Leclerc 'May Feel Some Nervousness' From Being Paired With Seven-Time World Champion

Tuesday, 06 February 2024 at 20:00
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Ten-time Grand Prix winner Gerhard Berger suggested Charles Leclerc might have a reason to feel nervous after the announcement of Lewis Hamilton's move to Ferrari.
Many experts have reacted to Lewis Hamilton's announced move to Scuderia Ferrari in 2025. Most of them agreed this move from Mercedes is great both for the 39-year-old and for Ferrari.
But how good is it for Charles Leclerc, Hamilton's new teammate? Former Ferrari driver Gerhard Berger suggested the Monegasque driver might feel some nervousness. He told Corriere della Sera:

"In some respects, Charles may feel some nervousness because Lewis is a consistent driver on every front. He is strong politically, technically, and has super experience."

The Mercedes driver is currently the most successful F1 driver there has ever been. Being matched with such a teammate will be challenging for the 26-year-old.
However, while he does not have a record of achievements to back his position, he did beat a four-time World Champion (Sebastian Vettel) as his teammate before.

"On the other hand, Leclerc is younger. He can find ways to travel on Hamilton‘s levels. Speed, no mistakes, strategy, tactics. All this will pose questions for him to answer."

The Monegasque still has a lot to learn, and there aren't many better opportunities to learn than being paired with the seven-time World Champion.

"Similarly, partnering Hamilton at Mercedes will provide Leclerc with the opportunity to prove his abilities."

Martin Brundle even suggested Leclerc would be the one who would have an advantage when it comes to outright qualifying laps. Moreover, there isn't too much to lose for Leclerc.
Losing to the most successful driver in the history of the sport is not that embarrassing and if he managed to beat the seven-time World Champion, that would be incredible and strengthen his position on the driver market. Berger added:

"When you want to be the best, you are forced to compare yourself with anyone. If Charles can beat Lewis – compete with or surpass him – he will get an extra boost of confidence, a new awareness."