Ferrari: Hamilton against Leclerc, the super challenge of an explosive couple

The seven-time world champion has more experience and consistency in the race. The other will want to beat him based on age. And in qualifying duel between two pole aces

Luigi Perna

The most successful driver in the history of F.1 alongside one of the best talents of the new generation. On paper, Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc are a dream couple and the Ferrari of 2025 will become a “dream team”. However, the success or failure of this sensational market operation will also depend on other factors. First of all, the competitiveness of the red team in the coming seasons and then the ability to bring together two great drivers driven by the same ambition of winning the title with the Maranello Scuderia.


Putting the qualities of Lewis and Charles on the scale, to find out to what extent they are compatible, can be a fun game. The most similar characteristic they have in common is speed in qualifying. A natural gift that earned the English champion the absolute record of 104 pole positions and the Monegasque Principino a haul of 23 poles with Ferrari, second in the history of the Cavallino on a par with Niki Lauda and behind only Michael Schumacher. Both Hamilton and Leclerc are specialists in pushing the car to the limit on a single lap, bringing out the maximum. They remember the magical Ayrton Senna. It can be a significant advantage when fighting for the front row on the edge of hundredths. With two like this, Ferrari could decide to sacrifice something in qualifying to develop the car more in terms of race pace in the coming seasons.


Few drivers have Hamilton’s racing vision. Capable of managing every situation with his experience and even anticipating the team’s strategic decisions. Furthermore, Lewis is a master at using tyres. Two aspects on which Leclerc still needs to improve. So Charles could benefit from being close to Lewis in the garage, extracting some secrets from him. In terms of intensity, they are two “hammers”. Capable of overtaking and formidable comebacks. But Hamilton, on his best days, can only be compared to the Schumi of the golden years or Fernando Alonso. The same goes for wet driving, an art at which Lewis excels.


The new adventure that Hamilton will face with Ferrari contains an element that represents a challenge within the challenge. The seven-time world champion will in fact have to adapt to a very different environment from that of the English teams he was used to, first McLaren and then Mercedes for twelve seasons. He will have little time available. While Leclerc will “welcome” him as the master of the house in a team that he knows perfectly, in which he has grown since his debut in F.1, and of which he represents the leader today. There will be a good confrontation in the locker room. But it will have to be constructive if Ferrari wants to get the best out of their coexistence to develop a winning car and group.


Hamilton’s charisma is magnetic. His role as team man was one of the ingredients of Mercedes’ domination in the era of hybrid power units, from 2014 to 2020. The personality of the champion, which goes beyond the world of sport, ranging from the battles for civil rights to the passion for fashion served to drag the entire team towards ever greater successes. He was a formidable fuel for the silver men’s motivation and hunger for victories. When a driver like this is behind the wheel, the others are also pushed to give more. And it would be nice if Hamilton managed to bring this “euphoria” effect to the walls of Maranello too. It will be a cumbersome presence for Leclerc, catalyzing all the spotlight on himself, and it will become a “sweet” problem to establish the hierarchies if Ferrari returns to contention for the World Championship. But President John Elkann’s desire to hire a global champion who could also become a major commercial deal for Ferrari prevailed.


Hamilton will be 40 in 2025: it was the unrepeatable opportunity to give himself one last dance in red before ending his career. His horizon in Maranello could be two seasons, until 2026, in the hope of winning a historic eighth title which would allow him to overtake Schumi among the legends of all time. While Leclerc, 26, has his young age in his favor and a recently renewed multi-year contract. So the theoretical possibility of opening a cycle if the red team were to win again. Charles meets a Lewis in the final phase of his sporting career and will want to beat the greatest, with the same car, to put a star on his chest. But history teaches us: never consider Hamilton finished.