F1 2025 seat secured with new mega deal signed, plus more Red Bull confusion – F1 news round-up

Oliver Harden
Charles Leclerc points to the Ferrari badge. Baku, April 2023.

Charles Leclerc points to the Ferrari badge after setting pole position at the 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

No prizes for guessing the big F1 news story on Thursday after Ferrari announced that Charles Leclerc has signed a new long-term contract.

Leclerc is often described as the fastest driver over a single lap and has committed his future to the Scuderia as he prepares for his sixth full season in red.

On a day the fall out from the Red Bull junior team’s rebrand continued, here are today’s main headlines…

Charles Leclerc signs new Ferrari contract

Leclerc has ended speculation over his F1 future by signing a new contract with Ferrari.

Leclerc, who has claimed five victories and 23 pole positions since arriving at the Scuderia in 2019, had entered the final 12 months of his previous deal.

Ferrari have refrained from putting an exact number on the length of his new deal, but in a team statement Leclerc has said he will continue to race in red for “several more seasons to come.”

The future of Leclerc’s team-mate, Carlos Sainz, remains unresolved with the Spaniard’s current contract due to expire at the end of 2024.

Read more: Charles Leclerc extends Ferrari deal in huge boost ahead of 2024 season

More Red Bull confusion after AlphaTauri rebrand

The FIA’s entry list for F1 2024 has revealed an unusual company name in place of Red Bull’s former AlphaTauri squad.

AlphaTauri announced their team rebrand for 2024 on Wednesday, with the second Red Bull team taking the official name of ‘Visa Cash App RB Formula 1 Team’ for the upcoming season.

Rumours the team was set to be renamed Racing Bulls for 2024 proved without merit, with no official use of that title in the team name, but the FIA’s 2024 entry list has revealed the actual company name has changed.

Read more: Official FIA entry list adds to confusion over Red Bull team name

Aston Martin confident of not repeating 2023 mistake

After their development problems in 2023, Aston Martin are now confident they have a better understanding of their car ahead of the new season.

Aston Martin started the 2023 season very strongly, but fell away and admitted they had made errors over their choice of development.

But they believe that will be a thing of the past with performance director Tom McCullough suggesting they “know what parts” to bring to a circuit.

Read more: Big Aston Martin breakthrough as AMR24 build plans come to light

Ex-Mercedes boss sings Max Verstappen praises…

Ex-Mercedes CEO Nick Fry believes Max Verstappen would still win in a “sh*tbox” as the drivers in equal machinery debate rages on.

Verstappen has won 44 of the last 66 races stretching back to the start of his maiden title-winning season, but in an attempt to discredit his success some have attributed his achievement to the Red Bull car.

Read more: Ex-Mercedes CEO makes Max Verstappen ‘sh*tbox’ claim in equal F1 car debate

And issues a warning to McLaren

Fry has also cast doubt on McLaren’s ability to challenge Red Bull for the F1 2024 World Championship, claiming the team must be “realistic about their evolution.”

McLaren are aiming to take the fight to the reigning champions this year after recovering from a slow start to 2023 to emerge as the most consistent threat to Red Bull and Verstappen.

Read more: McLaren warning issued over F1 2024 chances with key Mercedes advantage made