Italian journalist claims Charles Leclerc is “talking to Mercedes”

© Jiri Krenek for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Italian F1 journalist Leo Turrini claims it is an “open secret” in Formula 1 that Charles Leclerc is talking to Mercedes. At this point there is no indication that this is true.

Lewis Hamilton’s contract with Mercedes will expire at the end of 2023, and while the new deal has not yet been signed, both Lewis, and team boss Toto Wolff confirmed that they want to continue their partnership.

This however does not stop the F1 media from constantly speculating about Lewis’ future. The latest of these rumours came out in the Italian media, which is known to come out with some pretty ‘crazy’ stories from time to time.

This time, well-known Italian F1 journalist Leo Turrini claims that Charles Leclerc is talking to Mercedes about a potential seat, after his contract with Ferrari expires at the end of 2024.

“That Leclerc is talking to Mercedes is the open secret,” Turrini wrote in his column for Quotidiano Nazionale.

“Everyone knows it, from the remote garage in Maranello to the Indian Ocean.

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“In his career so far, Carletto [Leclerc] showed flashes of pure class. He is the first to know that time is passing.”

As of this moment, none of the F1 insiders have come out with this allegedly well-known ‘open secret’, so this report is really questionable.

Furthermore, when explicitly asked, Toto Wolff recently stated that Mercedes is not looking at other options in case Hamilton decides not to sign a new deal.

“I think it may sound naive, but I really struggle to think of a Plan B, if my Plan A is still the one that is my favourite,” Wolff said at the time.

“I don’t want to engage in discussions with other drivers, because I’m happy with the ones that are in the team, that’s for sure.

“At the moment, there is no Plan B. It’s Lewis,” he concluded.

The media also likes to speculate about Lewis’ potential move to Ferrari. Turrini added that this is not very likely.

“On the other hand, I know that Hamilton has never been close to the red team,” Turrini continued.

“[Former Ferrari chairman Luca Di] Montezemolo thought about it when he was disappointed in [Fernando] Alonso, but Lewis had already settled in Mercedes. There was never a deal, never.”

Turrini also added that back in 2019 current Ferrari president John Elkann was looking at Lewis’ contract, but at the time Lewis was not interested in moving away from Mercedes.

To recapitulate, despite the persistent rumours being spread by the media, as of this moment it is completely unlikely that Hamilton and Mercedes will end their legendary partnership, and it is almost a certainty that Lewis’ contract will be extended.

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