Hamilton, Leclerc now in ’honeymoon’ period - Vasseur

"I never ask my drivers to be best friends"


15 May 2024 - 09:24
Hamilton, Leclerc now in 'honeymoon

Frederic Vasseur says he is confident Lewis Hamilton will get along with Charles Leclerc once the seven time world champion makes the switch for 2025 and beyond.

The Ferrari boss told La Repubblica newspaper that deciding to oust Carlos Sainz was "not easy", as both the Spaniard and Leclerc are "very competitive" as an existing lineup.

"I have to calm them down every two races, but they respect the team," Vasseur smiled.

However, he decided that Ferrari needed "fresh blood" as the team sets up for an assault on Red Bull’s dominance.

"I know his professionalism, although it’s not that our drivers don’t already have it," said the Frenchman. "But Lewis has a different vision of things and we can benefit from that.

"Together with Fernando Alonso he is the most experienced driver on the grid, and the most experienced on the grid for winning. But he will bring his knowledge of outside the car, on how to approach the weekend, with the goal of achieving excellence. That will drive us forward a lot.

"And, in any case, we must remember that now we are looking at the details. Any detail or individual contribution can make a difference."

However, Vasseur appeared to play down rising speculation that Adrian Newey’s next move will be to Maranello.

"With his experience and achievement, Adrian is the benchmark for all of Formula 1," said Vasseur. "He’s probably the one with the most experience.

"At the same time, I believe much more in the team than in individuals. Part of success is where everyone knows their role in the system and how it strengthens the whole team.

"I will always be the one who will insist on the importance of this idea."

However, Vasseur has already poached Hamilton, alongside two other signings from Mercedes - new deputy boss Jerome d’Ambrosio, and engineer Loic Serra.

He denies that has strained his friendship with Toto Wolff.

"No, that’s still normal," Vasseur laughed. "When I came to Formula 1 ten years ago, we both understood that in some situations we would inevitably become competitors, and that such a moment would come.

"But it is also true that until now we have never been direct rivals," he added. "Last year we competed for the first time, but we always tried not to mix business and our personal affairs. Even if in our sport it’s not always easy."

Vasseur is confident Hamilton and Leclerc will also get along.

"I never ask my drivers to be best friends or to go on vacation together," he said. "I myself don’t do this with my colleagues.

"You just need an honest relationship full of mutual respect, and I think they already have that. Over the past two months, they have already become a little closer, although in this period it’s like a honeymoon.

"But I would say that so far, everything is good. No clouds in the sky."



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