Ferrari given two Lewis Hamilton options as Charles Leclerc faces ‘suck this up’ warning

Jamie Woodhouse
Future Ferrari team-mates Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton chat at the 2024 Australian Grand Prix.

Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton chat.

If Ferrari are to keep the Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc dynamic healthy, then either parity must be assured, or Hamilton must be made number one and Leclerc told “suck this up”.

That is the claim made by F1 TV presenter Will Buxton, who was assessing the Ferrari driver line-up of Hamilton and Leclerc to come in 2025, with Carlos Sainz forced to make way for the arrival of seven-time World Champion Hamilton.

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Hamilton and Leclerc promises to be an intriguing driver pairing, as statistically the best F1 racer of all time in Hamilton partners with homegrown hero Leclerc, who has long-since been seen as Ferrari’s ticket back to World Championship glory.

Buxton was therefore asked on The Red Flags Podcast for his take on how Ferrari team boss Fred Vasseur should go about managing a pair of number one drivers, as he explained that either this parity must be promised, or Leclerc needs to be told that while his time will come, Hamilton is the number one.

“I think you just have to promise them parity, that they will both have the same car, they will both have the same opportunities, that if upgrades are coming, you either bounce one to one, and then the other one gets the first one next time around, or that they don’t bring the upgrade until there’s enough for both of them,” said Buxton.

“Or, you say to Charles: ‘Look, he’s a seven-time World Champion and he’s going to come in as number one and you just have to suck this up and use this opportunity to learn from him.

“‘And this is your team, this will always be your team, you’re going to be here for the long term. Lewis is going to be here for two, three seasons’.” recommends

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But, if Leclerc had any thoughts in mind that Ferrari could place him centre stage, then Buxton feels such hopes are flawed.

A poor start to F1 2024 for Mercedes and Hamilton means his pursuit of that record-breaking eighth World Championship will almost certainly now roll over into his Ferrari career, Buxton saying this will leave Hamilton with zero interest in being a “support act” for Leclerc.

“It’s a difficult one, but then Lewis and Fred go way back, like they go way back to Formula 3,” Buxton continued.

“So I think that if it comes down to it, there is one reason why Lewis is going to Ferrari, and one reason why Fred wants Lewis at Ferrari, and that is Fred wants to bring the championship back to Ferrari and Lewis wants to win his eighth.

“So, there is absolutely no shadow of a doubt, Lewis is not going there to be the support act for Charles Leclerc’s title aspirations. He’s going there to win the title. That’s it. It really could not be simpler.

“And as with all of the big teams, if you don’t favour one driver over another, then you can start taking points off each other.

“And Ferrari, they have this weird tendency, certainly over the last few years, even with Fred there last year, there were occasions when Carlos would be on the softer tyre, but would be behind Charles, and you’re like, ‘Just put the team order in and move Charles out of the way and let Carlos go’ and they didn’t do it.”

Sainz ironically has started F1 2024 as the better-performing Ferrari driver, having claimed an impressive Australian GP victory and two further P3 finishes across his trio of races contested so far this season.

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