F1

Charles Leclerc confident ‘best is yet to come’ after extending Ferrari contract

Leclerc finished fifth in the standings last season for Ferrari.

Charles Leclerc has signed a new deal with Ferrari
Charles Leclerc during a press conference Charles Leclerc has signed a new deal with Ferrari (Tim Goode/PA)

Charles Leclerc is confident “the best is yet to come” after signing a contract extension with Ferrari.

Leclerc was one of a raft of Formula One drivers heading into the final year of his contract, along with Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz, but the Scuderia announced on Thursday that the Monegasque has agreed a new long-term deal.

The 26-year-old, who made his F1 debut with Sauber before joining the Italian team in 2019, has won five grands prix including a famous home victory for Ferrari at Monza in his maiden season.

Leclerc finished fifth in the standings last season as Ferrari, who have not won a drivers’ title since 2007, continued to trail Red Bull and Mercedes but he is confident that he is in the right team to achieve his dream of winning the world championship.

“I’m very pleased to know that I will be wearing the Scuderia Ferrari race suit for several more seasons to come,” Leclerc said.

“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 and I would always look out for the red cars.

“This team is 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.

“However, 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 joined Ferrari in 2019
Leclerc joined Ferrari in 2019 Leclerc joined Ferrari in 2019 (David Davies/PA)

“My dream remains that of winning the 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 2024 season gets under way in Bahrain on March 2, with Ferrari hopeful their car will be able to fight with a Red Bull team who have dominated the sport for the last two seasons.

Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur added: “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.”