Ferrari has reportedly catered to the wishes of Charles Leclerc with a substantial pay rise and team leader status, though risk losing their star student without a strong start to Formula 1’s new regulatory era.
It was a crucial off-season for Ferrari as they looked to nail down their driver plans beyond the F1 2024 campaign, a mission they have completed in impressive fashion.
The Lewis Hamilton to Ferrari dream move is fantasy no more, with the seven-time World Champion confirmed to replace Carlos Sainz from 2025, while Hamilton will be partnered by Ferrari Driver Academy graduate and five-time grand prix winner Leclerc, who has put pen to paper on a new contract with the Scuderia.
Charles Leclerc likely has Ferrari post-2026 exit clause
Ferrari has kept details on how long their new agreement with Leclerc runs for closely guarded, though it has been widely reported that the contract will see in the new chassis and power unit regulations which will sweep through Formula 1 in 2026.
Corriere della Sera has shed some light though on the alleged financial details in Leclerc’s new contract, involving a salary of €35m (just shy of $38m), with five million out of that total coming in the form of bonuses.
However, it is claimed that Leclerc also very likely will have protected himself from a poor Ferrari start to F1’s upcoming regulatory reset in the form of an exit clause, Ferrari chasing their first taste of title glory since 2008 and for Leclerc, his maiden World Championship.
And team principal Fred Vasseur has declared that Ferrari’s mission is to achieve exactly that with Leclerc at the wheel.
“We are determined to give Charles a winning car and I know that his determination and commitment are elements that can make the difference in helping us reach our goals,” he said.
Interestingly, it is also claimed that Leclerc has been assured of ‘leader’ status in the Ferrari team, a dynamic which will be fascinating to watch play out once Hamilton arrives after a final season with Mercedes in F1 2024.