Wolff: Leclerc 'someone you must have on your radar'


Toto Wolff admits that Charles Leclerc is someone that Mercedes has to have on its radar for the long term, but the Austrian denied that he was taking a short term interest in the Ferrari driver.

Ahead of last weekend's Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the Italian media claimed that it was an "open secret" that Mercedes was courting Leclerc and that it considered the Monegasque as its first choice as Lewis Hamilton's successor.

The seven-time world has yet to agree to a new and likely final deal with Mercedes, which has sparked a wave of speculation about the latter's future.

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However, both Mercedes and Hamilton have signaled their intention to continue working together, while Leclerc is bound to Ferrari until the end of 2024.

In Baku, Wolff addressed the rumors surrounding Mercedes and Leclerc and prospective talks between the two parties.

"The only time I talked with him is when we discussed where the gate is in Melbourne to board the plane," said Wolff, tongue in cheek.

"Charles is a super guy and for the long-term future someone you have to have on your radar but not for the short and medium term."

Wolff emphasized that Mercedes' number one priority was to "put pen to paper" with Hamilton regarding a new deal.

"Nobody doubts Charles’ ability and he is a good guy," he added. "He is 100 per cent committed to Ferrari and we are 100 per cent committed to putting pen to paper with Lewis."

After a dismal start to his 2023 campaign, Leclerc turned around his form in Baku, the 25-year-old snatching pole for the first the Sprint event of the season as well as for Sunday's Grand Prix.

The Scuderia charger was defenseless however in both races in his efforts to contain the attacks of Red Bull's drivers, with Baku street king Sergio Perez leading his rivals across the chequered flag on both Saturday and Sunday.

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