Lewis Hamilton Indirectly Declared Ferrari’s Number 1 by Frederic Vasseur

Published 02/20/2024, 5:32 AM EST

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Ever since Lewis Hamilton announced his plans to join Ferrari in 2025, many have been debating about the future of the man he’ll be replacing, Carlos Sainz. However, more than Sainz, Hamilton will be affecting the life and future of Charles Leclerc. Hamilton joining the Italian team will surely upset the team’s hierarchy as he would want to exert his authority. However, after a recent admission from Frederic Vasseur, he might not need to.

After Vasseur took the reins of the Italian team at the start of the previous season, he was asked plenty of questions about the team’s hierarchy. Many quizzed him if he would make Charles Leclerc the No.1 driver in the team ahead of Carlos Sainz. To these questions, Vasseur always held the stance that there is no leader in the team and both drivers will get equal opportunities. He believed whoever does better during a weekend gets the preference.

via Imago

This should be the approach moving forward, especially in 2025 as well, right? Well, Vasseur’s recent admission highlights we might see this approach change. While speaking to the media, as quoted by Il Messaggero, Vasseur subtly admitted Hamilton would be leading the team and work as a reference point for the team’s future.


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“I also think,” said Vasseur and added, “That it was sensible on our part to take a driver of his experience and with such a prestigious record. I believe he can be a reference point for the development of the team in the future.” 

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This admission highlights why Carlos Sainz was not given even an option to extend and what Leclerc can expect in the future. We doubt the Monegasque would appreciate this shift in dynamics. However, according to an ex-Ferrari driver, there won’t be a shift.

Charles Leclerc pipped to keep the Ferrari crown despite facing the Lewis Hamilton challenge

Moving to Ferrari is not the same as moving from one British-based team to another. Moving to Ferrari translates to embedding Italy into your lifestyle, and that’s exactly what Hamilton will have to do. Apart from making this huge adjustment, Hamilton will also have to face the challenge of a driver who is considered a future world champion by many.


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Even if Vasseur or the world believes Hamilton will lead the team, ex-Ferrari driver Rene Arnoux has faith in Leclerc’s abilities and knows he won’t be a pushover. In a statement, he expressed that the Monegasque has the talent to compete with the 7x champion.


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He said, “Charles wants to win at least one World Championship with Ferrari. He wasted time with Binotto, but he stayed in Maranello. Leclerc’s talent today for me is far superior to Hamilton’s at his age. It is true that experience is important, but Leclerc also has a lot of it now. That’s why I don’t think he took the news badly: he knows Lewis is a certain age.”


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WATCH THIS STORY: Charles Leclerc’s Hopeful Mission: Reviving Ferrari Despite Massive Gap!

Even if Vasseur has given us a glimpse of who will be the team’s leader in the future, Leclerc won’t take it sitting down. We can expect the Monegasque to fight back and that’s when things should get interesting.


Written by:

Mahim Suhalka


One take at a time

Mahim is a senior Formula 1 writer at EssentiallySports. With a Diploma in Sports Management, he ventured into sports journalism for his sheer passion for F1. Mahim has written over 2000 articles during his tenure at ES, and his expertise is in perspective pieces and core sports coverage.
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Edited by:

Akash Pandhare