Charles Leclerc says he’s not ready to discuss new Ferrari contract

Charles Leclerc raced for Frederic Vasseur's team in GP3 in 2016, a series he won before moving to Formula 2 in 2017.

Ferrari star Charles Leclerc has been left “very impressed” by the start of Frederic Vasseur’s tenure as team principal, with the Frenchman having “understood extremely well” what it means to be a member of the Scuderia.

Vasseur’s move to the Maranello-based team was speculated ahead of the season finale last season, before it was officially announced not long after Mattia Binotto’s resignation was confirmed.

Leclerc’s former Alfa Romeo boss officially started his new role on January 9, meaning he’s led the Italians now for just over a month.

In that time, they’ve applied the finishing touches to their 2023 car – the SF-23 – and have also officially launched it ahead of pre-season testing.

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There is certainly a lot of positivity surrounding the team heading into 2023, despite the side having endured so many issues last season, mostly brought upon themselves.

Leclerc has revealed that Vasseur has been “very clear in what he wants”, with the Frenchman certainly set on ensuring that Ferrari make the most of what is believed to be a very good 2023 car.

“I was very impressed by how well he introduced himself in the team,” Leclerc said.

“Ferrari is very different to whatever we are used to before. Ferrari is huge. And once he got here, he understood extremely well the way Ferrari works from the first few days.

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“He’s very clear in what he wants and he’s extremely good at putting the people in the right mindset and in the right ambiance to give their best. And this is very important.

“So, that’s what he brings to Ferrari and I’m sure it will be a good thing.”

A matter for Vasseur to perhaps deal with shortly is Leclerc’s contract status, with the Monegasque’s deal set to expire at the end of 2024.

Team-mate Carlos Sainz is also in need of a new deal from 2025; however, getting Leclerc’s signature is likely Ferrari’s priority.

For the time being, though, Leclerc isn’t thinking about a new contract just yet, with the 25-year-old believing that “it’s not time yet” for talks to get underway.

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“Speaking about my renewal in Ferrari, it’s not something that I’ve been particularly thinking [about] already,” Leclerc explained to reporters, at the launch of the SF-23.

“It’s still a long way to go – two years. I will, of course, do my best.

“Not for the negotiations, but for myself and for the team. And then I will of course… you will know, for sure, when talks start. But it’s not the time yet.”