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leclerc sainz vasseur ferrari

Leclerc knew about Hamilton to Ferrari deal in January

leclerc sainz vasseur ferrari

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc said he knew about Lewis Hamilton’s talks with the Italian team before signing his own contract extension with the Reds last month.

The sport’s oldest and most glamorous team announced in late January that the 26-year-old Monaco driver had signed for several more seasons.

News of the arrival of seven-times F1 world champion Hamilton from Mercedes in 2025, replacing Spaniard Carlos Sainz, was confirmed by both teams on 1 February but came as no surprise to Leclerc.

He told reporters at the launch of Ferrari’s 2024 car: “Obviously these kind of deals are not finalised overnight. It takes time and I was aware of those discussions before signing my deal, so it didn’t come out as a surprise after signing.”

Leclerc: Hamilton is an incredible driver

leclerc hamilton ferrari 2024

Despite news of Hamilton’s arrival, Leclerc revealed he had not made any extra demands in his contract discussions with Ferrari: “It was good that the team was transparent anyway, just for me not to learn it after that, but it didn’t change anything for me.”

The Monegasque added: “He’s an incredible driver, the most successful in history and with a lot of experience as well which he will bring to the team and myself, which is a good thing. But again, with Carlos, it’s been great and we’ve got one more year together to try and do the best job possible.”

Leclerc also revealed that he and Hamilton had exchanged texts after Ferrari confirmed the move in a one-line statement: “It is always interesting to have a new teammate as you learn different ways of working, of driving. Even more so when my new teammate is a seven-times world champion.”

Sainz said he was made aware of the situation several weeks before the announcement, giving him time to “prepare and digest”. Read more here>>>

The 2024 F1 World Championship season starts with the Bahrain Grand Prix on 2 March. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin)