Lewis Hamilton’s F1 future thrown in doubt as Mercedes boss Wolff reveals Ferrari star Charles Leclerc ‘on his radar’ | The Sun
MERCEDES chief Toto Wolff has revealed Charles Leclerc is on the team's radar amid speculation surrounding Lewis Hamilton.
The seven-time world champion is out of contract at the end of the season, with rumours suggesting he could be set to retire.
If this were to happen there would naturally be a vacant seat at Mercedes.
And Ferrari poster boy Leclerc, 25, has been tipped to replace him following reports claiming discussions between the two parties had been held.
Wolff added fuel to the fire by admitting Leclerc was on the team's "radar", before later reaffirming the team's intention to pen an extension with Hamilton.
He said: "The only time I talked with him is when we discussed where the gate is in Melbourne to board the plane.
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"Charles is a super guy and for the long-term future someone you have to have on your radar but not for the short and medium term."
On Thursday Leclerc appeared to leave the door open to a move by revealing discussions over a move had "not yet" been held.
However, he later doubled down on these comments to clear the air, declaring he is "fully committed to Ferrari".
On these comments, Wolff added: "Nobody doubts Charles' ability and he is a good guy.
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"He is 100 per cent committed to Ferrari and we are 100 per cent committed to putting pen to paper with Lewis."
Hamilton, who finished P6 in Sunday's Baku race, previously shot down rumours of his exit, saying: "I think maybe some of the drivers all have different relationships with different bosses and stuff.
"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."
Leclerc took his first pole of the season with an impressive performance in Friday qualifying at the new-look format of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekend.
But the sheer pace of Red Bull and the street-wise expertise of race-winner Sergio Perez meant a victory was once again snatched from his grasp.
Since the start of last season Leclerc has been on pole more times than two-time champion Max Verstappen, bringing his career total up to 19.
Although he has only converted four of these into race wins to give himself a 21 per cent conversion rate.
Indeed, he now sits just one pole off of former Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas when it comes to career poles.
And it means he could match the unwanted record of most poles without a world championship.
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