Charles Leclerc refuses to rule out Ferrari exit amid Mercedes links

Charles Leclerc’s current contract with Ferrari expires at the end of the 2024 season.

Charles Leclerc is the golden boy of Ferrari, having been signed by the team back in 2019 on a long-term contract, with the Scuderia seeing the Monegasque driver as their future.

During his first few seasons in red, the 25-year-old learned a vast amount from the legendary Sebastian Vettel, before he was replaced by McLaren’s Carlos Sainz.

For the majority of his Ferrari career, Leclerc has been forced to battle for podiums while watching Mercedes and Red Bull battle it out for championships, but last year everything changed.

Ferrari looked reborn under the new regulations, the team and Leclerc building up a healthy lead in both championships while some of their rivals faltered.

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It all ended in tears for the Monegasque however, as he missed out on the championship to Max Verstappen after a series of reliability issues and strategic errors cost him and the team a whole host of points.

Leclerc’s current contract expires at the end of 2024 and following such a disappointing end to last year, the 25-year-old has remained coy on his future.

“No, there are no talks ongoing for now at least,” he told Sky Sports when asked about his contract situation.

“I love the red colour. I love Ferrari. I’m very happy here. But we’ll see what the future holds.

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“Obviously it’s very early to speak about this, my contract ends in ’24. But I’ll know once there are some talks starting.”

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Leclerc will most likely wait to see how competitive the SF-23 is before he makes a decision on his future, with all of Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes set to be challenging for this season’s title.

Rumours have suggested that the SF-23 will be over a second quicker than last year’s car meaning that if their reliability issues have been solved, the team could be the ones to beat this season.

With Fred Vasseur at the helm, Ferrari’s fortunes could be completely different this year, with the Scuderia hoping that a strong showing in 2023 will convince Leclerc to commit his future to the team.