Ferrari chairman John Elkann has hinted that both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz will remain with the Scuderia beyond the end of their current deals with the Italian outfit.
Leclerc and Sainz are both contracted to the House of Maranello until the end of 2024. Elkann’s comment suggests the pair will likely remain with Ferrari and transition with the team to F1’s all-new regulations that will be introduced in 2026.
Leclerc finished this year’s campaign fifth in F1’s Drivers’ standings with 206 points while Sainz was seventh but just 200 points behind his teammate.
However, the Spaniard delivered to the Scuderia its only win of the year when he won last September’s Singapore Grand Prix, also inflicting upon the might Red Bull team its only defeat of the 2023 season.
“Sainz and Leclerc? They will stay, of course,” Elkann said at Exor’s Investor Day in Turin.
After last summers Belgian Grand Prix, there was speculation that Leclerc had agreed a multi-year deal with Ferrari worth an estimated €200 million.
However, the 26-year-old was quick to deny the rumor, insisting that he did not see his future in F1 elsewhere than at Ferrari.
“My intentions are clear,” Leclerc said at Zandvoort in August. “And then on the team side I don’t know but I’m not too worried either. At the end of the season, we’ll have those discussions.”
As for Sainz, the Spaniard has been vocal about not wanting to go into next season without clarity on his future.
"I think there's never been a doubt that I'm very comfortable at Ferrari, that I want to be here for the medium to long term,” said Sainz in October.
"I hope that the winter is a good opportunity to find an agreement and continue working in the future because it's the place that I love driving for and see myself driving and trying to help a world championship soon."
Ferrari’s 2023 campaign fell short of expectations due in large part to the performance inconsistencies of the team’s SF-23.
The Scuderia’s design nevertheless demonstrated its speed in qualifying with Ferrari claiming seven pole position over the course of the season.
But next season, Elkann wants the team to carry its one-lap pace into race day.
“Ferrari’s season was disappointing, but the way it ended, we could almost have finished second and at the same time it was positive that in the last part of the championship, we were fighting for second place,” commented the Exor CEO.
“If you look at the number of poles Ferrari has taken, it’s a high number. We have to take that into account and move forward in the next championships and convert those pole positions into wins.”