Charles Leclerc was reportedly ‘shocked and disappointed’ to discover that Lewis Hamilton would be his Ferrari team-mate for the 2025 season.
Hamilton’s bombshell £40m switch from Mercedes was announced last week, with the seven-time world champion set to see out the remainder of his Formula One career with the sport’s most famous team.
The news came just one week after Ferrari announced that Leclerc had signed a multi-year extension with the Scuderia – with Hamilton set to replace his current team-mate Carlos Sainz.
Leclerc is seen as one of the fastest outright drivers on the grid and has had the measure of all of his team-mates since he stepped up to F1 in 2018.
However, being joined by arguably the greatest driver of his generation poses a huge challenge for the 26-year-old and Corriere dello Sport claim that Leclerc and his entourage were not happy upon hearing the news.
Lewis Hamilton will become Charles Leclerc’s team-mate at Ferrari for the 2025 season
Leclerc was reportedly ‘shocked and disappointed’ to hear about Hamilton’s arrival
Leclerc ‘had no idea’ of Hamilton joining the team when his Ferrari extension was revealed a week prior
The Italian publication report that he was ‘shocked and disappointed’ by Ferrari’s decision and that he had ‘no idea what was about to happen’.
This is despite the Monegasque driver hinting that Hamilton would become his Ferrari team-mate last season.
Leclerc was asked what he ‘looks for in a team-mate’ in the wake of Mail Sport’s world exclusive last May that Ferrari were in talks with Hamilton.
The Monegasque driver laughed at the question before looking over at Hamilton and saying: ‘Hello Lewis’.
The British driver, dressed in Mercedes gear, can then be seen smiling awkwardly.
There had been reports from Marca that Leclerc is relishing the challenge, as he will either beat a seven-time world champion or lose to one of the best in history.
Hamilton, who will turn 40 next year, has long dreamed of being a Ferrari driver.
Speaking about his exit from Mercedes on social media, Hamilton wrote: ‘After an incredible 11 years at Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team, the time has come for me to start a new chapter in my life and I will be joining Scuderia Ferrari in 2025.
Leclerc will be hoping for an improve Ferrari challenge this season after failing to win a race in 2023
‘I feel incredibly fortunate, after achieving things with Mercedes that I could only have dreamed of as a kid, that I now have the chance to fulfil another childhood dream. Driving in Ferrari red.’
Ferrari have not won a drivers’ championship since Kimi Raikkonen in 2007, with the Finn and Felipe Massa helping the Scuderia to what is their last constructors’ championship just one year later.
Leclerc will be hoping for an improved Ferrari challenge this season after failing to win a race during the 2023 campaign.