Charles Leclerc has rejected claims that he and Lewis Hamilton could switch seats in a major change for Formula One. The pair seem unhappy with their lack of performance in Ferrari and Mercedes respectively as both teams struggle to chase Max Verstappen and Red Bull.
With the drivers’ contracts coming to an end, switching would certainly be possible in theory. However, Leclerc appeared to quash the rumors ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
He said: “It’s the first time I’ve heard all these voices from outside since I’ve been at Ferrari. Maybe somebody wants to destabilize us. I’m in red, and I think it’s quite clear how much I love Ferrari, how much I want to win with Ferrari.”
“There is not much to say. For me it is very clear.” Italian media have reported rising tensions at Scuderia after a dismal start to the 2023 season.
Leclerc was forced to serve a 10-point penalty on Jeddah after retiring with a mechanical failure in Bahrain. It is understood that Leclerc held a private meeting with Ferrari chairman John Elkann between races to discuss the team’s future.
There were also suggestions that racing director Laurent Mekies might leave the team after disagreements. Leclerc denied the suggestions in Jeddah and stressed that any rumors of disagreement were “unfounded”.
Meanwhile, Hamilton has yet to put a leaf on a new multi-year deal with Mercedes despite Toto Wolff previously suggesting it could take place over the winter. The seven-times champion appeared stunned by Mercedes’ lack of performance for the second successive season.
On Friday, Wolff admitted Mercedes could lose Hamilton if they can’t give him a fast enough package. Hamilton has previously claimed that racing on a runaway horse is every driver’s dream.
Sky Sports host Simon Lazenby said he would not rule out Hamilton moving to another team, and suggested Ferrari would be Hamilton’s only option. But the 38-year-old appeared to downplay any possibility of a move as he has pledged his future to the Silver Arrows.
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