Leclerc: Career choices important but I want new Ferrari contract

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Charles Leclerc already wants to further extend his current long-term contract at Ferrari.

The Monegasque has been tied to the Scuderia since 2016 when he joined their Academy program, and needed just three years before landing a race seat at the team after a single Formula 1 season at Sauber.

Since then, Leclerc has established himself as the lead driver at Ferrari, resulting in Sebastian Vettel's departure at the end of last year.

And though 2020 was particularly tough for the Italian team, with the full support of Maranello behind him, the 23-year-old sees no reason to look anywhere else.

“I have an agreement with Ferrari until the end of 2024, but I can say that I already want to renew it,” Leclerc told Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

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“I want to stay here for many more years and contribute to the success of the team. I have full confidence in Ferrari and in all these people who work for the team.”

Of course, such loyalty could come at the risk of failing to achieve if Ferrari continued to lag behind their rivals, but Leclerc isn't concerned. 

“It’s true that the choices you make off the track affect your career a lot,” he told Motorsport Italy, “but as far as I’m concerned I’m very happy to be a Ferrari driver.

“It’s always been a dream of mine, and my challenge is to give my contribution and to bring this team back to win.

“I am aware of the importance of the choices, but today my only goal is to get back to the top with Ferrari, and I’m sure there is the potential to get where we want to be.”

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Leclerc also spoke of the pride he continues to feel when putting on the red overalls, believing that, regardless of performance, Ferrari is still the best team in F1. 

“I know what they will never have and that only we have: the Tifosi,” he said. “Millions of fans around the world. The passion that Ferrari creates, they [other teams] will always envy it.

“I was very young when I took the opportunity to watch the Monaco GP from a friend’s balcony.

“On the streets, I was only looking for the red car. I can’t even explain to you why. I was probably born as a Ferrari fan without knowing it.

“It felt like an unreachable dream [to one day drive for Ferrari]. So when I look at myself in red today, I am not only proud of it. It is still, every day, a total emotion.”