FEBRUARY 6, 2024
Hamilton arrival may help Leclerc win title says Alesi
According to Corriere dello Sport newspaper in Italy, Charles Leclerc is unhappy behind the scenes at Ferrari after it emerged that he will be paired with Lewis Hamilton in 2025.
For the rest of the Formula 1 world, the news is one of the most exciting developments in the sport for years - especially in light of the prospect of another looming season of Red Bull dominance this year.
This is a guarantee of expanding attention to our sport, Sport Mediaset quotes F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali as reacting.
And I believe the effect will already be noticeable both at Ferrari and at Mercedes as the dynamics change, the relationships change.
Indeed, Corriere dello Sport claims that the dynamics inside Ferrari have already changed, because Leclerc knew nothing about it when he signed a new long-term contract with the fabled Maranello team mere weeks ago.
If Leclerc stays in front he will be a hero, but if he is behind Lewis it will tarnish his reputation as a predestined man, the newspaper reportedly declared.
Former F1 team owner and boss Giancarlo Minardi admits that does not fully understand what Ferrari is doing.
Look, they extended his contract and said they were going to bet everything on him, he told Quotidiano Sportiva. "A week goes by and they decide to put a driver like Hamilton next to him.
We have to ask ourselves: did Ferrari lose for all these years because of who was driving? The team hasn't won for a generation and now Hamilton is no guarantee of success either, just as (Sebastian) Vettel was not.
And former Ferrari driver Jean Alesi agrees that if Leclerc is currently considered the number 1 driver in red, those days are now ending.
The way I knew Michael Schumacher, he would never have wanted Lewis Hamilton in his team, he told Corriere della Sera newspaper.
I think Lewis can outshine anyone, the Frenchman added.
On the other hand, Leclerc has the intelligence and talent to play his cards. To be clear, the question of a number 1 makes no sense at all these days.
Alesi thinks Hamilton's arrival may even help Leclerc to succeed in red.
Charles is panache, pure speed, talent, youth, he told France's Nice Matin newspaper. "But given his young age, until now he lacked a little weight in discussions with the staff and the engineers.
"Now in 2025, a seven time world champion will arrive. A guy who can bang his fist on the table, influence decisions. When you have the ambition to win the world championship, believe me, it's better to have a champion in the next garage who gives you a hard time and yet helps the team to progress faster.
In my eyes, Lewis constitutes the first stone of the building that Fred (Vasseur) wants to build. I can't imagine that he will arrive to Maranello alone. A small group of people will accompany him - brains, technicians capable of aiming for the top, too, Alesi said.
Team figures are yet to comment extensively on Hamilton's 2025 signing, but Piero Ferrari - the 10 percent Ferrari owner - played down any claims that it is not a wise move by the Maranello team.
A figure like Lewis is an ideal partner for Ferrari, he told Quotidiano Sportivo. "As for Charles, he is a future champion. Ferrari believes in him and shows support.
Hamilton is Hamilton. I don't understand why suddenly there will be conflicts between them.
As for whether the early announcement of Ferrari's 2025 lineup could upset the team's harmony this year, Ferrari insisted: "We are talking about professionals, and such things are not unusual in Formula 1.
I remember at the beginning of 2006, Fernando Alonso announced his move to McLaren in 2007, but it did not stop him from winning the title with Renault.
As for Hamilton, Piero Ferrari added: "Personally, I'm glad he's joining us. I think it's at the right time.
I don't want to talk about the specifics of the contract, since this is clearly not my area of responsibility, but Lewis is ideally suited to continue the Ferrari myth.