Wolff: Leclerc someone you have to have on your radar

Wolff: Leclerc someone you have to have on your radar

Wolff: Leclerc someone you have to have on your radar
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admitted that, despite being committed to Lewis Hamilton, a driver such as Charles Leclerc is on his team’s radar for the long term future.

As Charles Leclerc keeps suffering frustration at Ferrari speculation has been rife about the highly-rated Monegasque’s future with the Italian team with whom he has been driving since 2019, one season after his debut in Formula 1 with Alfa Romeo Sauber in 2018.

Leclerc arguably had the best chance to fight for the F1 Title in 2022, when Ferrari delivered a fast car under the new “ground effect” regulations, but a combination of the driver’s own errors, strategy mistakes by the team and reliability woes meant his early challenge to Max Verstappen faded out with a handful of races into the season.

Ferrari have not improved in 2023, in fact they are worse, and that comes after a series of changes within the team with Mattia Binotto shown the door to be replaced by Leclerc’s former boss at Alfa Romeo, Frederic Vasseur, while many changes are still happening with David Sanchez (design chief) leaving to McLaren, while Sporting Director Laurent Mekies was announced to be heading to AlphaTauri to take over Franz Tost’s role as team boss.

Ferrari situation not helping shut down rumours

With the shaky situation at Ferrari at the start of 2023, and Leclerc’s contract running out at the end of 2024, reports in the media started claiming the Ferrari ace is shopping around for another F1 seat, with Mercedes reportedly the target.

Leclerc however shot down these reports in Baku, insisting he is had “zero talks” with Mercedes, when quizzed by the media about report of him looking to leave Ferrari.

Toto Wolff was also asked about the Leclerc-to-Mercedes reports, he told Sky Sports F1: “The only time I talked with him [Leclerc] is when we discussed where the gate is in Melbourne to board the plane.

“Charles is a super guy and for the long-term future someone you have to have on your radar but not for the short and medium term,” Wolff added.

“Nobody doubts Charles’ ability and he is a good guy. He is 100 per cent committed to Ferrari and we are 100 per cent committed to putting pen to paper with Lewis,” the Mercedes boss maintained.

Hamilton’s current contract with Mercedes runs till the end of the 2023 F1 season, as both he and Mercedes are insisting an extension is just a formality, regardless of the tough season are Mercedes are enduring for the second year in a row.