Formula 1: Charles Leclerc Issues Subtle Championship Warning to Hamilton Following Ferrari Switch

Formula 1: Charles Leclerc Issues Subtle Championship Warning to Hamilton Following Ferrari Switch

Ero Samson
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
  • The commencement of the 2024 Formula 1 season looms ever closer
  • Ferrari has announced the signing of Lewis Hamilton from Mercedes
  • Charles Leclerc has issued a subtle championship warning to the British driver

The 2024 Formula 1 season looms ever closer, and a host of drivers and teams have continued to show their preparedness for what will be the longest season in the history of the sport.

The unveiling of liveries and racing suits by various teams has been met with enthusiasm, accompanied by bold declarations of ambition for the upcoming season.

Formula 1, F1, Charles Leclerc, Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen
Ferrari's Charles Leclerc during the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina. Image: Jakub Porzycki.
Source: Getty Images

While MoneyGram Haas, team principal, Ayao Komatsu, may have candidly acknowledged the possibility of his team trailing at the bottom of the grid during the Bahrain Grand Prix, a similar pessimistic outlook is not shared among others.

Among those radiating positivity for the new season is Scuderia Ferrari’s, Charles Leclerc, who has openly expressed his ambition for the new F1 season and subsequent ones.

Leclerc’s F1 ambition

The 26-year-old, fresh from signing a lucrative multi-year contract extension with Ferrari, boldly articulated his aspirations for the upcoming season and beyond.

As reported by FanaticsFerrari, Leclerc, who made his F1 debut in 2018 with the Sauber F1 Team before transitioning to Ferrari a year later, emphasised his singular focus for the season ahead.

“To win the championship, this is the only target I have.” he declared.
“I'm only happy when I win; second place is not my target.

The Monagasque, with a record of five race victories out of 125 Grand Prix entries, encountered fierce competition from Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen throughout the 2023 season, failing to add to his wins tally.

With the addition of Lewis Hamilton, who seeks a record-setting eighth championship with the Maranello-based outfit, securing victories could prove to be an even greater challenge for Leclerc.

Hamilton's status as the team's primary driver, coupled with Leclerc likely assuming a subordinate role, suggests an uphill battle for the Monegasque driver.

Nonetheless, Leclerc's unequivocal declaration of intent sends a clear message not only to his rivals on the grid but also to the incoming Hamilton: he is not to be underestimated, and he is prepared to fiercely compete for his place at Ferrari.

Red Bull chief on Verstappen replacing Hamilton

Sports Brief in another report stated that Red Bull Racing’s head of driver development program, Helmut Marko, has commented on the discussions linking Max Verstappen with Mercedes AMG.

Rumours had circulated regarding the possibility of the three-time drivers’ champion replacing the departing Lewis Hamilton.

However, Marko emphasised the German constructor's difficulty in poaching their most prized asset.

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Ero Samson
Samson Ero is a sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry. He graduated from Nigerian Institute of Journalism (2021-2023).
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