Contrary to previous statements indicating that contract talks with Charles Leclerc would only occur at the end of the season, Ferrari’s new team principal, Frederic Vasseur, has confirmed that discussions about an extension have already commenced.
While there has been speculation that Leclerc may be less eager than his teammate Carlos Sainz to initiate negotiations for a contract beyond 2024, the team’s focus remains on improving their performance on the track.
Leclerc, currently 25 years old, expressed his perspective on the matter, emphasising the team’s present challenges.
“On my side, we are in quite a difficult situation at the moment, and the priority is to first focus on the job we’ve got to do with the car because we are quite far off Red Bull,” he explained during an event at Monza.
Despite this, he reaffirmed his commitment to Ferrari, stating, “But I would love to win a world championship with Ferrari, and I’m not too worried about when the discussions will start.
“I’m not in a rush.”
Vasseur, on the other hand, provided insight into the team’s plans, stating, “We are starting to discuss the extension of Charles’ contract from 2025.
“He is part of the team.
“We have to give him the best car possible, and he has to be the best driver he can be.”
Meanwhile, Carlos Sainz addressed recent rumours of Audi’s interest in his services, asserting his commitment to Ferrari until the end of his current contract in 2024.
He stated, “I will continue at Ferrari until the end of 2024 when I have a contract,” before dismissing the speculation, saying, “There are times when it is not worth commenting on rumours.”
As Ferrari continues to grapple with the challenges posed by their struggling 2023 car, Sainz shed light on the team’s approach.
He revealed that they are utilising the latter part of the year to test components for the 2024 car, signalling a shift in their development direction. “It is a big change, and it is time to learn as much as possible for 2024,” Sainz explained to Spanish reporters.
Ferrari is down in a lowly P4 position in the Constructors’ Standings, having been hurt by a string of poor outings in the first half of the season.
At Monza, the Italian outfit will be dreaming of securing an ounce of redemption, showing they can still compete for positions against their closest rivals.