Charles Leclerc in Zandvoort for the 2023 Dutch GP

F1: Leclerc scoffs at $200m Ferrari deal rumors

(GMM) During the Thursday driver press conference here at Zandvoort, Charles Leclerc scoffed at wild rumors that emerged during Formula 1’s August break that he had signed an enormous new $200 million Ferrari contract.

“It sounds like a good contract,” the Monegasque laughed when asked about the rumors at Zandvoort.

“But no, there were no new deals and no discussions at all,” Leclerc insisted. “At some time, we will definitely talk about it.”

It had been suggested that while his teammate Carlos Sainz was desperate to renew his contract beyond the end of 2024 as urgently as possible, Leclerc is less keen.

“I think my intentions are clear,” Leclerc, 25, said, “but as for the team, I don’t know. But I’m not too worried. For now, this topic is not a priority.

“At the moment we just want to work on the car as much as possible in order to fight for victories again. We’ll begin negotiations at the end of the season,” he added, aligning with team boss Frederic Vasseur’s latest comments.

Leclerc also told Sky Italia ahead of the Dutch GP that he did not catch up with Vasseur during the break.

“Nothing has changed since before the break,” he said. “We haven’t talked about it yet because we were both on vacation.”

It is possible that Leclerc is happy to wait for now, given that like Sainz he is already under contract for 2024 whilst Ferrari clearly trails F1 pacesetter Red Bull.

“We are working to reduce the gap to Red Bull,” he said, “but they have a large margin and it will be difficult to catch up with them before the change of regulation” in 2026.

“We have some improvements planned for the next races that should help, but with this car we could have some more unexpected surprises,” Leclerc added.

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