Charles Leclerc has said that most reports suggesting that Ferrari are at loggerheads internally are not true after rumours emerged about dissatisfaction within the team.
The Scuderia got off to a less-than-ideal start to the 2023 F1 season at the Bahrain GP, with Carlos Sainz overtaken by Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso for the final spot on the podium and Leclerc retiring due to an engine issue.
The underwhelming performance has prompted further speculation about Leclerc’s future with the team and how the Ferrari technical team have approached the fight to catch Red Bull at the front of the grid.
However, speaking to media ahead of the Saudi Arabia GP, Leclerc said that most of the reports were off the mark – for once.
“Absolutely untrue. I mean, again, there have been loads of rumours around the team, which, for once, 90% of them were completely unfounded,” he said.
I don’t know from where it is coming from. And to be honest, I don’t even want to spend any energy on trying to find from where it’s coming from, we just need to be on it and focus on ourselves.”
Leclerc signed a five-year deal with Ferrari in 2019 which takes him through to the end of the 2024 season, but the Monegasque has been linked with a move to Mercedes to replace Lewis Hamilton should the Brit opt not to renew his contract at the end of 2023.
While Hamilton remains adamant that he wants to stay on the grid, the poor performance of Ferrari has led to speculation that Leclerc could be lined up as a potential replacement.
While Ferrari say the problems with Leclerc’s power unit have been addressed ahead of the race in Jeddah, he will begin the race with a 10-place grid penalty due to the replacement parts required.