Charles Leclerc refused to be drawn on the speculation linking Lewis Hamilton with a potential move to Ferrari, but the Monegasque driver did admit that every driver would want the seven-time world champion as a team-mate.

After reports emerged earlier in the week that Ferrari were looking to make a £40million offer to Hamilton to join Ferrari, the rumour mill has spun into overdrive.

Both Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur and Hamilton himself have moved to quash the links, but Leclerc found himself as the latest person in the firing line over the recent reports.

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After being asked what he looks for in a team-mate, Leclerc jokingly replied: “Hello, Lewis!”

He added: “A fast team-mate, as everybody in Formula 1 we love to be fighting against the best. But that’s not to say that my team-mate is not fast.

“Carlos [Sainz] is an extremely fast driver. But considering that I am not the person who makes the choices [over who his team-mate is or might be] – let’s see.”

Pressed further on whether he would welcome Hamilton to Ferrari, the 25-year-old refused to be drawn into the speculation, but he did reveal his level of admiration for the Mercedes driver.

“If I say yes, I imagine it being the title of every newspaper,” he responded. “Lewis is such an incredible driver, he has achieved so much in the sport – I think anybody on the grid would love to have Lewis as a team-mate as everybody would learn a lot from him.

“But I am happy where I am and with Carlos it’s a great relationship too.”

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2023-05-25T19:43:59Z dg43tfdfdgfd