Frederic Vasseur laughs when asked about future of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz

Carlos Sainz's and Charles Leclerc's contracts are both set to expire at the end of 2024, meaning negotiations could take place during the 2023 season.

Frederic Vasseur has begun to settle into life as Ferrari’s new team principal, with the Frenchman having faced the media recently at the team’s base in Maranello.

Vasseur has been brought into the Italian side following the departure of Mattia Binotto, who incredibly worked for the Scuderia for 28 years.

The Frenchman began his new job towards the start of January, following his final day as team principal at Alfa Romeo.

It hasn’t taken long, though, for the Frenchman to already be asked about the future of the team and in particular, the futures of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.

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Both of the driver’s contracts are due to expire at the end of next season, meaning that negotiations could begin this season to reduce any potential unnecessary pressure in 2024.

Given that 2023 has only just begun though, contract negotiations aren’t currently a “priority” for Vasseur, with the immediate task being on “getting results”.

“I joined Ferrari two weeks ago,” laughed Vasseur to select journalists at Maranello.

“I think we still have many months of contract with Charles ahead of us so I don’t want to put this issue on the table today.

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“I don’t think it’s the priority right now. We have a good relationship and we’ll have time to talk, but first we have to be focused on our performance and getting results.”

Life at Ferrari has supposedly started very nicely for Vasseur, with the Italians having worked incredibly hard over the winter.

The Maranello-based team have reportedly been working flat out to solve their power unit reliability issues, which severely affected their push for the title last season.

It’s believed that the Italians haven’t only fixed the issues with their power unit, but have also found an additional 30hp, something that will likely come as music to the ears of Leclerc and Sainz.

Vasseur, though, has silenced the speculation and has questioned where the numbers have “come from”.

“I don’t know where these sorts of numbers come from,” Vasseur insisted.

“Last year, engine performance was not the problem – it was reliability,” he added.

“It seems to be fine now, but reliability on the track is another thing because the problems can come from vibrations and many other things.

“We will have a clearer picture in Bahrain.”

Remarkably, Vasseur is the first non-Italian team principal at Ferrari since fellow Frenchman Jean Todt, who oversaw Ferrari’s most dominant period.

Todt was in charge of the team during Michael Schumacher’s glory days, with some having already compared Vasseur to Todt.

As flattering as any comparisons are, Vasseur has admitted that himself and Todt can’t be compared, but that they will be meeting up soon.

“I’ve already heard a couple of comments like that,” Vasseur said.

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“You can’t compare what happened back then,” he added. “Formula 1 is constantly changing, for example with the regulations or the cost cap.

“I have exchanged ideas with Jean via Whatsapp and we will meet soon too. Any advice is welcome.

“But you cannot compare 1994 or 1995 with now.”