Lewis Hamilton has denied that he "doesn't care" who partners him at Mercedes in 2017.
The Silver Arrows will have a new driver racing alongside Hamilton next year after Nico Rosberg's decision to retire, and it had previously been reported that Hamilton was not concerned by who was in the second car.
Now, however, he has denied that, revealing that the team has to discuss their net driver choice with him.
"What they [Mercedes] have to do is, once they've dwindled it down to five drivers or whatever, the shortlist, contractually they have to discuss it with me," Hamilton told Channel 4.
"But I don't have a say on who [my future team-mate] is. I was recently commenting [on the topic] and it came online, saying 'Lewis doesn't care who his team-mate is', which is a little bit out of context. It's important who we have in the second car. It's important for the team's morale."
"We've seen in other teams where it can be a poisonous effect on the team, the arch-rivalry between drivers. For sure, that's really important. I'm really happy here. I love being where I am and whilst, OK, there have been some interesting scenarios, we generally always pull through.
“We've got to make sure that whoever we bring is at least as good as what we had before, if not better, in terms of creating that energy."