Charles Leclerc on F1 future: Top priority is to extend contract with Ferrari

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Charles Leclerc has said staying with Ferrari beyond 2024 remains his top priority as he wants to win a world championship with the Italian team.

The future for Leclerc, one of the grid's top drivers, is currently unclear as he is in the penultimate year of the five-year deal he signed in December 2019.

In April the five-time race winner dismissed reports he was being lined up to replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes in 2024 as speculation grew of a move away.

Ferrari's recent form has added fuel to the fire. Leclerc appeared to be a title contender last year, only for strategy gaffes and driver mistakes to see the team's challenge fall apart.

Ferrari has failed to challenge the unbeaten Red Bull team in 2023.

While admitting he has looked at other possibilities Leclerc has made it clear where his future lies.

"Of course, I think every driver has considered their different options, once they get the [possibility]," Leclerc told Autosport.

"But I have a huge love of Ferrari. And my first target and my first dream is to become a world champion with Ferrari, more than anything else.

"So, if there's a slight opportunity for it to happen, I will have no doubt about pushing to stay here at least."

Asked when those contract talks might happen, he said: "I just think it is not probably the priority at the moment: not for me, but neither for the team.

"We are just focusing on what's really important now. It is to be as competitive as quickly as possible again. And then we'll see. But again, I love Ferrari and it feels like home."

Leclerc's teammate Carlos Sainz is also under contract until 2024 but is yet to have that deal extended.

Hamilton has still not signed a Mercedes extension beyond this year, when his current deal expires, but the seven-time world champion is widely expected to sign that deal in the coming weeks.