

The three-time F1 champion was already ahead when he went even faster with a final lap for Mercedes, but Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel limited the damage with a fine lap to join Hamilton on the front row. Likewise, team head Toto Wolff insists that Mercedes and Vettel never got to any kind of contract negotiation.

"You could see exiting Turn 1 I was all over Lewis. Mentally I'm ready for whatever comes and the team have shown, particularly in the last race, just how unified we are". I think for us, for myself, I was not happy.

Vettel, 30, had said only on Thursday that news of his whereabouts for next season and beyond would not be announced within the next fortnight.

  • Angelo Rivera