Ferrari reportedly began contract renewal talks with Charles Leclerc at the Brazilian Grand Prix, a race which he failed to start.
Ferrari face major decisions over their driver line-up and the time is fast approaching to make them.
Not only is Leclerc’s contract up at the end of F1 2024, but the same is also true for his team-mate Carlos Sainz as the Scuderia continue to search for a route back into the Formula 1 title scene.
Ferrari open Charles Leclerc contract talks in Brazil
As per Corriere della Sera, Ferrari and Leclerc held their “first discussions” over a contract extension at the Brazilian Grand Prix, which considering the way the event ended for Leclerc, means this opening exchange could not have come at a worse time.
Max Verstappen led the pack away on the formation lap from pole at Interlagos, with Leclerc joining him on the front row of the grid for the grand prix.
Leclerc though did not make it back around to the start, crashing into the barriers at Turn 7 due to what Ferrari diagnosed as a hydraulic issue.
With Corriere della Sera reporting that Ferrari providing machinery for Leclerc to fight for his World Championship, which he feels capable of doing, is crucial to his future with the team, this DNS was another hit in what has been a disappointing F1 2023 campaign for team and driver.
While Leclerc had been hoping to mount a title challenge, instead he is still looking for a first win since the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix.
Charles Leclerc Ferrari power unit may be salvageable
There is potentially one good piece of good news to come out of what went down at Interlagos, that being that Leclerc’s Ferrari power unit may not be finished yet.
Leclerc kept details closely guarded in Brazil when pressed by the media for the cause of his DNS, but Corriere della Sera shed further light on what went wrong with that Ferrari SF-23.
They report that an alarm in the power unit shut it down for damage protection, with the belief at Ferrari being that it will be fit for use again at the upcoming Las Vegas Grand Prix, though that cannot be confirmed until the on-track action begins.
Ferrari will head to the first Las Vegas Grand Prix looking to keep their hopes of claiming a P2 finish in the Constructors’ Championship intact. They currently trail Mercedes by 20 points.