The verdict from René Arnoux, former Ferrari driver in Formula 1, on the future relationship between Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc: for the Frenchman, a winner of seven Grands Prix between 1978 and 1989, there will be sparks. The Monegasque “has more talent than Lewis [Hamilton] had at his age,” but the Englishman will not come to Maranello to be a second driver. “A marketing operation? Yes, but not only.”
It is the most highly discussed topic at the moment. Lewis Hamilton’s arrival at Scuderia Ferrari opens up dreams, hypotheses, and scenarios that the entire Formula 1 paddock is analyzing and will continue to analyze for the next 12 months. In an interview for the Italian daily newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport, René Arnoux also joins this enthusiastic group. According to the former French driver, age will be a factor not to be underestimated.
“[We must take into account] psychological fatigue, travel fatigue, the excessive number of races – explains René Arnoux – It will be very difficult to fight for the title. All drivers want to go to Ferrari, without exception. It happened to me too. Lewis Hamilton is a great champion; the problem is that he will arrive when he is 40: I don’t think one can win a World Championship at that age.” – he pointed out.
Much will depend on the quality of Ferrari’s project for 2025 and 2026. On a competitive car, Lewis Hamilton can have his say and “achieve good results,” but against the still young Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc, he may struggle. Something that may have led the Monegasque to accept the arrival of the new teammate willingly: “I don’t think he took the news badly; he knows that Lewis is a certain age.” – the French former racing driver who competed in 12 Formula One seasons added.
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And if Lewis Hamilton performs well instead? “It will be a nice rivalry,” declares René Arnoux, adding that both drivers will be put on an equal footing.
However, the timing is wrong: “They put Carlos Sainz in a very embarrassing position. Getting such a slap at the beginning of the season will not do him good, and who knows if he will be able to repeat an exploit like in Singapore. If a team had done something like this to me, I would have taken it very, very badly.” – René Arnoux concluded.