Charles Leclerc is open to becoming teammates with Lewis Hamilton at Ferrari in the future amid speculation about a switch for the current Mercedes driver.

Hamilton’s Formula 1 contract with Mercedes expires at the end of the 2020 season, with the Briton having won five drivers’ titles in the last six years with the team.

Reports emerged over the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend claiming that Hamilton had met with Ferrari president John Elkann, leading to suggestions he could be interested in a switch to Maranello for 2021. Hamilton remained coy about the rumours.

When asked if he would welcome Hamilton as a teammate at Ferrari, Leclerc replied: “Well of course.

“At the end, we are in Formula 1, and we want to fight against the best.

“I’ve had a big opportunity this year to have Seb [Vettel] 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 yeah, of course.”

Mercedes is set to open contract talks with Hamilton before the start of the 2020 season, with team boss Toto Wolff saying he remains relaxed about the reigning world champion’s future.

Wolff rated Hamilton’s chances of staying at Mercedes at 75 percent, saying there is a “25 percent chance that we are not in control of”.

Ferrari incumbent Vettel was also asked about the idea of Hamilton joining Ferrari, to which he replied with a wry joke.

“I think he is already a Ferrari driver, no? No change,” Vettel said, referring to Hamilton’s Ferrari road cars.

“I think he is a good customer, and he has one I believe.”

Additional reporting by Julianne Cerasoli.

 

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