Charles Leclerc has admitted that he’d happily partner seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton in the future, with the Monegasque believing that “anybody on the grid” would jump at the opportunity.
Leclerc’s comments came as a result of a recent report from the Daily Mail, where they revealed that Ferrari were supposedly planning a £40 million offer for the British driver.
Hamilton, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, and Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur all dismissed the report, with a new deal with the Silver Arrows being “almost” ready.
Wolff revealed at the Circuit de Monaco that the only thing missing from Hamilton’s contract extension is the date, suggesting that it could be signed at any given moment.
Despite the fact the 38-year-old is all but set to remain at the Silver Arrows, Leclerc still believes it’d be a great learning opportunity to partner the 103-time race winner.
The 25-year-old did stress though, that he’s completely happy at Ferrari and with current team-mate Carlos Sainz.
“If I say yes, I imagine it being the title of every newspaper,” Leclerc said ahead of his recent home Grand Prix.
“Lewis is such an incredible driver, has achieved so much in the sport, so I think anybody on the grid would love to have Lewis as a team-mate, as everybody would learn a lot from him.
“But again, I’m happy where I am, and with Carlos [Sainz] it’s a great relationship too.”
The Monegasque was also asked what he looks for in a team-mate, with Leclerc revealing that he likes a “fast” partner.
He was quick to add that Sainz fits this criteria, with Leclerc admitting that the Spaniard is an “extremely fast driver”.
“I mean, a fast teammate, as everybody [wants],” Leclerc said. “We are in Formula 1 and we love to be fighting against the best.
“But that’s not to say that my team-mate is not fast; Carlos is an extremely fast driver. Considering that I’m not the person who makes the choices, let’s see [what happens].”
Leclerc’s and Sainz’s contracts are both set to expire at the end of next season, with some suggestions already beginning to circulate that Ferrari are preparing a new deal for the Monegasque.
Interestingly, it was rumoured that Ferrari were open to letting Sainz leave, in order to sign Hamilton.
With the Hamilton-Ferrari rumour having been quashed, it remains to be seen how much truth there is behind the Sainz speculation.