Charles Leclerc has signed a long-term contract with Ferrari through to the end of the 2024 season.

The Ferrari Academy driver joined at the start of last season, after a year with Sauber, on a deal believed to be to the end of the 2021 season. Following a successful maiden campaign, he has been rewarded with a new contract.

Leclerc said: "I am very happy to be staying on with Ferrari. This past season, driving for the most illustrious team in Formula One, 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 can't wait to get going again next season."


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Italy's Corriere dello Sport reported that Leclerc's annual salary will jump to $9 million Euros (NZ$15 million), making his five-year deal worth a staggering NZ$75 million.

Well known F1 broadcaster and journalist Will Buxton was floored by the news, saying on Twitter it's "almost unheard of" for a driver to sign a deal of that length.

Leclerc went into 2019 as the No 2 to teammate – and four-time world champion – Sebastian Vettel. He quickly established himself, claiming two race wins – including on Ferrari's home soil in Italy – and seven pole positions to the one victory and two poles for Vettel. He finished 24 points ahead of the German in the drivers' standings.

Team principal Mattia Binotto has no doubt that with Leclerc, Ferrari can again be successful. It will be 13 years next term since their last drivers' champion, and 12 since they last won the constructors' championship.

Binotto said: "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.

"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 he will be with us for many years to come."