Charles Leclerc confirms he’d like Lewis Hamilton at Ferrari

F1 preview: A lap of the Monaco Grand Prix

Charles Leclerc has admitted he would like Lewis Hamilton as a team-mate amid rumours the seven-time champion could move to Ferrari. Leclerc laid his cards on the table while sitting next to the Mercedes star in the press conference ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix. 

However, the 25-year-old accepted he didn’t have a say on who would be in the other car. It comes just hours after Ferrari bishops Frederic Vasseur denied the Italian marque had made an offer for Hamilton. 

When asked what he thought of the rumours, Leclerc responded: “Hello Lewis! I don’t make the choice of my teammate.” When pushed if he would like to partner Hamilton, Leclerc added: “Yes, but I can imagine the headlines now.”

Earlier this week, The Mail claimed that Ferrari were ready to send off a £40million a year deal to secure Hamilton’s services. The report stressed Ferrari’s preferred option would be to retain Leclerc alongside Hamilton.

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However, they claimed swapping out Leclerc to get a Hamilton deal over the line was not off the cards. But, Vasseur denied the team had anything in the pipeline in the run-up to the Monaco Grand Prix. 

The 54-year-old said: “”As a joke I could say that two weeks ago you were sending Sainz to Audi, one week ago you sent Leclerc to Mercedes – now I am alone.

“You know perfectly that at this stage of the season each week you will have a different story and we are not sending an offer to Lewis Hamilton, we didn’t do it.”

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Leclerc appeared to back his team boss on Thursday as he revealed Vasseur had not revealed any details about a move for the Mercedes star. He added: “I have absolutely no doubt that if there was anything, Fred would have told me.”

Hamilton has repeatedly pledged his future to Mercedes despite not yet signing a new deal with the Silver Arrows. The Briton’s current contract is due to expire at the end of the season leaving question marks over his F1 future. 

Addressing the links on Thursday, Hamilton said: “When you are in contract negotiations there is going to be speculation, and unless you hear if from me, that is all it is.”

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