Leclerc would welcome Hamilton to Ferrari

By Sports Desk December 10, 2019

Charles Leclerc would be delighted if Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton decided to switch from Mercedes to Ferrari after the 2020 season.

Hamilton cruised to a third successive world title in 2019, and his sixth overall, as Valtteri Bottas completed a one-two for Mercedes.

Leclerc, meanwhile, enjoyed a breakthrough season, finishing in fourth place behind Max Verstappen - and 24 points ahead of his Ferrari team-mate and former world champion Sebastian Vettel, who was fifth.

Hamilton's current deal with Mercedes expires at the end of the next season, though the 34-year-old has said he would be happy to extend his stay.

"Well, of course. We are in Formula One and we want to fight against the best," Leclerc said, as reported by Autosport, when asked if he would be happy to see Hamilton join Ferrari in 2021.

"I've had a big opportunity this year to have Seb next to me, who is a four-time world champion, and I've learned a lot from him.

"You can always learn from this type of champion, so yes, of course."

Hamilton may not be the only big name set to become available, with the majority of driver contracts concluding at the end of next year.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, however, does not expect many of the best drivers - including Verstappen from his own team - to be switching manufacturers.

"I think all the top guys are out of contract for the end of next year," said Horner, in quotes reported by

"I think Leclerc's under contract at Ferrari. Lewis obviously is pretty happy in his environment. Max is happy in this environment.

"So if they're sitting in competitive cars next year, why would they swap, or why would they move?"

Related items

  • Coronavirus: F1 teams open to two-day GPs and season extension Coronavirus: F1 teams open to two-day GPs and season extension

    Formula One teams are discussing the prospect of holding two-day grands prix and extending the 2020 season until January 2021.

    Chase Carey, the CEO of F1, is still hoping to hold 15 to 18 races this season once normality has returned after the coronavirus pandemic.

    The first eight races of the campaign are either postponed or cancelled with more likely to follow as lockdown restrictions remain widespread.

    Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto thinks teams will be as flexible as possible to find a solution, including two-day race weekends with practice held on a Saturday.

    "We are engaged in constant dialogue," Binotto told Sky Italia. "I have felt, along with the other team principals, that these are crucial moments. 

    "With regards to the timetable, we have given Carey and the FIA the freedom to define the calendar as they need to under these conditions.

    "We can also have two-day weekends, with free practice moved to Saturday morning, so that we can meet the logistical needs in case of grands prix being close together.

    "In addition, the current shutdown leaves room for the possibility of being able to compete in August if there are conditions to be able to do so."

    Binotto would be willing to race into 2021 if it meant something closer to a full championship could take place.

    He, his drivers Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel, as well as the whole Ferrari team, are working remotely.

    "These are all places where we, as a team, need to ensure maximum availability," Binotto said about extending the season.

    "If this [move] allows us to guarantee a more complete 2020 world championship, with the following season not starting until March, there is great availability for that.

    "We started [remote] smart-working right after Australia. Now we're in FIA shutdown, which continues the period that in our case started early.

    "With Seb and Charles, we speak almost daily. They are both at home and they are training as always. They are undoubtedly fit."

  • Coronavirus: McLaren confirm all F1 team members have returned home Coronavirus: McLaren confirm all F1 team members have returned home

    McLaren have confirmed all team personnel who were in self-isolation in Australia have returned home.

    The Formula One team withdrew ahead of what was scheduled to be the season-opening race in Melbourne after a member of staff tested positive for coronavirus.

    The Australian Grand Prix was eventually cancelled and the F1 campaign is still yet to begin due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

    McLaren, who are based in Surrey, England, revealed on Twitter that all those who had isolated - as well as the management who remained with them - were all now back home.

    "We are pleased to confirm that as of yesterday [Wednesday] evening, all team personnel who were in self-isolation in Melbourne, as well as management who had stayed with them, have now safely returned home," the team said.

    "Thanks once again on behalf of the team for all the support and well wishes."

    F1 chairman and CEO Chase Carey has said the plan is to stage between 15 and 18 races in a 2020 calendar that could extend into December.

    Azerbaijan became the latest race to be postponed on Monday. The next on the original schedule is the Canadian Grand Prix, which is due to take place on June 14.


  • Coronavirus: Formula One aiming to stage 15-18 races in 2020 season Coronavirus: Formula One aiming to stage 15-18 races in 2020 season

    The 2020 Formula One season could include between 15 and 18 races in a revised calendar that will likely run into December, according to Chase Carey.

    Amid the coronavirus outbreak, F1 has been forced to delay the start to the new campaign, Azerbaijan becoming the latest Grand Prix to be postponed on Monday.

    The season-opener in Australia, due to take place on March 15, and the Monaco event have both been cancelled, with the next race on the original schedule due to take place in Canada on June 14. 

    In a statement, F1 chairman and CEO Carey did not reveal an update over a potential start date but made clear the 10 teams and the FIA remain "committed" to delivering a championship, aided by the usual mid-season break being shifted forward to March and April.

    As well as Azerbaijan, postponed races in Bahrain, Vietnam, China, the Netherlands and Spain could get new dates, though much depends on developments with the ongoing global pandemic.

    "We recognise there is significant potential for additional postponements in currently scheduled events, nonetheless we and our partners fully expect the season to start at some point this summer, with a revised calendar of between 15-18 races, Carey said.

    "As previously announced, we will utilise the summer break being brought forward to March/April, to race during the normal summer break period and anticipate the season end date will extend beyond our original end date of 27-29 November, with the actual sequence and schedule dates for races differing significantly from our original 2020 calendar.

    "It is not possible to provide a more specific calendar now due to the fluidity of the current situation but we expect to gain clearer insights to the situation in each of our host countries, as well as the issues related to travel to these countries, in the coming month."

    In the absence of the usual racing calendar, F1 launched the Virtual Grand Prix Series on Sunday.

    Former One Direction singer Liam Payne represented Williams but finished last among the drivers to complete the Bahrain leg - won by Renault test driver Guanyu Zhou - of the Esports tournament.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.