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Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton, Leclerc address Ferrari 2024 contract rumours

Hamilton has been linked with a bumper move to Ferrari for 2024, with Leclerc also addressing the claims.

Leclerc Hamilton
To news overview © XPBimages

Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc have both addressed rumours that the seven-time Formula 1 World Champion could join Ferrari.

Hamilton has long been linked with making a switch to Maranello, with reports this week of a bumper offer coming from Ferrari to lure him to Italy for 2024, with his Mercedes contract expiring at the end of 2023.

Team boss Frederic Vasseur has flatly denied an approach being made to Hamilton - with the drivers also pouring cold water over the claims themselves.

Hamilton's response to claims

"Naturally when you're in contract negotiations, there's always going to be speculation," he told media, including RacingNews365.

"Ultimately, unless you hear [an update] from me, then that's what it is.

"A certain individual in this [press] room has written at least one of [the rumours] and maybe with the [Emilia Romagna Grand Prix] being cancelled, maybe they just bored.

"But my team is working closely behind the scenes with Toto [Wolff].

"We're almost at the end of having a contract ready, and having my team focus on that so I can just do my job is much better position than I was in before.

"I used to do my negotiations on my own, and it was very stressful - so I don't have to do that anymore.

"[The negotiations are] not really stuff that I can talk about, to be honest.

"But as I said, this is the first time I've not been negotiating myself. I've got a great team in the background that are doing all the work so I can just focus fully on the job at hand.

"I say what I want and that's what we're working towards - and so hopefully in the coming weeks [there'll be an announcement].

"My team are chatting, having discussions with [Mercedes] in the background, and we are almost there."

Leclerc would welcome Hamilton

When asked what he looked for in a teammate, Leclerc admitted he would welcome a driver of Hamilton's calibre, but reiterated he was happy with current teammate Carlos Sainz.

"A fast teammate, as everybody, we are in Formula 1 and we love to be fighting against the best," Leclerc said.

"But that is not to say that my teammate is not fast - Carlos is an extremely fast driver - but considering I'm not the person who makes the choices, let's see.

"If I say yes [to welcoming Hamilton], I imagine it will be the title in every newspaper, but Lewis is such an incredible driver and has achieved so much in the sport.

"Anybody on the grid will love to have Lewis as a teammate and everybody will learn a lot from him.

"But again, I'm happy with where I am - and with Carlos it is a great relationship to have."

As for his own deal with Ferrari which expires at the end of 2024, Leclerc added that he holds regular talks with Ferrari chairman John Elkann about the "vision for the future" but that there was "still a lot of time" before his deal expires.

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