Lewis Hamilton to ‘help’ Charles Leclerc? Ferrari lay down surprise F1 2025 expectations

Oliver Harden
Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc in conversation at the 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc in conversation at the 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix

Fred Vasseur is convinced that Lewis Hamilton’s arrival at Ferrari will help Charles Leclerc to develop as as a driver from the F1 2025 season.

Hamilton announced in February that he will join Ferrari on a multi-year contract from next season, replacing Carlos Sainz as Leclerc’s team-mate.

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The British driver’s switch will bring an end to the most successful team-driver partnership in F1 history, with Hamilton winning six of his seven World Championships with Mercedes since joining from McLaren in 2013.

The announcement of Hamilton’s signing came seven days after Leclerc put pen to paper on a new multi-year deal, having emerged as one of the best drivers on the grid since arriving from Sauber in 2019.

It remains to be seen what effect the arrival of a driver of Hamilton’s stature will have on Leclerc, who despite claiming 23 pole positions with Ferrari remains stuck on five career victories having struggled to establish a consistent advantage over Sainz.

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Vasseur has been reluctant to speak in detail about Hamilton’s impending arrival, snapping at a reporter for posing a question about the seven-time World Champion at the recent Japanese Grand Prix.

That came on the same weekend Hamilton himself lost his patience with a journalist for asking about his future at Ferrari, snapping: “Do you have any better questions?”

In an interview with Radio France, however, Vasseur has spoken glowingly about what Hamilton will bring to the team, claiming the 39-year-old’s experience of winning will be crucial for Ferrari’s development.

And he has claimed Leclerc could learn a thing or two from Hamilton, with the seven-time World Champion “an absolute master” of maintaining peak performance.

He said: “The arrival of Lewis Hamilton? It is important for the team.

“Beyond the speed, it brings serenity to the team, experience a track record. An experience of victory, which we also need at Ferrari to move forward.

“I’m also super happy because I’m convinced that the two will get along well. It’s going to help Charles the driver.

“It’s not just the performance in the car, in qualifying or the race. It’s also 365 days a year and on this I think Lewis is an absolute master.”

Vasseur’s comments come after Jacques Villeneuve, the 1997 World Champion, warned Leclerc that he faces a make-or-break season alongside Hamilton in 2025.

Villeneuve said: “Charles was brought into Ferrari as a champion when he wasn’t because he was brought in from Sauber saying: ‘Well, he is a champion’.

“No, because he was beating someone in karting or whatever, that doesn’t pan out. He still has to prove it.

“He’s shown a lot of speed, he’s shown that he’s super fast, but he’s not the one who won the race for Ferrari last year.

“So it will be interesting to see how that balances out inside Ferrari.

“This will be make or break for Charles, not for Lewis.”

Read next: Revealed: What happened with Ferrari’s 10 other British driver signings?