Charles Leclerc has commented on the rumors surrounding his name and said that he is not used to this kind of rumors that are spreading, as it happens now, around his future in Formula 1!
International reports this week said Ferrari chairman John Elkann has approached Mercedes’ seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton in a big-money deal. Earlier, Leclerc had to deny that he also had talks with Toto Wolff of Mercedes…
Of course, veteran F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone doesn’t believe any of that.
“It would surprise me that Ferrari would want to get rid of Leclerc to sign Lewis because they love Leclerc so much,” he told the Press Association.
The question is whether 25-year-old Leclerc still “loves” Ferrari amid performance and personnel problems at the historic F1 team, based in Maranello.
“I will not comment on the recent rumours, but it is true that it is something new in my career,” Leclerc told Monaco-Matin newspaper.
“I arrived in F1 at Alfa Romeo without rumours, and to everyone’s surprise Ferrari announced me,” he added.
“Since then there has never been any doubt because I have a long-term contract with the team,” added the Monegasque.
Dr. Red Bull’s Helmut Marko, however, said recently that the deal with Leclerc may have a break clause.
“I love Ferrari, I have dreamed of racing for this team and these rumors do not affect me,” stressed Leclerc.
But as rumors of talks between Hamilton and Elkann swirl, Leclerc has denied he is also in discussions with Ferrari’s top management about his own contract.
“I haven’t set myself a deadline to manage it,” he said.
“We’ll see when the time comes, but the discussion hasn’t started yet and I think you should ask Fred Vasseur that question,” he said.
As for the rumors about the 38-year-old Hamilton, Ecclestone once again dismissed the matter insisting that Ferrari is “not a nursing home”.
The Italian press also agrees, with Corriere della Sera reporter Daniele Sparisci stressing:
“Ferrari needs engineers and ideas, not Hamilton.”
Former Formula 1 driver Riccardo Patrese told Quotidiano Sportivo: “If I were Ferrari, I wouldn’t take him. Ferrari doesn’t need a top driver, it needs a top car,” he emphasized, explaining that the driver’s influence is much less today than in the past…
“Not everyone understands that,” said the Italian.
“The driver no longer has as much influence on the development of the car or the ability to change the minds of the engineers, as was the case with Prost, Schumacher and Senna!”