Lewis Hamilton has already offered Charles Leclerc a glimpse into the type of teammate he values in F1, citing Valtteri Bottas as the ideal racing companion.
The duo will unite to constitute Ferrari’s driver line-up in 2025 following the seven-time world champion’s unexpected departure from Mercedes earlier this month.
Throughout his 11-year tenure with the Silver Arrows, Hamilton has collaborated with exceptional talents such as Nico Rosberg and George Russell.
However, the 39-year-old identifies Bottas as his most esteemed teammate to date.
Elaborating on his bond with Bottas prior to the Finn’s exit from Mercedes in 2021, Hamilton elucidated: “Ultimately you want to beat your teammate.
There is always an internal rivalry. [It is] a very difficult path to walk down and it’s very easy to be on the wrong side and you fall out or whatever.
He supported me and I supported him. And we still support each other today.”
The Mercedes icon then proceeded to comment: “I recently remarked about my current teammate and said he was the best teammate, but you have to see what that definition means.
We are in a sport where we try to win two different championships – we both try to win the Drivers’ title, but our job is to win the Constructors’ title too, so we have to work together.
For the first time, I had a teammate with whom I really communicated.
You know, ‘I felt this…’, ‘I had this feeling’, without hiding anything from each other, trying to improve each other, helping each other to be our best version.
It had never happened with other drivers before. It’s something unique. And as a human being, it’s fantastic.
Once we get off the track we talk like gentlemen. No tricks.”
These comments provide a clear guideline for Leclerc ahead of their partnership as teammates in 2025, although any significant friction between the Monegasque driver and Hamilton seems improbable, given his previous track record.
Leclerc has maintained a harmonious relationship with Carlos Sainz over the past two years and, despite fierce competition and high stakes, has also upheld civil relationships with Marcus Ericsson and Sebastian Vettel.
However, confronting a seven-time world champion in Hamilton will present the greatest challenge of Leclerc’s career thus far, and the pair must sidestep internal conflicts if they are to challenge Red Bull before the 2026 regulation alterations.