Charles Leclerc: ‘I know you are worried that I could go to Mercedes’

Charles Leclerc has been linked with a move away from Ferrari when his contract ends at the end of 2024.

When Ferrari signed Charles Leclerc from Sauber in 2019, the Monegasque driver was seen as the Golden Boy and the future of the team.

During his first few seasons with the Scuderia, Leclerc was forced to fight for podiums while watching Red Bull and Mercedes battle it out for championships, where Ferrari deserved to be.

Everything changed last season however, as Ferrari came on leaps and bounds under the new regulations to become true title challengers. 

Leclerc and Ferrari build up a healthy lead in both championships before reliability issues and strategic errors allowed Red Bull to become runaway winners of both titles.

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The 25-year-old was reportedly not on speaking terms with former team principal Mattia Binotto at the end of the season and the Swiss has now been replaced by Fred Vasseur.

With Leclerc’s contract with Ferrari set to expire at the end of next season, there have been rumours that the 25-year-old could jump ship, should the Scuderia not improve their fortunes this year.

The Monegasque has been quick to rubbish these rumours however, claiming that there have been no negotiations with Mercedes, a team which he has been linked with in recent weeks.

“I don’t want to put this topic on the table today. It wouldn’t be a good way to start the collaboration,” he told Quotidiano Nazionale when asked about his contract situation.

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“We have to be focused on the sporting side and results.

“There is no hurry. I know you are worried that I could go to Mercedes, but honestly there are no negotiations.

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“I feel good at Ferrari – I feel the enthusiasm of the people. I am exciting by the idea of crowning the dream, mine and everyone’s, of winning here.”

The SF-23 is reportedly set to be a significant improvement on last year’s car, with the Scuderia rumoured to have shaves over a second off of last year’s lap times.

Should the team be able to solve their reliability woes this season, Ferrari could emerge as early favourites for the championship, with Leclerc more than capable of winning both championships for the team.