Charles Leclerc has left the door open to a possible Ferrari exit by stating that he will “see what the future holds” before signing a new contract.
The Monégasque has been with Ferrari since 2016 after he joined their driver academy before graduating to the driver’s seat in 2019 but the level of his talent is perhaps deserving of more wins than the current five to his name in his career.
Had Leclerc been with Ferrari in any other era than it is likely that number would have been far higher but instead, he has often been forced to play second fiddle to other constructors higher up the grid.
The balance changed in 2022 with Ferrari starting the season as the strongest team on the grid but a series of driver errors, reliability problems and strategic missteps saw their title bid fade away dramatically.
With other teams potentially circling for the Ferrari man’s signature, Leclerc has ruled out an imminent departure from the Italian outfit but has left the door open to one in the future.
Leclerc signed a multi-year deal in 2019 which expires at the end of the 2024 season and while he did say it was too early for extension talks, he suggested he was going to wait and “see what the future holds.”
“No, there are no talks ongoing for now at least,” he told Sky Sports F1. “I love the red colour. I love Ferrari. I’m very happy here. But we’ll see what the future holds.
“Obviously it’s very early to speak about this, my contract ends in ’24. But I’ll know once there are some talks starting.”
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Leclerc will be hoping Ferrari’s title push will go on for much longer in 2023 with the new car, the SF-23, unveiled to the world at Maranello and Leclerc’s former boss Fred Vasseur stepping into the team principal hot seat.
With the teams yet to have even conducted pre-season testing, it is early days to judge Vasseur’s tenure but Leclerc said he has already been impressed by what he has seen.
“He’s been amazing to settle in this new position in a new team like Ferrari,” the 25-year-old said. “There are so many people, it’s so big.
“It’s different I feel when you arrive at Ferrari, but he knows what he wants. He knows what we need to do well and how to put the people in the best conditions in order to extract the maximum out of the people and this is super important.
“So I’m sure this will be a big help and I can’t wait to be at the first race to see the results.”