F1 News: Charles Leclerc responds to Mercedes rumours – Sports Illustrated

Charles Leclerc discusses his future.
Charles Leclerc's long-term future with Ferrari has been questioned, with rumours circulating about Mercedes' interest in securing his services. 
Leclerc started the year in brilliant fashion, finishing no lower than second place in the first three races of the year. 
Ferrari's reliability and poor strategy proved costly in subsequent events, eliminating the Monegasque from championship contention by the summer break. 
As it stands, F1's top teams have all worked diligently to secure long-term contracts with their star drivers. 
George Russell is on a multi-year deal with Mercedes, whilst Lewis Hamilton is expected to sign an extension with the Silver Arrows this winter. 
Meanwhile, Red Bull has signed a blockbuster agreement with Max Verstappen, keeping the Dutchman with the team for five more seasons. 
With this in mind, Ferrari will be eager to secure Leclerc's future and keep him in the team. 
However, the Italian squad's blunders have created speculation about whether Leclerc will be interested in signing a new contract. 
In an interview with L'Equipe, Leclerc was asked about the rumours linking him to a 2024 Mercedes move:
"2024 is a long time away and there is still time left at Ferrari. Being at this team has always been my dream", gpblog quote him as saying:
"My objective at the moment is to win with Ferrari and then we'll see."
Unsurprisingly, Leclerc reiterated his commitment and loyalty to the Scuderia. 
However, it would be unwise for Ferrari to assume that Leclerc's patience with the team will be infinite. 
This year's campaign was terribly managed by Ferrari, throwing away the chance to contend for the championship due to various shortcomings.
Moving forward, they must address their weaknesses and prove their competence if they are to secure Leclerc's future. 
None of the other top teams has obvious openings, so in some sense, Leclerc has very limited options outside of Ferrari. 
In any case, it will be worth observing how the relationship between the two parties evolves next season.

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