Talks continue between Leclerc and Ferrari as a new deal is proposed
CHARLES Leclerc is looking likely to remain at Ferrari as both sides are in the middle of negotiating a new deal which would keep the talented Monegasque at the Scuderia for a further five years.
Admitting before the Austrian Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc had said that talks had "slowly" begun despite speculation that other teams were interested in the 25-year-old services.
It's been a hugely disappointing season so far for the Monegasque with the Scuderia unable to challenge Red Bull let alone hold off challenges from the likes of Mercedes, Aston Martin and McLaren.
Leclerc currently lies fifth in the championship on 99 points - just seven points ahead of Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr while the Scuderia sit fourth with Leclerc's Belgian Grand Prix podium moving them to within five points of Aston Martin.
Leclerc's current deal expires come the end of the 2024 Season, however, with other teams, such as Mercedes, reportedly interested, Ferrari have opted to negotiate a new five-year deal reportedly worth 185 million euros.
The rumoured deal would not have any clauses within the first two years however, the final three years would have - giving some room for flexibility if performances on either side were not being met.
Joining Ferrari in 2019 having been supported throughout his junior career and given his F1 debut with Alfa Romeo Sauber in 2018, Leclerc has gone onto claim five victories, 20 Pole Positions and 27 Podiums.
Despite his limited success, Ferrari have been unable to give the Monegasque a championship-challenging car with Leclerc able to claim second in last year’s championship albeit 146 points adrift of Champion Max Verstappen.
Leclerc is expected to end up further behind Verstappen in terms of points with the Dutchman now 215 points ahead at the halfway point in the season.
Finishing inside the top four is looking unlikely as well with Leclerc trailing Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton by 50 points with a slightly bigger margin to Sergio Perez in second place.
Leclerc has been linked to Mercedes with recent rumours that the Silver Arrows would offer him a deal to drive for them once Lewis Hamilton decides to hang up his helmet and gloves.
Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff had previously said in May this year that the Monegasque was on the team’s “radar” shortly after Leclerc had refused to rule out a move away from the Scuderia.
With Ferrari’s home race in Monza taking place shortly after F1 returns after the Summer Break, the Tifosi will be hoping to cheer for an upturn in performance and the renewal of their star driver.
Featured Image: By Thomas Allsop