Ferrari boss mum on 2024 car, Charles Leclerc’s contract

Ferrari’s performance so far this season has raised concerns about the Italian team's plans for 2024.

Following a lacklustre performance at the 2023 Dutch Grand Prix, Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur remained tight-lipped about the team’s 2024 car development and Charles Leclerc’s contract extension. 

The team’s underwhelming showing at Zandvoort saw them secure a mere 10 points, primarily attributed to Carlos Sainz’s fifth-place finish.

Sainz’s qualifying position behind competitors from five different constructors and Leclerc’s retirement due to floor damage showcased Ferrari’s struggles as they approach their home race. 

After entering the 2022 season as contenders for the world championship, Ferrari’s performance in 2023 has been a disappointment.

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Addressing speculations surrounding Leclerc’s contract extension, Vasseur emphasised the team’s focus on collaboration and improvement:

“Charles has a contract with us for next year, we are starting to discuss the extension for 2023 per the plan. 

“I think that we are a team, Charles is part of the team. 

“We are trying to give Charles the car that we can, he has given us the best drive that he can. 

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“And if we have to improve altogether.”

As Vasseur approaches the end of his tenure as the head of Ferrari, observers are yet to witness significant changes compared to the previous regime under Mattia Binotto. 

While there have been some shifts in the engineering department, the team’s overall trajectory appears to remain steady without substantial breakthroughs.

The 2024 season will serve as Vasseur’s litmus test, as it will be the first car to reflect his vision and strategic direction. 

With oversight over the entire development process, Vasseur’s influence on the 2024 car’s design and philosophy will be crucial in determining Ferrari’s future performance.

“I don’t want to speak about next year’s car,” Vasseur stated, reaffirming his focus on the present. 

“For sure it’s a different project, it’s a different project for everybody. 

“We’re all trying to extract the best from the regulations and to do a step forward now, we have still eight or nine races to go and we have some upgrades to come in the next couple of races.

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“Next year’s project is different.”

Vasseur’s comments leave fans and analysts speculating about the team’s strategy moving forward. 

With the 2023 season nearing its conclusion, Ferrari faces the challenge of reclaiming their competitive edge and addressing the performance gaps that have emerged.