Lewis Hamilton’s Mammoth $127,000,000 Deal Accused of Destroying Charles Leclerc’s Dream

Published 09/01/2023, 4:45 AM EDT

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A historic signing by an F1 Hall of Famer with a team that made history winning 8 constructors’ championships in a row. Putting months of speculation to rest, Lewis Hamilton signed a $127 million contract extension with Mercedes for another 2 years after the end of 2023. But his deal has been stamped as one that has potentially shoved Charles Leclerc’s dream on the backseat. How’s that happened?

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It is nothing new that the 7x champion was approached by Ferrari to join them for 2024 and beyond. In such a case, there would have been a potential swap with Leclerc replacing him at Mercedes. But none of this was ever realized. Instead, Lewis Hamilton has put an end to all such talks by re-signing with the Silver Arrows. This decision has a certain effect on the Monegasque as well because his dreams of winning a World Championship would’ve been higher with Mercedes than Ferrari.

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On the latest episode of BBC’s Chequered Flag podcast, Rosanna Tennant, Jolyon Palmer, and Andrew Benson analyzed this domino effect. Palmer brought up the obvious, asking his fellow hosts: “Do you genuinely think that no part of Leclerc is thinking about leaving Ferrari? I know he can’t leave now because of the Mercedes news today. But do you think there was no part of him that was assessing his options?” Now, this is a question that has probably popped up in every fan’s mind. But surprisingly, Benson’s response showed how he never questioned Leclerc’s plans.

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Benson replied, saying “He’s always said that he wants to stay at Ferrari and I don’t have any knowledge that that’s not true. Of course, every driver has to assess their options but I don’t know. Maybe I am being naive at the age of 50-something and 30 years in Formula 1. But he’s a genuine guy, don’t you think? And it seems to me that he is telling the truth.”

Maybe it is all the truth. Maybe the Monegasque always had the strong intention to stay at Ferrari and see them win World Championships. But coming back to the present dismal reality, they are far from it. However, at least at their home race weekend at Monza starting today is expected to be better.

Charles Leclerc hopeful as Ferrari promises “competitive” car for the Italian GP

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Formula 1 continues its journey to the Italian GP weekend starting today. It is Ferrari’s home ground and the track where Charles Leclerc won in 2019. In 2023, Ferrari’s SF-23 hasn’t been a very quick car. Yet, on low downforce circuits, they have shown good pace. Like the Belgian GP podium for Leclerc. Furthermore, Monza is a high-speed, low-downforce circuit. So the Monegasque is optimistic about a good showing by the Maranello outfit.

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“Let’s say it’s not exactly like Spa but the track characteristics are closer to the ones of Spa than Zandvoort and Budapest,” explained Leclerc, ahead of the Italian GP. So we should be a bit more competitive here. Whether it will be enough or not to fight for the podium, I don’t know. But I really hope so. We’ll do everything for it, for sure.”

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With no better options on his hands, Leclerc will now be bound to Ferrari for the long term. If they can work in sync to build a better challenger for the next year, his statements will have more positive than negative. Otherwise, it’ll be the same old, same old.

WATCH THIS STORY | Ex GFs Strong Connection with Ferrari Persists Despite Shocking Charles Leclerc Breakup

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Written by:

Yash Kotak

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Yash is an F1 writer at EssentiallySports. With a strong passion for communicating through written word and a keen interest in the world of motorsports, he thoroughly enjoys being a fan of F1 and covering it for other fans. Ever since he watched the 'INSIDE TRACKS' episode covering the 2018 German Grand Prix, he has fallen in love with the intriguingly complex world of F1.
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Edited by:

Aishwary Gaonkar

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