- Details have emerged that Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc is in talks with Mercedes
- Leclerc’s contract with Ferrari will end this season
- Hamilton is reportedly eyeing Ferrari in 2024
Details have emerged that Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc is in talks with Mercedes as Lewis Hamilton completes his final season with the Silver Arrows in 2023.
Hamilton’s contract with Mercedes runs out at the season’s end in 2023 but calls for him to pursue an eighth championship with another F1 team.
Both Leclerc and Hamilton are currently troubled in their respective teams, blamed on current vehicle flaws hampering performance.
Hamilton narrowly missed out on an eighth world championship in 2021 in the most controversial scene that saw Red Bull’s Max Verstappen win his first championship.
This season though, Verstappen and Sergio Perez who drive for Red Bull have won all three races so far.
Leclerc has opened up about Ferrari’s disastrous season start under new manager Frederic Vasseur. According to Leo Turrini, an Italian journalist, Mercedes is in talks with Leclerc. He believes that he is making plans for his exit.
“Leclerc talking to Mercedes is an open secret. Everyone knows it, from the remote garage in Maranello to the Indian Ocean,” he told Quotidiano Nazionale.
He adds: “[Hamilton’s current team-mate, George] Russell is very, very strong. But if Hamilton were to stop, whoever pays in Stuttgart might not accept another [Valtteri] Bottas alongside a driver who is not yet a world champion.”
As it is now, should the seven-time Formula One champion decide to exit Mercedes, Leclerc seems the undoubted replacement.
The Ferrari driver, who is considered a potential future world champion, will be out of a job at the end of the 2019 season.
Just like Hamilton, Leclerc’s contract with Ferrari is ending at the end of the 2023 season.
The 25-year-old’s decision to sign an extension is uncertain, but the vast gap between Ferrari and Red Bull in 2023 is unlikely to aid the Italian team’s cause.
Eddie Jordan, a former F1 team owner, hints that Hamilton could move to Ferrari as Leclerc shifts camp to Mercedes.
Hamilton, in the past, said that it would be a dream come true to compete for Ferrari. Recently though, he has openly reaffirmed his intention to end his career with Mercedes which he joined in 2013 and won F1 titles in a row.
A month ago, Hamilton opened up and spoke about his thoughts at times that push him to the edge and he feels like quitting.
He took to social media where he said that he takes in-depth digging to get the energy to keep moving. Hamilton doesn’t forget that he is on a mission chasing a dream and a title, both of which are not easy.
Already, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has given him a go-ahead to move to another F1 team.
This followed claims that he was eyeing Red Bull, rumours that Christian Horner quickly trashed.
Horner maintained that Red Bull is not in a position to accommodate Hamilton noting that his current team of drivers Sergio Perez and Verstappen are good enough for him.