Ferrari enter contract extension talks with Charles Leclerc

Jaden Diaz
22 May, 2023

Emilia Romagna has been hit hard, with the area overwhelmed by flooding that has served as a huge blow to the economy that will take time to recover from.

In light of this, the cancellation of F1’s race weekend was completely inevitable and seen as the correct decision within Imola itself, despite the economic losses. In retrospect, the authorities took the decision promptly considering the outstanding circumstances – event organisers and F1 itself applied no substantial pressure.

Fans will be pleased that all those who bought tickets for the event will be issued immediate refunds. Additionally, Imola will not have to pay any fees or penalties to Formula 1 for the event cancellation.

Indeed, Ferrari and F1 were quick to donate 1 million euros each as a “tangible sign of solidarity”, in the words of Stefano Domenicali, originally from Imola. “Others will donate”, revealed the President of the Bonaccini region.

While Emilia Romagna faces this emergency, the F1 Circus continues and quickly moves to Monaco.

Ferrari SF-23

The teams wrapped up the teardown work and were comfortably on schedule. Despite last week’s uncertainty, transporting equipment and personnel from Imola to Monaco was not especially difficult – thanks to F1’s early decisiveness.

The problem was only related to possible damage after the enlargement and then to the road network, but nothing to worry about. Imola has not been seriously affected, as seen in the areas between Faenza, Forlì, Cesena and Ravenna.

Ferrari continues work in the factory, with President Elkann present in Maranello for a few days to participate in a series of meetings.

It’s easy to imagine that there were discussions about the competitiveness of the SF-23, both in the short and medium term. Some sources have revealed that after mutual reassurances, discussions about extending Leclerc’s contract are advancing.

Another issue for Ferrari’s Gestione Sportiva meeting involves Vigna and Vasseur and concerns about Laurent Mekies’ gardening leave and his subsequent transfer to Alpha Tauri. The details of this issue are still unresolved.

Frederci Vasseur & Laurent Mekies, Ferrari Team Principal & Ferrari Racing Director

At the time of writing, there is no agreement with Red Bull, so it is expected that Laurent will remain in his usual role with Ferrari at Monte Carlo and Barcelona.

If he were to resign – like Binotto – someone with his profile within the team would have to observe 12 months of gardening leave. In any case, it does not appear this will be the action Mekies will take.

Ferrari is clearly in no rush to release the racing director, at least not without the conditions that best suit the Italian squad.

Red Bull’s Enrico Balbo, Paul Monaghan and Pierre Washè are not the mysterious names that will arrive at the Scuderia, with Red Bull swift to throw water on the fire of these rumours.

However, we continue to hear confirmation from Maranello of the reports that high-profile technicians will arrive in Ferrari. It must be stressed that Leclerc and Sainz have received important guarantees on this.

Author: Giuliano Duchess

Translation: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang

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