Charles Leclerc continues to show tremendous loyalty and belief in the success of the Scuderia Ferrari F1 project.
Only recently have reports confirmed the start of contract talks between Leclerc and Ferrari. With the 26-year-old’s contract expiring at the end of 2024, the Italian outfit is eager to secure his future.
Next year’s driver market is set to be highly volatile, with several drivers on expiring contracts. As a result, there is an additional sense of urgency for the Maranello-based team.
To be clear, Leclerc still has no obvious alternatives in the F1 market. The big names like Red Bull and Mercedes aren’t realistic destinations, whilst most other teams on the grid don’t represent evident upgrades.
At least until the regulations change in 2026, Ferrari is a relatively safe bet to secure podiums and Pole Positions. Whilst Leclerc’s ambitions are to fight for Championships, there is still huge risk and potentially limited reward in looking outside the team.
However, this is not why Ferrari will be urgently working to secure a new contract. The F1 field is unlikely to experience a massive reversal in 2024 or 2025, but there will undoubtedly be some big surprises when the regulations change.
This means that any drivers on contracts that expire in 2026 will be able to assess which teams are excelling under the new F1 engines. Potentially, this could leave the Scuderia vulnerable if their star driver wants to consider other options.
Of course, if Leclerc signs a two-year extension, it would still be a massive boost for the team. Still, Fred Vasseur likely wants to avoid a scenario where Leclerc is exploring potential alternatives in a few seasons.
Leclerc committed to Ferrari
Then again, all of these hypotheticals boil down to the team’s performance. Leclerc continues to emphasise his commitment to Ferrari:
“Ferrari is so special, and I wouldn’t change my position with anyone else on the grid,” he told ESPN.
“Do I want to win World Championships? Of course… But do I want to change my place with anyone? No.”
The next six months will provide insight into how enthusiastically the 26-year-old approaches contract talks with Ferrari.
It seems clear he wants to continue even longer in Maranello, but he might be more direct about securing specific performance clauses in any new deal he signs.