As long as the contract with record world champion Lews Hamilton at Mercedes, which expires at the end of the year, is not extended, speculation at the Formula 1 racing team will not stop. Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc is said to have recently come into focus of the Silver Arrows, now team boss Toto Wolff has taken a stand.
Before the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, rumors persisted that Charles Leclerc would switch to Mercedes for the new season and take over the cockpit from Lewis Hamilton.
After Monegasque himself had denied several times, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff waved it off on Friday on “Sky”: “I didn’t have a single conversation with Charles, just discussed with him at the airport whether we were going to Starbucks or not . We’ve been with Lewis for ten years and that’s not going to change.”
The Ferrari driver was last brought into play at Mercedes by the Italian journalist Leo Turrini. “It’s an open secret that Leclerc is talking to Mercedes. Everyone knows that. From the garage in Maranello to the Indian Ocean.”
Hamilton wants to stay at Mercedes
Then ex-world champion Damon Hill fueled the rumors. “I think Charles Leclerc would be a good bet,” said the Brit. The 25-year-old is a great talent “of which many believe that Ferrari gave it away”.
However, Hill based his assumption on the fact that Hamilton no longer wants to start the new season and is ending his career. According to his own statement, the 38-year-old is not thinking of an early Formula 1 retirement or a change to another racing team.
“I still feel at home. It’s family. I can imagine staying with Mercedes until the end, to be honest,” “Autosport” quoted the seven-time world champion after the Melbourne race.