‘Too nice’ concern for Charles Leclerc ahead of 2025 Lewis Hamilton battle

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

Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton chat.

Despite showing some spunk against Carlos Sainz in the Chinese Grand Prix, Robert Doornbos says Charles Leclerc is “too nice” to become a World Champion.

As such he reckons if Ferrari design a title-winning car next season, the Monégasque driver will be “eaten” by his new team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

‘Charles Leclerc is too nice to be World Champion’

Just days after praising Sainz for being the “stronger” of the two in the opening rounds of the season, Leclerc’s goodwill towards his team-mate vanished in an incident in the Sprint race at the Chinese Grand Prix.

The team-mates raced wheel-to-wheel in the closing laps with Sainz making contact with Leclerc as he used the latter’s car to help him make the apex of a corner.

Leclerc called it “over the line”, but didn’t seem overly fazed only to give Sainz a taste of his own medicine a day later when he raced his team-mate hard at the start of the Grand Prix, even pushing him wide.

But despite his display of fighting spirit, former F1 driver Doornbos reckons Leclerc is “too nice” to win a World title unlike a “Hamilton or a Verstappen”.

Based on that, he believes if Ferrari design a title-winning car next season, seven-time World Champion Hamilton will get the better of him.

“Leclerc is too nice to be World Champion,” Doornbos told Ziggo Sport. “A Hamilton or a Verstappen, that is not possible with Leclerc.

“Suppose Ferrari gets the best car next year, then Hamilton will eat it.”

He added: “Leclerc doesn’t seem harsh to me when I look at the mistakes he makes and how he is with his engineers.”

PlanetF1.com recommends

Follow PlanetF1.com’s WhatsApp channel for all the F1 breaking news!

Ferrari rivalry: Fred Vasseur faces biggest test yet over brewing driver clash

Doornbos’ comments come just days after Nico Rosberg questioned whether Leclerc was too placid as a team-mate as he gears up to take on Hamilton next season.

“We’re all looking forward to that dynamic,” the 2016 World Champion told Sky F1. “Charles doesn’t seem like someone who goes into conflict too much with his team-mates, that will make it easier.”

He added: “From that point of view, maybe it won’t be too extremely spicy.

“But, nevertheless, I mean, Charles is probably the second-best qualifier out there after Max Verstappen, one could possibly say at the moment.

“So, it’s going to be a tough, tough battle for both really and I think the level could be pretty similar, so it would be great to watch.”

Read next: ‘I’d be challenging Lewis Hamilton’ – Fellow multi-time champion reveals surprise ‘gift’ for racing