Talks between Ferrari and Charles Leclerc have now begun.
That is the news from the Maranello based team’s new boss Frederic Vasseur, despite him declaring recently that talks will only take place at the end of the season.
Some believe Leclerc is much less keen than his teammate Carlos Sainz to start negotiating about a contract beyond 2024.
“On my side, we are in quite a difficult situation at the moment and the priority is to first focus on the job we’ve got to do with the car, because we are quite far off the Red Bull,” the 25-year-old said at Monza.
“But I would love to win a world championship with Ferrari and I’m not too worried about when the discussions will start. I’m not in a rush.”
Vasseur, however, has now been quoted by La Repubblica newspaper as revealing: “We are starting to discuss the extension of Charles’ contract from 2025.
“He is part of the team. We have to give him the best car possible and he has to be the best driver he can be.”
As for Spaniard Sainz, his father and namesake this week was quoted as having revealed that Audi is interested in poaching the 29-year-old.
“I will continue at Ferrari until the end of 2024, when I have a contract,” Sainz jr said at Monza.
“There are times when it is not worth commenting on rumours,” he added.
As for Ferrari’s struggling 2023 car, Sainz revealed that the team is “using the second part of the year to test parts of the 2024 car that should and must be a step in another direction to now”.
“It is a big change and it is time to learn as much as possible for 2024,” he told Spanish reporters.
Meanwhile, former Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto was spotted in the Monza paddock on Thursday, amid rumours he is in talks with Alpine about replacing the axed Otmar Szafnauer.