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Coulthard: Hamilton will “find biggest challenge” in Leclerc

Who will win the Ferrari team duel in 2025? The F1 experts are unanimous: Lewis Hamilton will face the best qualifier in Charles Leclerc

The 2024 Formula 1 season hasn’t even started yet, but with Lewis Hamilton’s move to Ferrari, there is already a lot of discussion about the pecking order in 2025, in particular about the team-internal duel between Charles Leclerc and Hamilton at the Scuderia

“Leclerc is a big problem [for Hamilton] because Leclerc will be faster. Anything else would surprise me.”

David Coulthard is the next Formula 1 expert to have his say in his joint podcast Formula for Success with former team boss Eddie Jordan. The 13-time Grand Prix winner also suspects: “I think he will find one of his biggest challenges in Charles Leclerc. “

Coulthard on Hamilton: “Don’t see him getting any faster “

He justifies this with the incredible qualifying strength of the Monegasque, who is 14th in the eternal pole position ranking of Formula 1 with 23 poles: “I think Charles is one of the fastest drivers out there on one lap.”

“And in general, Charles is a young, brilliantly fast racing driver. Yes, he doesn’t have the world championships and the experience of Lewis, but I think he’s a champion in waiting and that could be the biggest challenge for Lewis,” says Coulthard, who also draws a comparison to his active time in the premier class.

“I think Mika Häkkinen was one of the fastest drivers on a lap and I would think even faster than Michael Schumacher. Logically, I can’t prove that because they never had the same car, but where Michael excelled was that he could do the qualifying lap 60 times [in the race]. “

“And I think Charles is an impressive qualifier, whereas Lewis is an incredible race driver. But he’s 40 years old, so I don’t see him getting any faster on a lap, whereas Charles is in his prime at this point. “

Leclerc also faster than Verstappen on one lap?

“But apart from that, I think it’s very exciting for Formula 1. It will give Ferrari a huge boost when it comes to bringing in engineers and people really understand that they’re getting an incredible driver.”

Martin Brundle, Sky UK Formula 1 pundit, shares a similar assessment: “I think Leclerc is the fastest driver on a qualifying lap in the current field, even with Max Verstappen. He’s lightning fast, but tends to get caught up in things from time to time and fly off the track because he’s just driving so close to the limit. “

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