Charles Leclerc and Ferrari dispute each other’s contract claims

Mounting tension at Ferrari could be a barrier in upcoming contract negotiations between Charles Leclerc and Ferrari.

The relationship between Charles Leclerc and Ferrari continues to show signs of strain as conflicting statements emerge regarding contract negotiations. 

Leclerc asserted that initial talks have commenced, while Ferrari team boss Fred Vasseur denied any ongoing discussions.

Known for his self-critical nature, Leclerc has recently shifted his mindset and started directing criticism towards his team as Ferrari endures a disappointing start to the 2023 F1 season.

 The tensions reached a boiling point during the Canadian Grand Prix when Leclerc expressed his frustrations over a strategy mistake that led to his elimination in Q2. 

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The driver later apologized internally after the incident was discussed.

Speculation surrounding Leclerc’s potential departure from Ferrari has been fuelled by the mounting tension. 

Former World Champion Damon Hill and Ralf Schumacher have mentioned Aston Martin as a possible destination, while Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has also expressed interest in Leclerc for their long-term driver options. 

However, Leclerc’s current contract with Ferrari runs until the end of 2024.

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Ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix, Leclerc provided an update suggesting that he intends to stay with the Scuderia. 

He revealed that talks about a new contract with Ferrari are slowly progressing and expressed his love for the team.

“We’re starting slowly to speak about it, yes,” Leclerc stated. 

“To be honest, it’s not really on my mind yet. 

“When I say we slowly started talking about it, it’s just here and there, but nothing special, nothing specific. 

“I love Ferrari, so I’m happy here.”

Contradicting Leclerc’s claims, team boss Vasseur clarified that discussions regarding new deals for both Leclerc and his teammate Carlos Sainz, whose contract also runs until the end of 2024, are not currently being pursued. 

Vasseur stated that talks are not a priority at the moment and should only be expected to begin “during the summer” or afterward.

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Vasseur explained: “There are 18 months to go, the same goes for Charles.” 

“At this moment introducing the renewal topic would be a distraction, I told their managers a couple of weeks ago. 

“The priority is for the drivers to work together to develop the car. Then during the summer, or afterwards, we will start talking about it.”