Renowned Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc, formerly a member of the Ferrari Academy, joined the prestigious Scuderia in 2019, marking the beginning of a remarkable chapter in his Formula 1 career. Recounting his journey, Leclerc reminisces about a memorable prank orchestrated by Ferrari’s then-Team Principal before securing a coveted seat with the team.
“I was on a boat in Monaco. I had put the phone on silent mode, I find the call from Maurizio Arrivabene, I tell the friend I was with to switch off the engines, that the head of Ferrari had called me and I couldn’t hear well. I realized he wouldn’t take me at Ferrari. I felt a bit strange that he was calling to tell me, I was disappointed.”
However, within 15 seconds of the initial call, Arrivabene called back, disclosing the entire scenario as a well-executed prank and confirming Leclerc as the driver for Maranello starting from 2019. This pivotal moment marked the beginning of a successful partnership, culminating in a five-year contract extension – the longest ever awarded to a Ferrari driver – after an impressive debut season in 2018.
2023: A Season of Challenges and Contract Talks
The 2023 season proved to be a rollercoaster ride for Leclerc, despite his stellar performances. Despite finishing in the P2 spot in the 2022 championship standings, the year brought forth challenges as Ferrari faced instability issues across various sectors, resulting in a less-than-remarkable season.
Ferrari, acknowledging Leclerc’s contributions, reportedly extended another multi-year contract, aiming for stability at Maranello. Team Principal Fred Vasseur confirmed contract talks involving Leclerc and teammate Carlos Sainz. However, both drivers remain tight-lipped about the contract expansion, eagerly awaiting official confirmation regarding their status for the 2025 season.
Leclerc’s unwavering commitment to the team, coupled with his outstanding performances, earned him the accolade of the best overtake in the season for a remarkable maneuver against Sergio Perez. As the winter break approaches, Ferrari anticipates contract confirmation from Leclerc, shaping the team’s trajectory for the upcoming season.