Charles Leclerc has addressed his future at Ferrari after a promising but difficult 2022 Formula 1 season thus far. It started out with a lot of promise for the Italian team, but a combination of poor reliability and strategy errors derailed their hopes of winning a title.

The Monegasque driver was Max Verstappen's closest title challenger for most of the season, but was unable to stop the sheer dominance of the Red Bull Racing team. The Dutch racer wrapped up his second consecutive Drivers' Championship with four races to spare in Japan.

Leclerc remains Ferrari's best hope of winning their first F1 Drivers' Championship since 2007. The Monaco-born driver, who came up through the Ferrari driver academy, is contracted to the team until 2024. He remains committed to the Maranello-based team with whom he wants to win titles.

"I have a contract until the end of the 2024 season, and today I see this deadline as a long way off," Leclerc said, as quoted on Formula1 News.

"I have always loved Ferrari, I want to win a world title with this team, and I want to do it as soon as possible. When the time comes to evaluate the future I'll think about it, but I love this team."

Leclerc was also asked about Ferrari president John Elkann's deadline for the team to be champions by 2026. The former Sauber F1 driver acknowledged the challenge, but made it clear that he does not plan to make the passionate Tifosi - fans of the famous red marque - wait that long.

"I know that the President (John Elkann) has said that it is a goal to be achieved by 2026 but, as a driver, I cannot think about this deadline," Leclerc added. "I am very impatient, I will prepare and do everything possible to be World Champion in 2023."

The 2022 Formula 1 season has two more races to run in Brazil and Abu Dhabi. While both the Drivers' and Constructors' Champions have been crowned, there a number of other battles being fought across the field.

Mercedes are battling Ferrari for second in the Constructors' Championship. Meanwhile, Leclerc himself is battling Red Bull's Sergio Perez for second place behind Verstappen in the Drivers' Championship, and is currently five points behind the Mexican.

Charles Leclerc
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc POOL via AFP / Giuseppe CACACE