Leclerc considering Ferrari exit after Monaco meltdown, Italian media claims
Italian media has reported that Charles Leclerc is already considering a future in Formula 1 away from Ferrari, just six races into his career with the Scuderia. Leclerc endured a miserable Monaco Grand Prix, retiring in the early stages after a qualifying blunder eliminated him in Q1.
Leclerc has shown glimpses of realising his huge potential since his promotion to Ferrari, including a famous pole position in Bahrain.
However, Leclerc's races have often come with struggles, including an engine failure which robbed him of victory in Sakhir, as well as application of team orders in several races which have benefitted Sebastian Vettel.
Ferrari turned down Leclerc's requests for an extra run in Q1, confident that he would be safe, but he was ultimately eliminated by Vettel, who needed a last-gasp run to get through after hitting the wall earlier in the session.
According to Formula Passion Leclerc's all-or-nothing efforts from 15th on the grid, which cost him when he damaged his car trying to pass Nico Hulkenberg at La Rascasse, went against the wishes of Ferrari bosses, who thought points were still on for the home driver.
The report reads: "Relations between Maranello and the Monegasque's management are already close to breaking point."
Leclerc has been a member of Ferrari's academy since 2016, but growing frustrations could pique the interest of the Scuderia's rivals.
Formula Passion's report continued: "The first 10 laps of Charles Leclerc's race in the Principality race with overtaking at Loews and Rascasse, yes full of fury, but also a silent revolt towards a management repeatedly penalising him.
"It was a 'scream' that crossed the paddock and found ears ready to listen to it. In particular, the interest of a top-level team with potential availability towards him took shape late on Sunday."
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