Charles Leclerc reportedly close to signing a long-term contract extension with Ferrari
It is being reported that F1 driver Charles Leclerc Is close to signing a long-term contract extension with the Ferrari F1 team.
The Monegasque driver found some late-season form to help the Italian team close down the gap to Mercedes in their battle for P2 in the constructor's championship. He secured back-to-back P2 finishes to end at P5 in the championship, level on points with Fernando Alonso.
However, there was some uncertainty about Leclerc signing a new deal with the Ferrari team as his contract runs out at the end of the 2024 season. He had previously stated that he wanted to compete for the world championship and bring back the glory to the Prancing Horses shortly.
Some reports have stated that he is increasingly likely to sign a contract extension with the Italian team which will see him racing for them until the end of the 2026 season. It is also being hinted that he might get a starting salary of €25m, which would double to €50m by the final year of his terms.
Charles Leclerc reflects on the 2023 season
Charles Leclerc acknowledged that there was a lot of work to do for the Italian team heading into the 2024 season as they had two completely different halves in 2023.
Speaking with the media, including RacingNews365, the Monegasque driver said:
"We've worked on the consistency of the car in different conditions, which helped a lot my driving style, which I like quite a lot to have an oversteery car and a strong front, which in the first part of the season I couldn't quite do that.
"There's still a lot of work to do because especially into the race, with the tires, everything depends on details that we need to get everything right, and at the moment, our car is not good enough and not consistent enough, especially on long runs, so we are working on that."
Charles Leclerc added in his post-race press conference:
"On one hand, it is good to finish a season like that. That gives me the confidence that, for next year, hopefully, we know more about where we need to set up our car and where the development needs to be done. On the other hand, there's still a long way to go before getting to the Red Bull pace, especially in terms of race pace."
It will be fascinating to see if Ferrari can produce a championship-contending car in the 2024 season which might allow Charles Leclerc to fight for the title.