With contracts coming to an end in 2023 Ferrari are planning their 2024 line-up which looks to consist of Charles Leclerc and a plot twist that would shake the F1 world to its core.
While Formula 1 heads to the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend the rumour mill is already busy. Reports came out of Maranello this morning stating that Charles Leclerc has now entered contract talks with Ferrari once again as his contract comes to an end in 2024. Leclerc was reportedly in talks with Mercedes after his contracts ends but with recent reports it suggest he could well stay at the Scuderia for the foreseeable future.
While talking with Ferrari, Leclerc has asked for some reassurances after the 2022 season was fumbled by the world famous team while 2023 has not started off much better with just one podium in the first five races of the season. The President of Ferrari John Elkaan has promised the Monegasque driver that Ferrari are looking to pick up some experienced team members from rivals Mercedes and Red Bull. The team are currently going through a rebuild since new team principal Frederic Vasseur stepped in to replace the outgoing Mattia Binotto.
It is understood that while Elkaan was at the Ferrari factory in Maranello he has spoken to Leclerc. It is understood that the two parties are coming closer to a deal after meetings between the two with Charles being happy that he has been promised that leading engineers from Red Bull should be coming to the team after so many big names left the team earky in the season. Leclerc also wants a competitive car after last season saw the Italian team plagued with reliability issues which saw him retire twice whilst driving in the lead of the race.
Could Ferrari be targeting Hamilton?
Meanwhile there is also rumours also going around the paddock that Ferrari is looking to poach Lewis Hamilton from Mercedes. The seven time world champion's contract is up at the end of the 2023 season and has reportedly had positive talks with Toto Wolff who said it is just a matter of time before the Brit signs with money just needing to be discussed.
Reports from Italy suggest that Ferrari are willing to pay Hamilton £40 million to sign for the Scuderia. The move would certainly rock the F1 paddock to its core as it has always seemed certain that Hamilton would always be in a Mercedes powered team after being with them since he was in go karts at the age of 13.
However there are only two situations in which Hamilton could be headed to Italy. The first is that Carlos Sainz is taken out of the team but given his performance this season the Spaniard looks the more confident of the two drivers and depending on the rest of his season plays out could be at Ferrari for next year too as he does have a new two year contract that was signed during the 2022 season.
The other situation could be that Leclerc does sign for Mercedes leaving the door open for an empty seat at Ferrari. George Russell is on a multi-year deal with Mercedes and with Hamilton's contract coming to an end the two teams could end up doing a driver swap.
These are only rumours as of now but as we head into silly season anything could happen as it proved with 2022.