Ex-F1 star makes intriguing prediction for Lewis Hamilton vs Charles Leclerc ‘clash’

Jamie Woodhouse
Lewis Hamilton, the Ferrari badge and Charles Leclerc.

Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc will be team-mates in 2025.

Former Formula 1 driver Vitantonio Liuzzi believes we could see a “healthy clash” between Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc at Ferrari, pushing them up through the gears to take on Red Bull.

While preparations are now in full flow for the F1 2024 campaign ahead, already there is a huge sense of excitement for the following season, with Hamilton’s move to Ferrari for 2025 confirmed.

That will see him partner Leclerc, a champion in waiting in the eyes of many, creating an eagerly-anticipated driver duo to battle it out in Ferrari red.

‘Healthy’ competition between Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc?

Exactly how Hamilton and Leclerc will co-exist remains to be seen, considering Leclerc has long since been seen as the Ferrari poster boy to lead them back to title-winning ways.

But now, he will have the “racing animal” Hamilton, as Liuzzi describes the Briton, to go up against, with Hamilton chasing a record-breaking eighth World Championship.

Speaking on Cusano News 7’s ‘A Tutto Sport’, Liuzzi said: “Lewis has shown that he is still a racing animal, a driver who leaves nothing to chance, who pushes to the last on the track.

“It is an important choice by Ferrari, he will not give up until he reaches this eighth title.

“A wise move by Ferrari not only economically, but it is difficult to make predictions. Predicting the future today is difficult, but the move is a good one and underlines that Ferrari wants to get back to winning.”

It may seem as though the ingredients are there for a fiery rivalry, but Liuzzi instead can foresee a “healthy clash” between Hamilton and Leclerc, which could give Ferrari the boost they need to challenge Red Bull, the dominant force of F1’s ground effect era.

“It is always better to see a clash between two drivers fighting for the title than when fighting for other steps on the podium,” he said of the potential Hamilton-Leclerc dynamic.

“It can be a healthy clash, but it can also be an incentive to push yourself to the limit, which is necessary to beat a superior Red Bull.”

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The collateral damage in all of this is Carlos Sainz, who heads into F1 2024 knowing it will be his last season with Ferrari as he searches for a new home on the grid.

Sainz has assured his commitment for the upcoming season and willingness to remain a team player, but Liuzzi is not so sure this promise will play out that way.

“Announcing Hamilton so early can be a problem for Sainz’s motivation,” Liuzzi suggested.

“It will be a season marked by an internal challenge between Leclerc and the Spaniard, Carlos will want to show he is a fast driver who can give a hard time.”

Sainz has been linked with the likes of Mercedes, Williams and Sauber, which will morph into the Audi works team as of 2026.

However, when speaking to media including PlanetF1.com, Sainz stressed that his next F1 destination is not a decision that he can rush.

“I think as much as I said that I wanted to make my future sorted before the first race, I think now these things and the scenario have changed quite a bit as you can imagine,” he said.

“So I think it is going to be probably a longer process. I have ahead of me probably my most important three or four years of my career where I want to make sure that I’m in the right place at the right time. I want to make sure I pick the right next destination for me.

“So I’m going to take my time to think about it, to listen to all the options, to have a look at all the options, so that I can just feel calm that when I take the decision, I’ve given myself enough time and with enough information.”

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