F1: Charles Leclerc dismisses Sebastian Vettel retirement rumours

Toto Wolff says Mercedes would allow Esteban Ocon to leave

Sebastian Vettel and his Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc
Sebastian Vettel and his Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc
(Image credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images )

Leclerc has his say on Vettel rumours

Charles Leclerc does not think that his Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel will retire from Formula 1.

The 21-year-old has dismissed the notion that Vettel could quit at the end of 2019, GP Fans reports, and expects the German to be on the grid next season.

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“I do not see him retiring,” Leclerc told Sport Bild. “I cannot speak for him, but he looks more motivated than ever, he works very hard to do the best for the team and himself.

“It’s nice to see how he works. I think he’s good dealing with the pressure because there is always pressure after you have won so many titles. Even if I beat him, that is no reason for him to stop.”

Sainz and Norris ‘the future’ of McLaren

Sky Sports reports that McLaren are delighted with their driver partnership of Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris.

The duo have impressed this season and have helped McLaren rise to fourth in the constructors’ championship.

Team boss Andreas Seidl said: “I’m very happy with both drivers and they will be the future of this team.”

Frenchman Esteban Ocon is currently the reserve and development driver at Mercedes

(Image credit: Peter Fox/Getty Images)

Is Ocon’s F1 future away from Mercedes?

Mercedes principal Toto Wolff has revealed that the F1 constructors’ champions are prepared to release Esteban Ocon from his contract.

After leaving Racing Point and missing out on a seat for 2019, Frenchman Ocon took over reserve driver duty for the Silver Arrows.

The 22-year-old has been touted as a potential replacement for Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes, but in order to return to the F1 grid next year he may have to seek a drive elsewhere.

Speaking to Motorsport.com, Wolff said of Ocon’s future: “There is this perception that he is a Mercedes driver, so maybe we need to set the record straight and enable him to pursue his career in a way that respects the investment and the support that Mercedes has given him, and he respects that very much, but equally doesn’t close doors for him.”

Ocon has been linked with a loan move to Renault but Wolff added: “I think if he drives for another team he is released anyway.

“He is not a Mercedes driver any more because if you drive for another team you are signing a contract that you will deliver to the best of your abilities for the other team.”

Grosjean heading for Haas exit?

Meanwhile, GrandPX reports that Romain Grosjean is “in danger of losing his place at Haas”. In an interview with Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet, former F3000 driver Jason Watt said: “I do not think he will be extended for 2020.”

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