Explaining the £47m quit option in Charles Leclerc’s new Ferrari contract

Details from Charles Leclerc's new Ferrari contract have spread in Italy

(L to R): third placed Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 in qualifying parc ferme with pole sitter Charles Leclerc (MON)
(L to R): third placed Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 in qualifying…

Charles Leclerc’s new Ferrari contract will earn him a fortune, but also allows him the chance to give up a lot of money if he wants to quit.

Further details about Leclerc’s salary and the break clauses in his new deal have spread in Italy.

Last year he pocketed a reported £18.9m but his new contract will pay £23.6m before any bonuses for race wins or championships, Corriere della Sera report.

That deal will last until the end of 2028 meaning Leclerc can earn a combined £118m, without bonuses, in that time.

His basic salary will gradually increase with every season that Leclerc chooses to stay during his contract, the report states.

But there is a vital clause which allows him to quit for the 2026 season, when the new F1 regulations come into place.

If he exercises that break clause it would cost him at least £47m.

But, Leclerc would likely only do so if he believes Ferrari are not equipped to deliver him an F1 championship under the new rules.

He will, of course, welcome Lewis Hamilton as a new teammate next season. Hamilton will spend this year with Mercedes before sensationally switching to Ferrari, in place of Carlos Sainz.

Ferrari have not won an F1 drivers’ title since 2007 with Kimi Raikkonen.

They have spent big on the likes of Sebastian Vettel without joy.

But their financial commitment to Leclerc - after years of already paying him a big salary - proves their dedication to ending their winless run.

Combining Leclerc and Hamilton in 2025 is a mega-money combo for the Italian team.

This year’s car, the SF-24, reportedly hit its weight target which delighted Ferrari engineers, after they missed the same milestone last year.

Leclerc watched teammate Sainz become the sole non-Red Bull driver to win an F1 grand prix last season and will hope that Ferrari can further close the gap in the coming season.

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