Marko: LeClerc to leave Ferrari ‘a worry’

Ferrari have made a less than stella beginning to the 2023 Formula One season. The iconic red team is already detached from the top three having scored just 26 points one the first three races.

Charles LeClerc has failed to score in two of the first three events with the latter being driver error and the Italian media have complained of the Monegasque driver delivering a lacklustre performance.



Italian media question LeClerc’s future

The well known Ferrari journalist Giorgio Terruzzi, penned a piece for Corriere della Sera where he questions LeClerc’s state of mind with the majority of two more years left on his contract with the Scuderia.

“Leclerc is trapped. He’s discovered he’s driving another car a long way from glory, another season he is far from Verstappen.”

“Restlessness. He cannot win. He can’t leave, even if he wants to”.

Having been recruited as a Ferrari academy driver, Charles LeClerc has done everything asked from him. He was placed with the customer Sauber team for the 2018 season before replacing Kimi Raikkonen the following year.

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Sainz to Sauber headline grabber

LeClerc beat Vettel in both 2019-20 and may well have been the reason Ferrari failed to renew the German world champion’s contract for 2021. Yet this week it has been Ferrari’s other driver making the headlines.

The experienced Swiss F1 reporter Roger Benoit who has been close to the Sauber management for decades revealed in Blick that the incoming Audi bosses were targeting the recruitment of Carlos Sainz for their Formula One debut.

The Spanish driver reacted angrily when he was told of the report.

“I don’t understand why people are talking about what could happen in 2026 when I still don’t have a contract for 2025,” he told Spain’s La Marca.

“It angers me when uncorroborated and invented rumours come out.”



Marko: “Ferrari has other problems” 

To be fair to Benoit who broke the story, no suggestion was made that Sainz was party to the approach. Yet if either Ferrari driver’s future is in question its LeClerc who is starting his 5th year with the Scuderia.

Helmut Marko, who recognised Carlos Sainz talents while he was racing in Formula BMW back in 2012, believes “it doesn’t make sense” for him to leave Ferrari in the near future.

At present it is Sainz who looks the most settled of the Ferrari pairing and the one who the Italian media are applauding for his efforts.

“Why should Ferrari part with Carlos? That doesn’t make any sense. Carlos is doing a good job. Ferrari has other problems than thinking about Sainz,” commented the Red Bull consultant to

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LeClerc may leave Ferrari this year

Ferrari has not even scored a podium so far in 2023 with LeClerc on a mere 6 points which stands in contrast to the two race wins for the Monegasque from the first three events last year.

Interestingly Helmut Marko raises the topic of the Ferrari drivers’ contracts with both expire at the end of 2024. The Red Bull consultant believes Charles LeClerc may be a cause for concern of Ferrari if a standard performance clause has been into his contract.

This would mean LeClerc would be free to leave at the ed of this season.

“These performance clauses are common today,” he said. “It roughly says that a driver must have a certain number of points at a certain point in the season, usually in late summer, for the contract to be automatically extended.

“If this is not the case, both parties have the option to terminate the contract. In 2015, our Sebastian Vettel was able to switch to Ferrari so easily for this reason.”

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Ferrari know time is short

Vettel had been struggling to match the performances of new team mate Daniel Ricciardo in 2014 and finished the season in P5 – some 71 points adrift of the Aussie and over 200 points behind Hamilton the champion.

The German ace who had won four consecutive titles with the Red Bull team clearly used a clause in his contract to extract himself when Ferrari came calling.

Sainz was stripped his fourth place finish in Australia otherwise he’d be a clear race win ahead of team mate LeClerc.

If Dr. Marko is correct, decisions on his future may become pertinent in just under 12 weeks for Charles LeClerc who would surely be tempted if an opportunity came along to replace Hamilton at Mercedes.

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One response to “Marko: LeClerc to leave Ferrari ‘a worry’

  1. LeClerc is fast but does not have the emotional stability to win world titles. Good to have him racing as a foil for others.

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