Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton - 2025 and 2026 Ferrari teammates

F1 News: Hamilton’s image to be crushed by Leclerc at Ferrari

(GMM) Lewis Hamilton runs the risk of having his image crushed by team incumbent Charles Leclerc at Ferrari next year.

That is the warning of iconic and notorious Formula 1 personality Flavio Briatore, the former Renault boss who remains Fernando Alonso’s advisor.

He met in a Monaco cafe with Toto Wolff just as the Hamilton-to-Ferrari bombshell was breaking in February, and is now predicting another full season of utter dominance by Red Bull and Max Verstappen in 2024.

“This year Red Bull is even more competitive – much more than last year, with a huge gap over the others,” Briatore, 73, told Italian broadcaster Rai 1.

“Verstappen has 8 tenths over everyone and never makes a mistake,” the flamboyant Italian added. “The synergy with Red Bull is terrifying, as (Ayrton) Senna was with McLaren, (Fernando) Alonso was with Renault, or (Michael) Schumacher was with Ferrari.”

Ferrari, now headed by Frederic Vasseur, claims it has gotten closer to Red Bull over the winter, but Briatore said: “They may be the second force, but it is not a position suitable for Ferrari.

“The car must improve. With those gaps, no driver can make the difference.”

He is referring, of course, to Ferrari’s decision to oust Carlos Sainz Jr at the end of the year in favor of aging and possibly washed up seven time world champion Hamilton, 39.

“If Hamilton was already at Ferrari today, he would do the same things as Leclerc, who is a fast driver, although often underestimated,” said Briatore. “But despite Hamilton’s unquestionable abilities, the internal competition with Leclerc could prove more difficult than he thinks.

“In the end he might struggle to stay ahead of Charles because he is one of those drivers who doesn’t put much effort into it if the car isn’t good.”

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By :