The Monegasque driver’s present contract runs out on the finish of the 2024 season and there was no rush from both his aspect or Ferrari’s to get an extension sorted out to date.
That delay, allied to a irritating marketing campaign with Ferrari that didn’t ship the outcomes hoped for, triggered speculation about other teams vying for Leclerc’s service.
Entrance-runners Mercedes, Aston Martin and Purple Bull have all been seen as potential choices for him as there might be vacancies by 2025.
However regardless of clearly weighing up different alternatives, Leclerc has made it clear that his precedence is to fulfil his dream and win the F1 championship with Ferrari, and that seeing even the smallest of likelihood to attain that might be sufficient to make sure he stays.
Talking in an unique interview with Autosport, Leclerc stated it was pure drivers would weigh up possibilities that they had elsewhere – however that didn’t sway his dedication to his present staff.
“After all, I feel each driver has thought-about their totally different choices, as soon as they get the [possibility],” he stated.
“However I’ve an enormous love of Ferrari. And my first goal and my first dream is to change into a world champion with Ferrari, greater than the rest.
“So, if there is a slight alternative for it to occur, I’ll have little question about pushing to remain right here a minimum of.”
Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23
Photograph by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images
Leclerc stated he was not blind to how troublesome issues had been for the staff this yr, however insisted that isn’t a motive to imagine issues can’t enhance.
“It’s clear, I feel for everyone inside the staff, that we aren’t pleased with the scenario we’re in at this time, in that we wish to win,” he stated.
“However I love Ferrari. It looks like house to me. And I can’t say far more as a result of there was no dialogue in anyway other than a number of jokes right here and there.”
Leclerc performed down any suggestion that the delay in getting contract talks underway was something to be anxious about, as he understood that Ferrari had to focus on making itself quicker.
“I simply assume it’s not most likely the precedence in the intervening time: not for me, however neither for the staff,” he stated. “We’re simply specializing in what’s actually essential now.
“It’s to be as aggressive as shortly as doable once more. After which we’ll see. However once more, I really like Ferrari and it looks like house.”
No catching Purple Bull
Ferrari had hoped to construct on its race-winning type from 2022 to struggle for the world championship this yr.
Nevertheless, it has discovered itself on the backfoot with rival Purple Bull having produced a dominant RB19 automotive that has received all of the grands prix to date.
Charles Leclerc, Scuderia Ferrari, within the post-qualifying Press Convention
Photograph by: Motorsport Images
Though Ferrari has made good progress in attending to the underside of the inconsistency issues which have harm it on Sundays, Leclerc feels it’s an excessive amount of to anticipate it to shut your complete hole to Purple Bull earlier than the tip of the marketing campaign.
Nevertheless, he thinks that Ferrari can get itself right into a place to finish the yr as better of the remainder, and forward of major rivals Mercedes, McLaren and Aston Martin.
“I feel the practical goal, a minimum of [the one] we wish to repair ourselves, is to be the strongest staff after Purple Bull and to shut the hole to Purple Bull,” he stated.
“Then, for 2024, there aren’t any doubts that in everyone’s thoughts the goal is to be again on high and preventing Purple Bull.
“I imagine realistically, and that is solely my opinion, that earlier than the tip of the yr, we cannot be capable to catch Purple Bull. However the goal can be a minimum of to be in entrance of McLaren, Mercedes, and Aston Martin. This can be our goal.”