How Charles Leclerc reacted to finding out Lewis Hamilton would be new Ferrari teammate

Thomas Maher
Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc chat in the press conference room at the 2023 British Grand Prix.

Charles Leclerc has revealed how he took in the news of Lewis Hamilton's switch to Ferrari for 2025.

Charles Leclerc has said he was aware Lewis Hamilton was Ferrari-bound prior to signing his own new contract with the Scuderia.

Leclerc has revealed he was fully aware the seven-time F1 World Champion would likely be his teammate in 2025, as the Monégasque driver signed a contract extension with the Scuderia just days before Hamilton was confirmed.

Some reports in Italian media had suggested Leclerc had been caught unawares by the Hamilton signing and was unhappy about him being confirmed just after he’d committed his own immediate future to Maranello, but Leclerc has quashed this suggestion.

Charles Leclerc ‘was aware’ of Lewis Hamilton discussions

Additional reporting by Sam Cooper.

Speaking following the launch of Ferrari’s 2024 SF-24 on Tuesday, Leclerc told media – including PlanetF1.com – about how he’d learned Hamilton would be making the switch from Mercedes to Ferrari, and whether it had made any difference to his own mindset about his new deal.

The exact length of Leclerc’s extension with Ferrari hasn’t been confirmed, although it’s understood the deal will likely take him through until after the first year of the new incoming regulations in 2026.

“Obviously, these kinds of deals are not finalised overnight so, of course, it takes time,” he said.

“I was aware of those discussions before signing my deal so it didn’t come out as a surprise after signing.

“Then, for the rest, I don’t want to comment on it that much – mostly out of respect for Carlos.

“We’ve had great years together and we have one more year together to do and we will do absolutely everything to finish on the highest note possible.

“Obviously, Lewis is an incredible driver, the most successful in history, and with a lot of experience as well which he will bring to the team and obviously myself, which is a good thing.

“But, with Carlos, it has been great and we’ve got one more year together to try and do the best job possible.”

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Leclerc also revealed that he and Hamilton have personally communicated about the fact the pair will link up as teammates for F1’s most prestigious team next season.

“Yes, we’ve had discussions with Lewis – especially when everything was announced and official,” he said.

“We texted each other, of course – as I said, Lewis is a great champion with a lot of experience and so much success.

“So it is always interesting to have a new teammate as you learn different ways of working or driving. And even more so when my new teammate is a seven-time World Champion.”

But while Leclerc would have grounds to feel threatened by the arrival of such an illustrious teammate after flourishing as the driver Ferrari moulds itself around, the Monégasque denied it made any difference to how his own contract extension was thrashed out.

“It hasn’t changed anything in my discussions because, again, I focus on myself and what’s good for me,” he said.

“So there was no change of any requirements whatsoever. For me, that wasn’t part of my discussions, but I think it was good that the team was transparent anyway just for me not to learn it after that but it didn’t change anything for me.”

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