Mercedes targets Leclerc contract loophole with Hamilton future still unclear

According to reports, Mercedes could be linked with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc amidst the Lewis Hamilton uncertainty they find themselves in.

Mercedes’ driver situation looks very similar to their 2016 one, only this time, there is no confirmation that the driver has actually left the team. Hamilton’s future remains up in the air after the controversial Abu Dhabi GP.

Although the seven-time world champion is tied to a Mercedes contract that runs out in 2023. However, even Nico Rosberg had a contract beyond 2016, but the team let him walk after he announced his shock retirement after winning the world championship.

Therefore, according to multiple reports, should Hamilton call it a day or not stay for the long term, Mercedes could be linked with Leclerc in a shock revelation.

It is known that Leclerc has a very long-term contract with Ferrari, and any team would have to break the bank to release him from it. However, according to Gazzetta Motori, the Monegasque’s contract has a clause that states that it could be terminated early if his team do not finish in the top three of the Constructors’ Championship in 2022. 

Charles Leclerc
Leclerc (pictured) could end up moving teams. Source: Getty Images

Interest surge

This puts Ferrari in a tricky spot and under massive pressure. Although the Prancing Horse took third place in an epic second-half comeback against McLaren in 2021, 2020 did see them finish a meek sixth in the standings.

If the 2021 regulations were present, Ferrari would be well-equipped to compete for P3. However, 2022 is a wildcard year with new regulations promising to completely shake up the sport and hand a clean slate to all the teams on the grid.

Therefore, any progress that the Italians made in 2021 is for nought as far as the new season is concerned. Anything from them winning the season to finishing dead last could happen.

As a result, Leclerc’s future could be in danger, and with a team like Mercedes monitoring the situation, they have to perform if they are to keep their driver.

Read more: Russell reveals he did not want to win on Mercedes debut – “I’m glad it didn’t happen”

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