Charles Leclerc was reportedly ‘shocked and disappointed’ upon learning that Lewis Hamilton would be his Ferrari teammate for the 2025 season.
Hamilton’s surprising £40m move from Mercedes was revealed last week, with the seven-time world champion set to conclude his Formula One career with the iconic Italian team.
The announcement came just a week after Ferrari disclosed Leclerc’s multi-year contract extension, with Hamilton slated to replace his current teammate Carlos Sainz.
Widely regarded as one of the quickest drivers on the grid, Leclerc has consistently outperformed his teammates since entering F1 in 2018.
However, facing arguably the greatest driver of his era presents a significant challenge for the 26-year-old, with reports from Corriere dello Sport suggesting that Leclerc and his team were displeased by Ferrari’s decision.
The Italian publication claims that Leclerc was ‘shocked and disappointed’ by the news and was caught off guard by the announcement. This is despite the Monegasque driver subtly hinting at Hamilton becoming his teammate last season.
During an interview last May, Leclerc was asked about his preferences in a teammate shortly after reports emerged of Ferrari’s negotiations with Hamilton.
Responding with a laugh, Leclerc greeted Hamilton, who was present at the time, with a friendly “Hello, Lewis,” eliciting an awkward smile from the British driver.
Reports from Marca suggested that Leclerc sees the challenge positively, viewing it as an opportunity to either triumph over a seven-time world champion or compete against one of the greatest drivers in history.
Hamilton, who will celebrate his 40th birthday next year, has harboured ambitions of driving for Ferrari for a long time.
In a social media post addressing his departure from Mercedes, Hamilton expressed gratitude for his 11-year tenure with the team and excitement about joining Scuderia Ferrari in 2025.
With Ferrari’s last drivers’ championship secured by Kimi Raikkonen in 2007 and their most recent constructors’ championship won in 2008, Leclerc aims for an improved performance this season after a winless campaign in 2023.