Scuderia Ferrari Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc has rubbished suggestions that contract talks could “destabilise” Sebastian Vettel when the 2020 season eventually gets underway.
While Scuderia Ferrari has signed Charles Leclerc to a long-term deal, locking in the Monégasque star until the end of 2024, Sebastian Vettel is out of contract at the end of this season. However, the Italian side’s team principal Mattia Binotto admitted earlier this year that he would begin talks with Sebastian come May, after the first few races had been run. Those, however, are on hold with the championship only expected to begin in mid-June – if even then.
In the mean time rumours about Vettel’s future continue with reports linking him to McLaren and Carlos Sainz to his Ferrari race seat. Charles doubts all of that will throw Seb off his game when the season eventually begins.
“I feel very lucky to be in a position where I have a long-term contract and I am happy to be in this position.” – he told Motorsportweek.com. – “I also know in his position, in a way, as my last two years I only had one-year contracts. I don’t think it will be destabilise him. He is a very strong driver and I expect him to be strong anyway.” – the Monegasque driver added.
The two-time grand prix winner also touched on his relationship with Sebastian Vettel, which was at times strained last season. At times both were unhappy with Ferrari’s use of team orders with the rivalry resulting in a double DNF as they collided at the Brazilian GP. Charles Leclerc maintains that while it was “tricky” out on track, it never spilled over: “With Sebastian the relationship has always been good. Last year there have been some tricky moments but our relationship stayed the same, which I think is a good thing. I think we are both mature enough to do the separation on what happens on track and off track.” – he explained.
Charles Leclerc is happy to continue with Sebastian Vettel as his team-mate beyond the 2020 Formula One season: “I am very good with him by my side but I will respect Ferrari’s decision in case they want to change.” – the Monegasque driver concluded.