Leclerc reacts to new Ferrari deal

Charles Leclerc has targeted an extended run of success with Ferrari having ended a “dream” first year with the Scuderia by signing a new contract to 2024.

The Monegasque’s commitment to Maranello is by a distance the most long-term on the grid, with Leclerc reportedly being given a salary three times higher than in his previous deal.

Leclerc’s first season in the red car ended with him finishing ahead of Sebastian Vettel in the drivers’ standings and the contract may well raise questions about the German’s long-term future with the team.

But, with Leclerc going nowhere, the 22-year-old is looking forward to leading the charge for Ferrari for years to come.

“I am very happy to be staying on with Scuderia Ferrari,” he said. “This past season, driving for the most illustrious team in Formula 1 has been a dream year for me.

“I cannot wait to enjoy an even deeper relationship with the team after what has been an intense and exciting 2019. I’m keen to see what the future holds and I can’t wait to get going again next season.”

Team principal Mattia Binotto confirmed that Leclerc’s deal is part of looking to secure a “firm future” at Maranello through the next era of regulations in F1.

He added: “With each passing race this year, our wish to extend our contract with Charles became ever more self-evident and the decision means he will now be with us for the next five seasons. It demonstrates that Charles and the Scuderia have a firm future together.

“Charles has been part of our family since 2016 and we are more than proud of the results we are achieving with our Academy.

“We are therefore very pleased to be able to announce that he will be with us for many years to come and I’m sure that together, we will write many new pages in the history of the Prancing Horse.”