‘Treated like a king’ – Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari rumoured mega deal assessed

Thomas Maher
Charles Leclerc looks on in the Ferrari garage at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Charles Leclerc will have a new team-mate in 2025 with Lewis Hamilton arriving at Ferrari.

Martin Brundle believes Charles Leclerc receives treatment befitting a king at Ferrari, which could help secure his loyalty for the long-term.

Leclerc is entering the final year of his existing contract with the Scuderia although, if rumours in Italian media are to be believed, the Monegasque driver may have already signed a long-term extension to stay racing with Ferrari for five more years (and perhaps as much as €50 million per year!).

Having risen through the ranks of the junior categories with Ferrari backing, Leclerc’s arrival into the F1 outfit in 2019 has netted him 23 pole positions and seven wins, but he hasn’t yet been able to mount a consistent title challenge as the team’s performance hasn’t quite been there behind him.

Martin Brundle: Ferrari have demonstrated promise to Charles Leclerc

Having had to bear the disappointment of watching a strong start to 2022 and the new ground-effect regulations give way to utter dominance from contemporary rival Max Verstappen as Red Bull have swept all before them, has Leclerc been tempted to try switching teams and starting afresh elsewhere?

Appearing on a special Q&A with Sky Sports F1, renowned commentator and broadcaster Martin Brundle was asked for his thoughts on why Leclerc would put pen to paper on a long-term deal since Ferrari have consistently failed to deliver during his already long stint with Maranello.

“Rumours are rumours, but I imagine Charles likes it there,” Brundle said.

“I mean, who wouldn’t want to drive for Ferrari? And I’m sure they pay him very well and treat him like a king, and have demonstrated to him the promise, the crystal ball – where they start winning and lots of things.

“I also know from all contracts that they tend to be very confidential and if there’s any exit clauses, they’re confidential. So unless you’re actually signing a contract or involved in creating it, we’ll never really know the true facts.

“But if he signed a longer-term deal for Ferrari, I wouldn’t be that surprised, but again, you’ve got to keep your options open.”

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Charles Leclerc: Ferrari is a ‘completely different passion’

Leclerc himself spoke about the pressures of Ferrari in an interview with Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport, in which he addressed the theory that the Scuderia face more external pressure and scrutiny than other teams.

“Others might get away with it more easily, but we have to live with it,” he said.

“Ferrari is Ferrari for a reason. There is simply a completely different passion there.

“Anyone who signs a contract with Ferrari, whether as a driver or in any other function, has to accept that they are under more pressure than others. I have no problem with that.

“I think we are dealing with it better than in the past.”

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