Frederic Vasseur denies Charles Leclerc claim as Mercedes express interest

Charles Leclerc's Ferrari contract is currently set to expire at the end of 2024, by at which point he will have raced for the Scuderia for six seasons.

New Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur is certainly settling into life at the Maranello-based team well, with the Frenchman having already completed his first real media briefing successfully since taking on the role at the start of January.

Vasseur has joined Ferrari at a particularly interesting time, with both Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc approaching the latter stages of their current contracts.

As always, when a driver’s contract approaches its close some interesting suggestions get made, as to where a driver could move should a new deal not be put on the table.

With that in mind, former Ferrari team manager Peter Windsor has suggested that Mercedes boss Toto Wolff may push for a move to sign Leclerc, should Lewis Hamilton retire at the end of 2024.

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“It would be a mess probably, putting Leclerc with Russell, but if he’s prepared to put Russell with Hamilton, he’s obviously going to be prepared to put him with Charles Leclerc,” Windsor recently told his Twitch stream.

Leclerc’s and Sainz’s contracts are due to expire at the end of next year, with it being likely that conversations regarding a possible extension will take place at some point during the forthcoming season, to remove any unnecessary pressure from 2024.

Vasseur, though, isn’t even considering opening contract discussions just yet, with the Frenchman currently prioritising making a strong start to the 2023 season.

“I know both drivers quite well, and I think we still have some time before we start talking about the future,” Vasseur said.

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“For me today this is not the number one priority.

“We have to start the season very well then there will be time for the rest, I think it would be a mistake to start negotiations at a time when the priority is another one.”

Leclerc’s contract is arguably the bigger talking point out of the two Ferrari drivers, given that he’s seen as the person to end the Scuderia’s wait for a World Championship.

Should Ferrari not begin negotiations soon then it wouldn’t be a shock to see the Monegasque holding conversations with other teams, given that he is viewed as one of the most talented drivers on the current grid.

Even this, though, doesn’t seem to be something that Vasseur is currently concerned about, with the former Alfa Romeo boss believing that should Leclerc’s and Ferrari’s “good relationship” remain, then “we will continue”.

“I don’t want to put this topic on the table today, I think it wouldn’t be a good way to start the collaboration,” added Vasseur, per

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“We have to be focused on the sporting side, to get results. And it’s like for the wedding, if both sides of the table are happy with the situation, that we will continue.

“But I think it’s not the priority today. We have a good relationship. And we’ll have time to discuss about this.

“First, I think the only topic today, we have to be focused on pure performance and to get results.”