Charles Leclerc once more signals his long-term allegiance lies with the Scuderia.
Amid an underwhelming performance at Zandvoort, especially for the Monegasque pilot, buzz circulated about Leclerc’s potential reluctance for any contract discussions beyond 2024.
Yet, in an interview with La Repubblica newspaper, he firmly negated any dialogue with Mercedes’ Toto Wolff.
“Nothing real or serious, ever,” Leclerc insisted.
“I love Ferrari, I believe in it like the first day and as long as it is like this I will be there,” he added.
Jody Scheckter, the 1979 world champion, conveyed his understanding for Leclerc in a talk with Osterreich newspaper, acknowledging that the iconic Italian squad consistently faces turmoil.
“Even in my time, the last Ferrari world champion was ages ago,” he said. “These ups and downs are simply part of Ferrari.
“The reason is also in the Italian mentality, where consistency is not the top priority, but emotion.”
And despite frequent hardships at Ferrari, Leclerc expressed that his dream of becoming the first world champion in red since Kimi Raikkonen is still very much alive.
“I know that right now I don’t have the car to fight with Max (Verstappen),” he said, “but I have no doubts that my path is right.
“I’ll look back at my career when I stop, but I have no regrets or remorse. I’m happy at Ferrari,” Leclerc added.
This comes as Max Verstappen, piloting a Red Bull, is preparing to make his way to Ferrari’s home base at Monza this weekend, with a shot at achieving an unprecedented tenth consecutive grand prix win.
“Am I comparing myself to Max? Yes and no,” Leclerc said. “But I would never trade places with him.
“Every time I close my visor, I think only about victory. But winning the race this season will not be easy. There are so many things that need to be improved.
“We need stability,” he explained. “The main thing is to get ahead of the teams competing for second in the constructors’ championship. Then Red Bull is the next goal.”
Formula 1 analysts largely agree that Leclerc seems genuinely settled at Ferrari—especially since the managerial switch earlier this year when Mattia Binotto was succeeded by Frederic Vasseur as the team’s chief.
“I agree with all of his plans,” Leclerc revealed.
“He has a method of work that is different from that of Mattia. It’s interesting now to see the point of view of both of them and understand that you didn’t notice some things for so many years.
“It’s a direct relationship with Frederic. He communicates openly with me, without people in the middle, which helps me as a driver.”