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"We will see..." - Charles Leclerc opens up on Ferrari future amid Mercedes links ahead of Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Dan Hargraves

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"We will see..." - Charles Leclerc opens up on Ferrari future amid Mercedes links ahead of Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc has responded to reports linking him to Formula One rivals Mercedes, insisting that he is fully focused on achieving success with his current employers.

Both the Monegasque and Ferrari have endured a slow start to the 2023 season with driver nor team yet to secure a podium place.

It has also been 16 years since a Ferrari driver won the F1 World Driver's Championship when Finland's Kimi Räikkönen tasted glory in 2007.

As for Mercedes, mainly thanks to the successes of Lewis Hamilton, they have boasted seven of the last nine world champions. However, Leclerc insisted he isn't looking to make a switch, contrary to reports.

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Speaking ahead of Sunday's Azerbaijan Grand Prix when asked if he had yet spoken to Mercedes, the 25-year-old said: “No, not yet, not for the moment. For now, I am fully focused on the project I am in today, which is Ferrari. I fully trust and I 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.

“No. Zero, zero, really zero," Leclerc, whose current contract expires in 2024, added when quizzed if there had been any contact with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff. "You [the media] all smile because you don’t believe me, but I promise."

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The Monegasque's team boss Fred Vasseur was also questioned on the rumours, to which he rubbished reports, saying: “Drivers are key. I said yesterday, it’s very important to have the drivers involved with the project and for a long time. I’m sure we have a good combination and, the question about Charles, it’s a question as usual.

Charles Leclerc
Charles Leclerc

“But I think Charles said also that he wants to be world champion with Ferrari, and I want to be world champion with Charles or with Carlos [Sainz]. We are very happy with the drivers... and they are doing a good job. So far so good.”

Whilst Leclerc could join Mercedes as a result of his contract expiring next year, Hamilton could depart the German team for the same reason. When asked about whether such rumours impact securing a renewed deal, the Englishman responded: “No, not really. I think maybe some of the drivers have relationships with different [team] bosses and stuff.

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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.”

Featured Image Credit: Alamy & Sky Sports

Topics: Formula 1, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Mercedes, Azerbaijan

Dan Hargraves
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