Toto Wolff Insists Team Is Focused On Re-Signing Lewis Hamilton Despite Charles Leclerc Rumors

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Mercedes Formula 1 team principal Toto Wolff denied that he had spoken to Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc about replacing Lewis Hamilton. Instead, he insisted the team’s focus is on re-signing the 7-time champion.

Some kind of movement between Ferrari and Mercedes drivers has been a rumor mill fixture as of late. Hamilton had been rumored to be on the move to Ferrari, while Leclerc had reportedly spoken to Mercedes.

However, Leclerc denied the rumors of a Mercedes move over the weekend in Azerbaijan. Now, Wolff is denying it from the team’s side.

“I think he’s 100% committed and loyal to Ferrari and it’s his contract and in the same way we are 100% committed to putting pen to paper with Lewis.

“I think nobody doubts Charles’s ability and he’s a good guy,” Wolff said, per Formula 1’s website.

However, he admitted that he had spoken to Leclerc on one occasion. “The only time I talked to him was to ask where the gate is in Melbourne to board the plane. No contact otherwise.”

This would not be the first time — and it wouldn’t be the last — that F1 teams and drivers have denied talks when in fact they had happened.

For now, we have to take them at their word… but…

Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc chatting earlier this season. (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images)

Hamilton And Leclerc Swapping Teams Might Make Some Sense

But it would make some sense for both Hamilton and Leclerc to want to look elsewhere, Hamilton has not been shy about voicing his concerns with the team’s design direction on the current car. They’re in the midst of correcting course. But how long before the finished product is a week-in, week-out contender?

As for Leclerc, you have to think that he’s getting frustrated. Last season, Ferrari had a car that for at least part of the season was capable of winning every race. However, the team made costly strategy mistakes that left points on the table.

Leclerc made plenty of mistakes too, including a crash from the lead at last year’s French Grand Prix. However, a change of scenery that removes some of the constant pressure that comes with driving for Ferrari could do some good. Meanwhile, Mercedes needs to move on from Hamilton at some point, and replacing him with Leclerc would be about as good as they could do unless they could somehow poach Max Verstappen and pair him with his buddy George Russell.

Again, if they say nothing is going on, we have to take their word for it. However, these rumors just keep coming up.

As the old cliche goes, “Where there’s smoke, there’s probably a Ferrari that blew its engine out while comfortably leading a Grand Prix.”

Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle

Written by Matt Reigle

Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.

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