Charles Leclerc addresses Ferrari future after Mercedes move rumour

Sam Cooper
Charles Leclerc smiling before the race. Bahrain March 2023

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc smiling before the race. Bahrain March 2023

Charles Leclerc has dismissed rumours he is talking to Mercedes over a potential move away from Ferrari.

A report from Italian journalist Leo Turrini this week said it was an “open secret” that Leclerc was speaking with Mercedes as he looks for a move away from the Maranello outfit.

For such a swap to happen, it would require Mercedes to offer enough to convince Ferrari to let Leclerc go a season before the end of his current deal and also for Lewis Hamilton to step aside.

Appearing in front of the media for the first time since the rumour emerged, Leclerc was quick to deny there was any truth behind it.

“No. Zero. Zero. Really zero,” he replied when asked if there was any truth he had spoken to Toto Wolff. “You all smile because you don’t believe me, but I promise.

“For now, I am fully focused on the project I am in today, which is Ferrari, and I fully trust and am confident for the future. Then we will see, but I am fully confident for the project of Ferrari.”

Leclerc also said talks had not started about potentially extending his current Ferrari deal but the 25-year-old said it was always “a dream” to race for Ferrari and to win a World Championship with them. recommends

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“No, not yet,” he said of any contract talks beginning before the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. “Not for the moment.

“I’m fully committed to Ferrari and I love Ferrari.

“It has always been a dream for me to be in this team and my main priority is to win a World Championship with this team. So it’s not something in my mind.”

The subject of Leclerc moving to Mercedes, which would potentially see Hamilton either swap to a new team or retire from F1, was put to the seven-time World Champion but he stated that rumours like that did not affect his own mindset.

“No, not really,” Hamilton said. “I think some of the drivers have relationships with team bosses and stuff.

“I like where I am, I love my team and I’m grateful for the journey we’ve been on and what we’re working on. It doesn’t have any impact, no.”