Ferrari have confirmed that Charles Leclerc will be extending his contract with the team past 2024.
The Monegasque’s current deal was set to expire at the end of this season, with reports that he could consider leaving the Scuderia after a number of mishaps and frustrating performances from the team.
However, that speculation has now ended with Leclerc opting to instead stick with the outfit he first joined in 2019 after an impressive rookie season with Alfa Romeo.
In a statement, Leclerc said he remains committed to pushing for a first World Championship with Ferrari since Kimi Raikkonen in 2007.
“I’m very pleased to know that I will be wearing the Scuderia Ferrari race suit for several more seasons to come. To race for this team has been my dream since I was three years old: I used to watch the Monaco Grand Prix from the window of a friend’s apartment at Ste. Devote corner and I would always look out for the red cars,” Leclerc said.
“This team is my second family ever since I joined the Ferrari Driver Academy in 2016 and we have achieved a lot together, fighting through thick and thin over the past five years.
“However, I believe the best is yet to come and I can’t wait for this season to start, to make further progress and be competitive at every race.
“My dream remains that of winning the World Championship with Ferrari and I’m sure that in the years ahead, we will enjoy great times together and make our fans happy.
Leclerc joined the Ferrari academy back in 2016, and was picked to make the step up to Formula 1 after a dominant, championship winning season in F2 in 2017.
With talent clear for all to see at Alfa Romeo, he was given the chance to step up to the main Ferrari to replace Raikkonen alongside Sebastian Vettel, with the team chasing down the dominant Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton.
Despite going up against the four-time champion Vettel, Leclerc more than held his own, becoming the youngest driver in the Scuderia’s history to win a Grand Prix, with a victory at the iconic Spa-Francorchamps circuit, topped by victory at Monza at the next race.
But in the past few season, a series of technical mishaps, poor strategic decisions by the pitwall, and issues with the car had prompted speculation that Leclerc could look to take his talents elsewhere on the grid, with report interest from Mercedes and Red Bull.
With this new contract, however, that is no more.
“Charles’ bond to the Scuderia goes beyond that of just a driver and a team, as he has been part of the Ferrari family for eight years now, dating back to a time before he first sported the Prancing Horse emblem on his race suit,” Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur said.
“His values and those of our team are intertwined and so it was natural for us to be in agreement on extending our collaboration. We know him for his incessant desire to push himself to the limit and we appreciate his extraordinary abilities when it comes to fighting and overtaking in a race.
“We are determined to give Charles a winning car and I know that his determination and commitment are elements that can make the difference in helping us reach our goals.”