Charles Leclerc Inks Extension With Ferrari

Leclerc

Charles Leclerc has extended his Formula One contract with the Scuderia Ferrari team. (Ferrari photo)

MARANELLO, Italy – Charles Leclerc has finalized an extension with the Scuderia Ferrari Formula One team to continue driving for the organization beyond this year.

The Monégasque driver is set to embark on his seventh season in the Formula One World Championship, again teaming with Carlos Sainz, who is signed with Ferrari through 2024.

“Charles’ bond to the Scuderia goes beyond that of just a driver and a team, as he has been part of the Ferrari family for eight years now, dating back to a time before he first sported the Prancing Horse emblem on his race suit,” noted Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur. “His values and those of our team are intertwined, so it was natural for us to agree on extending our collaboration.

“We know Charles for his incessant desire to push himself to the limit, and we appreciate his extraordinary abilities when it comes to fighting and overtaking in a race,” Vasseur continued. “We are determined to give Charles a winning car and I know that his determination and commitment are elements that can make the difference in helping us reach our goals.”

Leclerc is one of the most prominent graduates of the Ferrari Driver Academy. He joined the FDA in 2016, dominating in Formula 2 the following year en route to the championship with Prema Racing. He spent the 2018 season honing his F-1 race craft at Sauber before moving to the Ferrari factory team.

A win in the 2019 Belgian Grand Prix at historic Spa-Francorchamps that year made Leclerc the youngest driver in Ferrari’s 75-year history to stand atop an F-1 podium for the team. He backed that victory up a week later at Ferrari’s home race, the Italian Grand Prix at Autodromo Nazionale di Monza.

Three Grand Prix victories in 2022 led to a career-best runner-up finish in the F-1 driver’s standings, but the dominance of rival Red Bull Racing last year saw Leclerc go winless and fade back to fifth in points.

The 26-year-old has five wins and 30 podium finishes in 124 F-1 grand prix starts, with 23 pole positions that have all been earned with Scuderia Ferrari.

That pole mark places Leclerc in a tie with Niki Lauda for second among Ferrari drivers, with only Michael Schumacher ahead of him. Schumacher earned 58 of his 68 F-1 poles at the wheel of a Ferrari entry.

Leclerc will continue to carry his career number, the No. 16, going forward with Ferrari.

“I’m very pleased to know that I will be wearing the Scuderia Ferrari race suit for several more seasons to come,” said Leclerc. “To race for this team has been my dream since I was three years old. I used to watch the Monaco Grand Prix from the window of a friend’s apartment at Ste. Devote corner, and I would always look out for the red cars. This team has been my second family ever since I joined the Ferrari Driver Academy in 2016, and we have achieved a lot together, fighting through thick and thin over the past five years.

“I believe the best is yet to come and I can’t wait for this season to start, to make further progress and be competitive at every race,” Leclerc added. “My dream remains to win the [F-1] world championship with Ferrari and I’m sure that, in the years ahead, we will enjoy great times together and make our fans happy.”

The Formula One World Championship season kicks off Feb. 29 through March 2 with the Bahrain Grand Prix at Bahrain Int’l Circuit.

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About Jacob Seelman

Jacob Seelman is Motorsports Hotspot’s News Editor and Race Face Digital’s Director of Content, as well as a veteran of more than a decade in the racing industry as a professional, though he’s spent his entire life in the garage and pit area.