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Leclerc: Ferrari helped me before I got into F1, believed in me

Leclerc: Ferrari helped me before I got into F1, believed in me

Leclerc: Ferrari helped me before I got into F1, believed in me

Charles Leclerc insisted he is committed to Ferrari as he doesn’t forget that they have believed in him and helped him get into Formula 1 earlier than many expected.

Leclerc wants to stay with Ferrari, but the F1 driver said he’s “not in a rush” to sign a new contract. The 25-year-old Monaco native’s current deal expires at the end of 2024. Leclerc has been with Ferrari since 2019.

“I have always loved Ferrari and I would love to stay,” Leclerc told the BBC. “I’ve always made it very clear that my goal is to try to be a world champion, but firstly with Ferrari.

“I know how difficult it is. We are not in the easiest situation. There is a big gap to fill to get to Red Bull’s level but Ferrari has helped me before I got into F1, believed in me and put me into the Ferrari seat very early on, and it’s always a team that I’ve loved.

“My priority is to win with Ferrari and it is not my worry whether I won’t achieve it or whatever. We just need to work on the team and try to improve it as much as possible, and I hope that I can achieve that one day.”

Leclerc heads into this Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix in sixth place in the F1 Drivers’ Standings, one spot behind Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz.

Ferrari sits fourth in the Constructors’ Standings. Leclerc has five career F1 wins, most recently at the Austrian Grand Prix in July 2022. He said talks with Ferrari will ramp up “later on.”

“Honestly, I am not in a rush. I don’t think Ferrari’s priority is signing me at the moment, which is understandable because we are all just focused on trying to have the best race car possible as quickly as possible.

“I understand that. So for now we are just focusing on the season. I am sure talks will arrive at one point during the season, probably a bit later on.” (Report by Reuters)