Recent reports claim that Charles Leclerc is desperate to leave Ferrari. Could his desperation lead him to join Alpine, and would the move make sense for his Formula 1 future?
Charles Leclerc has been one of the best drivers in Formula 1 since his arrival at Ferrari in 2019. His performances early on gave plenty of indication that the Scuderia had a potential world champion on their hands.
But his recent performance and the developments in Ferrari’s car have given reason for the 25-year-old to depart.
Leclerc has voiced his frustrations with the SF-23 this season, as the lack of pace from Ferrari has been surprising. They are quite far away from their expectations after a strong campaign in 2022.
The Monegasque’s frustrations have sparked rumors of a potential departure, and a recent claim from former Williams team manager Peter Windsor that he should take his talents to Alpine does seem somewhat feasible.
"“He absolutely for sure wants to leave Ferrari just to breathe different air and see what he can do, and there’s nothing to lose if you go with a lesser team and everything to gain – I would guess Alpine would be at the top of his list.”"
We know Leclerc loves good pace in a car and will do everything he can to push it to the limits. With how things have looked this season, Alpine’s developments have made them seem like a potential option for the current Ferrari driver.
Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly have been able to extract pace from the A523, which may reduce Leclerc’s chances of breaking up the French duo. With Alpine doing quite well this season and leading the midfield battle, the team may not want to split them up.
But as Windsor said, a step down from Ferrari to Alpine would not be a bad idea for Leclerc. While winning a world championship may not be on the cards for Leclerc at Alpine, success could put him back on the path of eventually winning one.
As things stand, Charles Leclerc and both Alpine drivers are under contract until the end of the 2024 Formula 1 season.
If the 25-year-old does make the move in 2025, it would be interesting to see whom Alpine retain. Gasly has been looking to make his way back up the ranks again since he was demoted from Red Bull to AlphaTauri. If he can keep up the good performances at Alpine, he may be able to earn a step up to one of the four top-tier teams in the near future.
As for Ocon, he has done quite well so far, but he has yet to make the next step to compete for a top team. He has shown glimpses of what he can do, and that was evident with a podium finish in Monaco just a few weeks ago.
So one of Alpine’s drivers could very well end up on a top four team within the next few seasons. That would create a spot in which Leclerc could slide right in to get his career back on the right track. The reward for the Monegasque seems much higher than the risk, and it could be a great opportunity.