Toto Wolff reveals Charles Leclerc conversation amid Lewis Hamilton exit rumours

Charles Leclerc is contracted to Ferrari until the end of 2024.

Following reports from Italian media, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff confirmed during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix that he has indeed had a conversation with Charles Leclerc, but that it was to decide “whether we should go to Starbucks”.

In the build-up to the weekend, it was rumoured that Leclerc had been holding secret talks with Mercedes, about replacing seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton’s contract with Mercedes is due to expire this season; however, it’s expected that an extension for 2024 and potentially for 2025 will be signed.

The 38-year-old and Wolff have both told the media that a new deal will be signed, but even this hasn’t quietened rumours linking Leclerc to Ferrari.

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Leclerc continues to be linked to Ferrari due to the Maranello-based team having endured a difficult start to the season, with the 24-year-old having retired from two of the opening three races.

The Monegasque driver did enjoy a strong weekend at the Baku City Circuit, though, something which may bring an end to the rumours.

Leclerc claimed pole position for the sprint race and the main race, after being the most dominant driver over one lap.

He went on to finish second in the sprint and third in the main race, meaning he claimed his first podium of the year.

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With that in mind, he’ll be looking to build some momentum with Ferrari, with Wolff having revealed that the only time he spoke to the Monegasque driver was in the airport.

“I haven’t had a single conversation with Charles,” Wolff told Sky Deutschland in Azerbaijan.

“Except at the airport where we discussed whether we should go to Starbucks or not, so zero.

“I don’t know where the rumours come from. So [they are not true], not at all.”

Hamilton is still very much Mercedes’ priority given how long he’s now raced for the Silver Arrows, with a change in driver line-up not planned for at least “a few years”.

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Perhaps Leclerc will be linked to the Germans again in the future, when Mercedes finally have to make a “change” to their line-up.

“The point is, we have been with Lewis for ten years and that won’t change,” added Wolff.

“Sometime in a few years, we’ll see.”