Ferrari chairman John Elkann has confirmed that Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz will remain their drivers beyond F1 2024.
The latest F1 ‘silly season’ proved to be anything but, with only Logan Sargeant’s anticipated retention at Williams needed to confirm an unchanged grid for the F1 2024 campaign.
Various expiring contracts mean the next ‘silly season’ has strong potential for more twists and turns, though it seems Ferrari duo Leclerc and Sainz will not be part of any dramas.
Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz to stay with Ferrari
Leclerc and Sainz have Ferrari deals which are set to expire after F1 2024, both drivers having been linked with a move away.
While no specific team had been speculated as Leclerc’s next destination, apparent mounting tension between driver and team in a disappointing F1 2023 campaign, plus the delays to new contract talks while Leclerc was repeatedly stating his desire to stay with Ferrari, sparked talk over his future.
Sainz meanwhile has moved to quash reports linking him to Audi, set to join the F1 grid in 2026 in partnership with Sauber.
Elkann though has put a stop to the talk, by confirming that Leclerc and Sainz will be Ferrari drivers beyond F1 2024.
“They will certainly stay with us,” Elkann is widely reported by Italian media to have told Agenzia Italpress.
After falling away from the 2022 title battle, the first season of F1’s new ground effect regulations, Ferrari hoped to hit back with a fresh title push this time around.
That did not materialise though, Ferrari achieving the slight consolation of being the only non-Red Bull winner of F1 2023 via Sainz in Singapore, though with Red Bull winning the other 21 grands prix, while Mercedes beat Ferrari to P2 in the Constructors’ Championship, Elkann conceded it was a disappointing campaign.
However, Elkann also took inspiration from the seven pole positions achieved across F1 2023 as he challenges Ferrari to now start converting them into more frequent wins.
“It was a disappointing season because we did not manage to finish second in the Constructors’ Championship,” said Elkann.
“In the final part of the Championship, however, we managed to compete with Red Bull, taking many pole positions. Now we have to convert poles into wins.”
Sainz going from pole to victory in Singapore was the only F1 2023 example of Ferrari turning that P1 grid slot into a victory.