Charles Leclerc Addresses Rumours That He’s Leaving Ferrari For Mercedes
(Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images)
— Updated on 20 June 2023

Charles Leclerc Addresses Rumours That He’s Leaving Ferrari For Mercedes

— Updated on 20 June 2023
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

A report published by an Italian news outlet has claimed it was an “open secret” that Scuderia Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc was in discussion to jump ship and join Toto Wolff’s Mercedes.

Given how egregiously Lerclerc’s team squandered a prime opportunity to claim the 2022 world championships from both reigning two-time champion Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing, in addition to how woefully uncompetitive Ferrari’s current machinery appears, you can understand why punters and pundits alike would give such a headline any credence.

Then there’s the all-important matter of contracts: Leclerc’s current agreement expires at the end of 2024, while Mercedes’ seven-time world champion Sir Lewis Hamilton – who has recently been mired in plenty of retirement talk – is in the final year of his own agreement with the Silver Arrows. By all accounts, this would be a perfect sliding doors moment.

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But according to Charles Leclerc himself, all is blissfully quiet on the homefront.

“No, there have not been any conversations. Not yet. Not for the moment… No. Zero. Zero. Really zero. You all smile because you don’t believe me, but I promise,” said Leclerc when prompted about whether he’s received any calls from Toto Wolff (via Sky Sports).

“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.”

“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.”

“He’s under contract with us for more than one year now, and we’ll have time to discuss it. I’m not scared at all and I think it’s not the right moment to do,” noted the newly-appointed Ferrari Team Principal Fred Vasseur.

“Charles is an important pillar of the performance, and he has to play the role in the car, outside of the car, to be a performance contributor and he’s fully supportive on this part of the job. I’m really convinced it is also a personal commitment from him.”

“He’s clearly part of the project, he’s not a spectator of this, he is involved in the development of the team, he is part of the development because he is developing himself. He is a performance contributor on track and off the track, and as long as he plays this role we are on a good path.”

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“It’s true in every single team that you are always building a team around the driver. If you have a look over the last 20 years, or even more, all the successful stories in F1 took time, but it was always a team building up around a driver.”

Naturally, Hamilton has also been forced to respond to the latest product of paddock speculation.

No, not really, I think maybe some of the drivers all have different relationships with different bosses and stuff,” answered the British motorsport talent when media questioned whether the Charles Leclerc-Mercedes rumours impacted his own contract negotiations.

Charles Leclerc Addresses Rumours That He's Joining Mercedes
JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA – MARCH 16: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes and Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari talk in the paddock during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia at Jeddah Corniche Circuit on March 16, 2023 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

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“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 moving forwards. So, it doesn’t have any impact, no.”

Translation: unless another major reshuffle a la the Seb Vettel retirement + Fernando Alonso defection + Oscar Piastri refusal occurs… Charles Leclerc will remain a Ferrari man, and Sir Lewis Hamilton will remain loyal to Mercedes.

Incidentally, earlier this year, Mr Hamilton was the subject of a similar since-debunked rumour going in the other direction, fuelled by the assertions of former team owner Eddie Jordan. As we now know, however, the veteran of 27 historic seasons clearly has zero intentions of ditching the outfit that was instrumental to six of his seven world titles for a middling rival.

The next race on the 2023 calendar is the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, which is scheduled to occur at the Baku City Circuit this Sunday (April 30th – 9:00 PM).

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]