- Charles Leclerc [Copyright: Ferrari]

Charles Leclerc has signed a long-term deal with Scuderia Ferrari to stay with the Italian outfit until the 2024 F1 season.

Having come through the junior programme of Ferrari, Leclerc made his F1 debut in 2018 with Alfa Romeo Racing and left a strong mark in his rookie season itself with some brilliant results after few hiccups at the start of his campaign.

It showed his learning and adapting ability which helped him secure a fast-track promotion to Ferrari in 2019, where he finished third in his first year with seven poles - the most in 2019 - two wins and 10 F1 podiums in all, also beating Sebastian Vettel.

There were reports already on Monday, coming from Italy, about a long-term contract extension, which Ferrari has now confirmed to be true as Leclerc will stay on with the Italian manufacturer for four years beyond 2020, until the 2024 F1 season.

He is the only driver to be contracted until 2024 with Racing Point's Sergio Perez deal running until the 2022 season. "I am very happy to be staying on with Scuderia Ferrari," said Leclerc, upon the big announcement.

"This past season, driving for the most illustrious team in F1 has been a dream year for me. I cannot wait to enjoy an even deeper relationship with the team after what has been an intense and exciting 2019. I’m keen to see what the future holds and I can’t wait to get going again next season."

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto added: "With each passing race this year, our wish to extend our contract with Charles became ever more self-evident and the decision means he will now be with us for the next five seasons. It demonstrates that Charles and the Scuderia have a firm future together.

"Charles has been part of our family since 2016 and we are more than proud of the results we are achieving with our Academy. We are therefore very pleased to be able to announce that he will be with us for many years to come and I’m sure that together, we will write many new pages in the history of the Prancing Horse."

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[Image courtesy: Ferrari] [Note: This story was written by me on FormulaRapida.net]

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