Talks an “open secret” as Leclerc negotiates with Mercedes to leave Ferrari, so Formula 1 is facing a real shake-up regarding the shifting of talent within the grid. Indeed Ferrari are said to be in a state of internal crisis after failing to match Red Bull’s speed this season with key personnel jumping ship to rival teams and Charles Leclerc on the brink of leaving.
Leclerc is said to be the “most unhappy” at Ferrari, frustrated at not being able to compete with Verstappen in terms of pace, an issue that started in 2022 when the team got off to a flyer, only to repeatedly fail Leclerc with mechanical issues and operational blunders.
Ferrari in crisis
The departure of aerodynamics chief David Sanchez, who has reportedly offered his resignation to join McLaren, has left the rest of the Ferrari team in turmoil. A number of Sanchez’s fellow engineers at Ferrari have also been accused of passing on their CVs to other F1 teams in recent months, with several staff believed to be considering their options.
It will be crucial for team principal Frederic Vasseur to stop the rot as soon as possible to avoid the situation getting out of hand, although for now he remains convinced that a title challenge with Red Bull will soon be taking shape if Ferrari can continue to work hard to catch their Austrian rivals.
This is likely to be far too biased towards optimism than reality.
MORE F1 NEWS: McLaren could be “dead in the water”
Uncertainty with Hamilton at Mercedes
The 25-year-old, who has a contract with the team until the end of 2024, has recently been linked with a possible move to Mercedes in the near future, with Lewis Hamilton’s long-term future at the German outfit uncertain.
By the time the teams leave Baku, April will be over and we’re still waiting to hear from one of F1’s biggest stars.
Lewis Hamilton’s next contract is always a hot topic, but with Mercedes’s abysmal W13 for 2022, this conversation has begun earlier than normal.
The question on everyone’s lips was whether Mercedes could come back and give Hamilton a car capable of delivering the title, as he chased a record eighth drivers’ championship.
Hamilton demands huge sums
According to a report in Sportune, Lewis is seeking around a quarter of a billion euros for his final Mercedes contract.
The report claims that Hamilton has offered to extend his contract by two years for €70 million per season, making a total of €140 million without bonuses.
In addition, Hamilton is said to be “seeking a ten-year ambassadorial deal with the Daimler Group for 25 million euros a year, or 250 million euros, until he reaches the age of 50 in 2035.
Those are big figures, which may explain why there has been no white smoke in the air, leaving Hamilton’s future with Mercedes in question. That said, it is rumoured that negotiations have resumed recently.
Mercedes promises changes to keep Hamilton
Wolff recently span the recent personnel reassignments the bottom line is Technical Director Mike Elliot has failed the team for the past two years since he stepped into the role vacated by James Allison.
“This was very much driven by Mike Elliott owning the process” said Wolff in an Autosport interview recently.
“So, we have reversed the roles. Mike has moved up to CTO, as he has a brilliant switched-on scientific mind. And James Allison has returned to his technical director position, reporting in to Mike.”
All of this seems to be the inevitable outcome following the dramatic outbursts from both the Mercedes team boss and Hamilton.
So, with Mike Elliot no longer near the team operationally, and an old Hamilton friend in James Allison once again running the daily operations for Mercedes, it’s likely that the strangely delayed Hamilton renewal saga will be back on.
Unless, of course, it is Mercedes who are considering their options or, as Martin Brundle has recently suggested, are of the opinion that they should reduce the amount of money Lewis is currently on the hook for.
READ MORE: Marko, LeClerc to lave Ferrari “a worry”
🚨🏎️ Checo is a fan of Baku. Where will he finish this year? pic.twitter.com/s0OhDQoGTm
— The Sporting Base – Formula One (@sportingbase_f1) April 23, 2023
Enter Charles Leclerc
As the renowned Italian author and journalist Leo Turrini writes in his column for the website Quotidiano.net, Charles Leclerc has long been in an exchange with the Silver Arrows.
“The fact that Leclerc is talking to Mercedes is an open secret. Everyone knows that. From the garage in Maranello to the Indian Ocean,” claims Turrini, who is considered one of Italy’s leading Formula 1 insiders.
“The Monegasque knows that time passes very quickly,” writes the journalist. And since success at Ferrari is still elusive this season, the 25-year-old is reportedly considering his options.
Mercedes ‘comfortable’ with Leclerc replacing Hamilton
And the Silver Arrows are also said to be comfortable with the idea of signing Leclerc.
“Russell is very, very strong. But if Hamilton retires, I don’t think they will bring in another Bottas in Stuttgart to drive alongside a driver who has not yet become world champion,” Turrini suggests that Mercedes could go for two ‘number one’ drivers after Hamilton’s departure.
An early departure of Hamilton is still something that is being discussed intensely in the paddock and in fan circles lead by Hamilton who still has not signed a new contract. As of today, the seven-time world champion is out of a job at the end of the 2023 season. This fuels the rumours about his future accordingly.
Leclerc’s contract with Ferrari expires at the same time at the end of 2024. He could leave the Scuderia by then at the latest. But an earlier switch would also be theoretically possible.
READ MORE: Mercedes find HUGE gains in 2 weeks
Charles and George in one team will be epical! The two of them, Max and Fernando are in a class of their own, and the MB duo and Max will surely fight it out for the next decade?
Out of the frying pan…..
These articles are written by AI
AI wouldn’t make as many mistakes as this guff.
Jesus, hire a bloody editor.