Charles Leclerc pushed back at any assertion that he’s avoiding committing to Ferrari after saying he’s barely spoken with the team about renewing his current deal, which expires at the end of 2024.
Leclerc‘s been with Ferrari since 2016 and after winning GP3 and F2 under their guidance, he became the first academy driver to graduate to the top team in 2019 following an extremely successful debut season with Sauber.
Since then he outclassed Sebastian Vettel in two seasons at the team, and has secured five wins and 25 podiums for the Scuderia.
When asked whether he’s avoiding putting all his eggs in Ferrari‘s basket, Leclerc responded: “I’m not saying that, Ferrari has been the team that has helped me to get to where I am, I’ve never hidden that I’ve always been extremely happy to be in Ferrari.
“Of course, the team and I are not happy where we are at the moment, but I think we’re working in the right direction, I’m confident we’re working in the right direction.
“And again, I love Ferrari so I’m happy there.”
Leclerc’s reveals extent of Ferrari contract negotiations
Rumours that Leclerc could be Lewis Hamilton‘s replacement at Mercedes have been swirling for a while, and after the 2023 Canadian Grand Prix Ralf Schumacher said Leclerc should push for a move to Aston Martin in place of either Fernando Alonso or Lance Stroll.
However, after Carlos Sainz said he wanted to have his 2025 drive sorted ahead of his contract’s final year Leclerc refused to comment on his future aside from confirming some very tentative conversations have taken place with Ferrari.
“I don’t have any particular deadlines,” Leclerc told the media. “I still feel like a year and a half is a long way to go. It’s not really on my mind yet, we’re slowly starting to speak about it here and there but nothing special, nothing specific. It’s just jokes here and nothing formal or specific?
“It’s probably the first time in my career that I’m in this position, it’s a different situation but I don’t mind I just focus on driving. I just hope to win as quickly as possible in Ferrari for now.”
“So again, I feel like it’s still a long way to go. And I don’t feel it’s now the time to start talking about it.”