Ferrari reveals Leclerc signed to F1 race seat until at least 2022

Ferrari Formula 1 team principal Maurizio Arrivabene has revealed that Charles Leclerc is signed to his squad until at least 2022

Ferrari reveals Leclerc signed to F1 race seat until at least 2022

Arrivabene confirmed that the parameters for an eventual move to a race seat were included in Leclerc's original young driver contract.

"I signed with Charles in November 2015 the first contract in the Ferrari Driver Academy," Arrivabene said.

"In that contract we already designed, committed, signed and wrote his future in F1, as we have done with [Antonio] Giovinazzi, the same thing.

"That meant we changed the way that we organise the Ferrari Driver Academy a bit but also how we were going to develop the talent for the future.

"So Charles Leclerc is not a big surprise, he's one of the talented drivers that we have in F1.

"[He's] a guy that grew up with us and I hope that he is going to continue his career with us, at least until 2022 for sure.

"When you make choices like this you don't have to look only at the short-term commitment, but also at the long-term.

"A long-term commitment means it's not only for next year, it's for the future of the team - how you grow a young talent, and what you expect from him for the future.

"The first mistake is to put too much pressure on the shoulders of this guy. It could be, potentially, a huge mistake."

Arrivabene insisted that it was ultimately his decision to replace Kimi Raikkonen, and that it did not reflect badly on the 2007 world champion.

"This has nothing to do with the respect that I have for Kimi as a human being and a driver, but if you have to do a choice, thinking about the future of the team, I think we made the right choice, for us and for Kimi," he said.

Arrivabene insisted Raikkonen understood the explanation when he was told he was being dropped and that telling him about the decision in Monza was the right thing to do.

"The relationship with Kimi is so good that he understands," he said. "It's not only a question of telling him this is the decision - it's to take him through the process.

"He didn't even try to say, 'I would like you to change your mind,' or something.

"He's a professional driver. Then I heard many other things like 'telling him in Monza was the wrong time'.

"[What] if I had told him in Belgium and Sebastian [Vettel] was winning the race? Kimi was in the same position and then it was wrong to tell him in Belgium.

"The right time is not written on the paper, but what is written on the paper is that when we sign contracts with a driver, we sign a contract with professional drivers."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Charles Leclerc
Teams Ferrari
Author Adam Cooper
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