Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc has a clause in his contract that could see him walk away from Ferrari, according to Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.
The clause allegedly states that Ferrari must finish at least third in the Constructors’ Championship in 2022, otherwise the Monegasque could be free to leave the Scuderia at the end of the year.
Leclerc finished seventh in the championship last season, managing one podium via a second-placed finish at the British Grand Prix in July.
He was out-scored by new team mate Carlos Sainz, with Ferrari coming home third in the Constructors’ Championship in 2021.
The 24-year-old managed two wins in his debut season with the Scuderia in 2019, namely at the Belgian and Italian Grand Prix, prompting team principal Mattia Binotto to award him with a multi-year contract to the end of the season.
Leclerc was delighted at the time of signing, saying: “I am very happy to be staying on with Scuderia Ferrari. This past season, driving for the most illustrious team in Formula 1, has been a dream year for me.”
He continued: “I cannot wait to enjoy an even deeper relationship with the team after what has been an intense and exciting 2019. I’m keen to see what the future holds and I can’t wait to get going again next season.”
Leclerc also got 10 podiums in his first year in red, adding two more in what turned out to be a painful 2020 for Ferrari.
Some improvements have been seen this year, but it has now surfaced that Leclerc has particular performance demands for his team.
It is unclear as yet where Leclerc would go if he were to leave Ferrari at the end of next year. Sergio Perez and Daniel Ricciardo will both be out of contract at Red Bull and McLaren respectively, leaving those as potential opportunities should he depart.
Leclerc will enter his fifth season in F1 in 2022 after joining the sport with Alfa Romeo Sauber in 2018.