- Lewis Hamilton agreed to shock £40m switch from Mercedes to Ferrari in 2025
- The Briton hopes to dethrone Red Bull’s Max Verstappen with the Scuderia
- But David Coulthard says Hamilton’s biggest threat could be his new teammate
Overtaking Charles Leclerc will be Lewis Hamilton’s toughest challenge at Ferrari, Formula One legend David Coulthard has warned.
Mercedes driver Hamilton shocked the sport earlier this month by agreeing to a bombshell £40m move to Ferrari from 2025, ending his 13-year stay with the Silver Arrows.
Despite once stating that he would end his career at Mercedes and even remain a brand ambassador there for the rest of his life, Hamilton made use of an exit clause in the second year of his new two-year contract to join to the most famous team in sport. with a multi-year contract.
Carlos Sainz confirmed he will make way for Hamilton at the end of next season, with Leclerc joining the seven-time world champion at the Scuderia.
Coulthard believes Leclerc will represent the Briton’s “biggest challenge” when he arrives in the Ferrari paddock, as he backs the 26-year-old to become a future world champion.
Charles Leclerc will be Lewis Hamilton’s biggest challenge at Ferrari, believes David Coulthard
Hamilton shocked the sport with explosive £40m move from Mercedes to Ferrari from 2025
Admitting his surprise at Hamilton’s change, he said Planet F1: ‘I never imagined that indeed, even on good terms, I would break that winning relationship that has existed since I was 12 years old with Mercedes.
“But having said that, I think it’s very exciting for Formula 1. It will give a big boost to Ferrari in recruiting engineers and people really understand that they are getting an incredible driver.”
“I have to say that I think he will find one of his biggest challenges in Charles Leclerc.
‘Charles is a brilliantly fast young racing driver. Yes, he doesn’t have the World Championships or the experience of Lewis, but I think he is a champion in waiting, so that may well be where Lewis faces his biggest challenge.
“I think Charles is one of the fastest single-lap drivers out there.”
Hamilton has been unusually out of the championship picture for the past two seasons, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen dominating the Formula One circuit.
Hamilton has been in the shadow of Red Bull’s three-time championship winner Max Verstappen (left) for the past few seasons but hopes to return to the top of F1 at the Scuderia.
Coulthard insists Leclerc is a future world champion and described him as ‘brilliantly fast’
The Dutchman won his third consecutive world title in October, establishing himself as one of the greats in the history of this sport.
Although Hamilton will be eager to overthrow Red Bull’s dominance at Mercedes, Martin Brundle agreed that teammate Leclerc could end up being the 39-year-old veteran’s biggest rival in terms of pace.
He said sky sports: ‘I think Leclerc is potentially, on an absolute qualifying lap, the fastest driver out there right now, even including Max Verstappen.
“He’s incredibly fast, he tends to hit some things he shouldn’t from time to time and go off the road, Charles, because he drives so close to the limit.”