Charles Leclerc has welcomed Lewis Hamilton’s move to Ferrari, with the seven-time world champion to leave Mercedes for the Scuderia at the end of the upcoming season
Charles Leclerc has revealed he has already held discussions with Lewis Hamilton as the Ferrari star prepares to welcome the Formula 1 legend to the Scuderia.
Hamilton will leave Mercedes after the upcoming season to join Ferrari for the 2025 campaign. His team-mate at the Italian giants will be Leclerc, who has cemented himself as the team’s No.1 driver, though that may change with Hamilton arriving.
As he prepares for the challenge of having a seven-time world champion as a team-mate, Leclerc is doing everything he can to make Hamilton’s transition as smooth as possible. The 26-year-old hailed the arrival of the British superstar and the impact he will have on Ferrari.
Leclerc said at Ferrari’s 2024 launch event: “Lewis is an incredible driver, the most successful in history, and he brings a lot of experience to the team which is a good thing. I have had discussions with Lewis especially when everything was announced and official. We texted each other.”
Hamilton’s arrival means that Leclerc’s current team-mate Carlos Sainz will be without a seat in 2025 as it stands. The Spaniard is expected to be quickly snapped up by a rival, having impressed since joining Ferrari from McLaren.
But while his reputation remains intact despite being dumped by one of F1’s biggest teams, Sainz has admitted to being caught off-guard. He revealed that he has had time to absorb the news and is now putting his focus into the upcoming season.
Sainz said: “I was a bit surprised, like everyone in the F1 world. I got to know the news a bit earlier than anyone else and I had some weeks to reflect and prepare and some weeks to also get ready for the car launch and the first race of the season.”
Hamilton has already been warned he faces a tough task in getting the better of Leclerc when he makes his move to Italy. The Monegasque has won five races over the course of his career.
And former McLaren star Martin Brundle believes that Hamilton will quickly see that Leclerc is one of the grid’s best drivers. But the Sky Sports pundit has backed the Mercedes man to make his experience felt.
“Leclerc I think is potentially, on an outright qualifying lap, the fastest driver out there at the moment, even including Max Verstappen. He’s blindingly fast, tends to run into a few things he didn’t ought to from time to time and fly off the road, Charles, because he just drives so near the limit,” he told Sky Sports.
“But it’s a wonderful combination and let’s not disregard what a great driver Carlos Sainz is as well, who’s in the Ferrari for the coming season. Presumably he’s got to have a chance to go to Mercedes or some other teams on the grid.
“But never write off Lewis Hamilton. We know he knows how to win races and championships and it’ll be very Schumacher-esque if he can go there and really drive the team to start winning a lot more races and be championship contenders.”
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