Ferrari reward Charles Leclerc with new deal
Charles Leclerc has signed a new long-term contract with Ferrari through to the end of the 2024 season.
Ferrari Academy driver Leclerc joined the Scuderia at the start of last season, after a year with Sauber, on a deal believed to be to the end of the 2021 Formula One season.
But following a successful maiden campaign with Ferrari he has been rewarded with a new contract.
A delighted Leclerc said: "I am very happy to be staying on with Scuderia Ferrari. 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."
Leclerc went into 2019 as the number two to team-mate – and four-time world champion – Sebastian Vettel.
But Leclerc quickly established himself, claiming two race wins – including on Ferrari's home soil in Italy – and seven pole positions to the one victory and two poles for Vettel.
He also finished 24 points ahead of the 32-year-old German in the drivers' standings.
Team principal Mattia Binotto has no doubt that with Leclerc, Ferrari can again be successful as it will be 13 years next term since their last drivers' champion, and 12 since they last won the constructors' championship.
Binotto said: "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."