The program will give Ferrari the chance to embark to embark on its first factory prototype campaign at world championship level since 1973. The Italian manufacturer last won Le Mans outright in 1965.
Last year, Leclerc took part in the Motorsport Games-run virtual Le Mans, and after that, he said he was eager to take part in the real thing one day. And it seems that the opportunity may come sooner than later.
The Monegasque declared at Ferrari’s team launch ahead of this year’s season that while his focus lays on Formula 1, he would love to take the chance to race with his team at Le Mans sometime in the future.
“I love Le Mans, I’ve always been a fan of Le Mans,” Leclerc said.
“If the opportunity arises, then I will be very happy to join.
“At the moment, my main focus is Formula 1. But, again, if there is an opportunity, why not?”
Meanwhile, Carlos Sainz Jr, Leclerc’s team-mate this year, is not that interested in driving in the endurance championship. While he did call the Hypercar programme a “very interesting project” he also said:
“It’s great that a brand like Ferrari wants to try again in Le Mans, and I will be the main supporter and main fan of them,” Sainz said.
“But, driving-wise, I think we have a lot of work to do here in Ferrari and my full focus is with Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1, and other projects at the moment are not in my direct mind.
Ferrari’s decision to expand into prototype racing comes after an evaluation of other motorsport branches (not just Formula 1) which also saw them consider a possible involvement in IndyCar.
But it was Mattia Binotto, Scuderia Ferrari’s team principal, who denied that the decision to enter LMH came after a budget cap in F1 that has been introduced starting on the 2021 season.
“No, it’s not a consequence of the financial regulations at all,” Binotto said.
"The programme has been evaluated from the company point of view [to be] of interest, and we decided as Ferrari to be involved.”
Although Binotto distanced himself from heading up the LMH squad, he did express that he would be open to lending any expertise where possible.
“I will not be directly in charge myself. We are, as Scuderia Ferrari, fully focused on the F1 programme.
“But no doubt, if as [the F1 team] we may support with somehow know-how, expertise, we will do it because, once again, we are a unique company.”