Site logo

Wolff adds to the Leclerc speculation saga

NEWS STORY
02/05/2023

Admitting that Charles Leclerc is a driver that everyone should have on their radar, Toto Wolff helps to fan the flames in terms of speculation over the youngster's future.

The trials and tribulations of Mercedes and Ferrari has allowed the usual suspects in the media free rein in terms of clickbait headlines relating to the futures of Lewis Hamilton.

While Hamilton is claimed to be leaving Mercedes for Ferrari, frustrated by the German team's ongoing issues, Leclerc is claimed to be heading in the opposite direction for similar reasons, albeit out of frustration with the Maranello outfit.

Over the three week break much of the other media joined in and when the circus reconvened in Baku last week the Monegasque was asked the all-important question, had he spoken with Mercedes.

"No... Zero... Zero... Really zero," he told reporters, who clearly weren't entirely convinced.

"You all smile because you don't believe me," he added, "but I promise... "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."

However, with his contract set to run out next season, when asked if preliminary talks had taken place, he admitted: "No, not yet... not for the moment.

"For now, I am fully focused on the project I am in today, which is Ferrari and I fully trust and am confident for the future. Then we will see, but I am fully confident for the project of Ferrari."

Meanwhile, not having enjoyed the easiest of introductions to the team, Frederic Vasseur appeared to make a significant gaffe when he seemed to suggest that the way forward was to build Ferrari around Leclerc.

"In every single team that you are always building a team on the driver," said the Frenchman. "If you ever look over the last twenty years or even more, all the successful constructors in F1 took time, but it was always a team built up around someone."

It was subsequently suggested that such a comment might not go down well with Carlos Sainz, at which point Vasseur sought to clarify what he meant.

"I think that there was a kind of misunderstanding," he said. "The question was about Charles and I said that we have to build up the team around the drivers. I didn't say that we want to build up the team around Charles.

"For me, the drivers are a key pillar of the performance, not just in terms of pure performance, pure driving and performance into the car, but they have to also be somehow key into the development, in the project; midterm and long term. I want to have two drivers fully committed and it's the case with Charles and Carlos."

Meanwhile, Toto Wolff further muddied the waters with a throwaway remark in response to being asked about the speculation surrounding Leclerc and Mercedes.

"The only time I talked with him is when we discussed where the gate is in Melbourne to board the plane," joked the Austrian.

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

"Nobody doubts Charles' ability and he is a good guy," he continued. "He is 100 per cent committed to Ferrari and we are 100 per cent committed to putting pen to paper with Lewis."

Of course, both drivers are fully committed to their respective teams, as are the majority of the rest of the grid, should you ask them, but with continued speculation over Max Verstappen's future one has to ask how far that commitment might stretch should Red Bull announce a vacancy anytime soon.

LATEST NEWS

more news >

RELATED ARTICLES

LATEST IMAGES

galleries >

  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images

POST A COMMENT

or Register for a Pitpass ID to have your say

Please note that all posts are reactively moderated and must adhere to the site's posting rules and etiquette.

Post your comment

READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by BrightonCorgi, 04/05/2023 14:25

"Hasn't Hamilton said he wants to retire with Mercedes? If he were to switch teams, I'd prefer to see him go back to McLaren or join another British team like Aston Martin.

Everyone wants to drive for Ferrari, at least a little."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by kenji, 04/05/2023 1:07

"@ Superbird...I like your analogies...how very true."

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by kenji, 04/05/2023 1:06

"@Brighton Corgi...You may well be right but somehow I don't see Leclerc and Hamilton in the same team. Sainz, on the day, can be as fast as Hamilton so what's the point? Why pay more for the same or less. I also don't see the parallels between Alonso and Hamilton. Their ages differ for a start and Alonso is a one off. He is a demon and places 100% effort into his racing whereas.... This is an interesting time for F1 as it transitions to a somewhat different set of values and propositions, not all of them appreciated across the board. As I said earlier, I very much doubt Hamilton will leave Mercedes. It's all just media speculation ATM..IMO."

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by Superbird70, 03/05/2023 20:55

"@BrightonCorgi- The problem is drivers like Alonso or Mansell in the past would drive a car with missing sidepods or try to push it across the line. They might more aptly considered racers rather than drivers. Some of current drivers feel the car is out of balance if the decals aren't applied symetrically. Hamilton might be sliding into that driver domain, same for Sainz. Bring back Kimi."

Rating: Positive (3)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

5. Posted by BrightonCorgi, 03/05/2023 19:41

"What if Hamilton was to replace Sainz instead of Leclerc? Certainly Hamilton is not going to get the money he got the last time. He is on the twilight of his career, but Alonso has shown an old horse can still have some get up and go."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

6. Posted by kenji, 03/05/2023 16:25

"@ Brighton Corgi....Hamilton hasn't won a race since Dec.'21. If the current trend continues and it is highly likely [ according to Wolff ] that he won't win a race this year either unless the top drivers all crash in the same race! I don't see Ferrari making a bid for his services. They are extremly successful in a financial sense and Merch. sales as part of the mix would be an afterthought. They would only be interested in one thing...winning races and winning series. Leclerc can do that if he has the car so why bring Hamilton in? Put both of them in the same car and I believe that Leclerc would be the fastest...IMO. As for his price! I would think that no matter what he'd still be asking for a huge sum that could not be justified based on his performances over the past few years. Russell, Verstappen, Perez, Alonso are all as fast as Hamilton ATPIT.




"

Rating: Positive (3)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

7. Posted by ARL, 03/05/2023 14:08

"It reminds me of the Monsieur Hulot film where he runs out of fuel on a long straight empty French country. He then gets a fuel can out of the boot, looks both ways, shrugs and sets off in one direction.

After trudging for some time he realises that another motorist with an empty fuel can is approaching from the other direction on the opposite side of the road. So who has been walking the wrong way, and which is now closer to the desired goal?
"

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

8. Posted by estoril85, 03/05/2023 13:35

"Liberty media, manipulating the ahem media with clickbait.
Move along nothing to see here."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

9. Posted by BrightonCorgi, 03/05/2023 13:11

"Hamilton can sell more Ferrari merchandise than Sainz and Leclerc combined quite easily. At this point in Hamilton's career he'd be more accommodating in salary to end his career at Ferrari (should he want to).

It doesn't seem like Mercedes promotes Hamilton as much as it did for Schumacher (albeit for a short period). I think Ferrari would be full throttle on Hamilton promotion. "

Rating: Negative (-1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

10. Posted by kenji, 03/05/2023 1:50

"All this media fed speculation is. IMO. just a lot of fluff. I very much doubt whether Ferrari would anti up the sort of money that Hamilton is getting at MB. Yes, he is good but so are many others and he's past his prime or so it would seem. Once again, I believe that it would take quite a few kilos of Semtex to shift him from MB which he also uses as a platform to push his agendas and which I seriously doubt Ferrari would accomodate so easily. One also has to ask why would Leclerc want to drive a Mercedes? If they are so good why would the GOAT be abandoning ship? No Charles, stay where you are FTM and see where this all leads would be my advice. Maybe Audi would be interested when the time comes......"

Rating: Positive (4)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

11. Posted by Superbird70, 02/05/2023 14:45

"If anyone wins a championship in a Ferrari... Wow!"

Rating: Positive (7)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

12. Posted by BrightonCorgi, 02/05/2023 14:39

"If Lewis Hamilton wins a championship in a Ferrari... Wow!"

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

Share this page

X

Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2024. All rights reserved.

about us  |  advertise  |  contact  |  privacy & security  |  rss  |  terms