Charles Leclerc provides update on Ferrari talks after Mercedes rumours

Henry Valantine
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc faces the media following his first-lap retirement at the Australian Grand Prix. Melbourne, 2023.

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc faces the media following his first-lap retirement at the Australian Grand Prix. Melbourne, 2023.

Charles Leclerc admits it’s a new situation for him as his Ferrari future is under the spotlight in the Formula 1 rumour mill.

The Ferrari driver is out of contract with the team at the end of 2024 but recent reports are linking Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton with the team, prompting questions about whether or not he or Carlos Sainz could end up making way for the seven-time World Champion during the sport’s annual ‘silly season’.

Despite reports that talks are already underway over a contract extension, Leclerc confirmed that negotiations with Ferrari have not yet begun over keeping him with the Scuderia beyond the end of his current deal – with 18 months still left to run.

He was not willing to give oxygen to the speculation surrounding his future, but acknowledged that even having his contract spoken about is something he has not yet experienced to date, having signed Ferrari’s longest ever contract extension back in 2019.

“I’m not going to comment on them, but it’s true that it’s something new in my career,” Leclerc said of the rumours to La Gazette de Monaco.

“So far, I had not been subject to rumours. When I joined Alfa Romeo, it was straightforward and then to everyone’s surprise I was announced at Ferrari during the season… Since then, there has never really been any doubt because I have a long contract with the team, which ends at the end of next year.

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“I love Ferrari, I always dreamed of driving for this team. These rumours don’t really affect me and I’m mostly trying to focus on what there is to do on the track, because we are not yet at the level where we would like to be.”

With the time he still has left to decide upon his future, the Monégasque driver said he is in no rush to put pen to paper on fresh terms with Ferrari just yet.

“No, I haven’t set myself a deadline to deal with this. We will see when the time comes, the discussions have not yet started and I think it is Fred [Vasseur, team principal] who will have to be asked the question.

“A year and a half left on the contract is still a long time and it is normal that there are no talks in progress.”