Leclerc confided in his entourage about whether or not he can achieve his dream of becoming a world champion with Ferrari, according to Italian publication Corriere della Sera.
The report claims that Leclerc’s DNS at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix acted as a “bad blow” and came at a “delicate” time when initial discussions over a contract renewal had begun.
“Charles will have dispelled his anger, but not his doubts, which he confided to an inner circle, about his chances of becoming World Champion with Ferrari in the near future,” the report says.
“The Monegasque feels he is ready to fight for the World Championship – he proved it last year at the start of the championship in a competitive car – but his confidence in the relaunch project led by Fred Vasseur must be fuelled by concrete signs.
“2024 will be the year of truth for Vasseur – even he confidentially vented that he had no people up to scratch around him – the first mission is to convince Leclerc. With facts. There would be no lack of offers for the Monégasque, losing him would be another defeat.”
Leclerc has endured a couple of frustrating seasons, having seen the early promise of a title challenge in 2022 spectacularly collapse due to a combination of Ferrari’s strategic blunders and reliability failures.
Ferrari have lacked the pace in 2023 to challenge Red Bull and Max Verstappen, who have once again been the dominate force.
Despite this, Leclerc, whose current deal expires at the end of 2024, recently reiterated his desire to stay with the team which has been his life for the past decade and more.
Leclerc has been linked with a switch to Mercedes and would have “no lack of offers” for his services if he decided to leave Ferrari, the report added.
Teammate Carlos Sainz is also out of contract at the end of next year, giving Ferrari an additional headache to solve.