Downbeat Lewis Hamilton prediction cast for Ferrari combo with Charles Leclerc

Flavio Briatore talks Lewis Hamilton, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari and Red Bull...

(L to R): Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari with Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 1,
(L to R): Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari with Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes…

Lewis Hamilton will struggle to beat Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc next year, predicts Flavio Briatore.

Hamilton is in his final F1 season with Mercedes before joining Ferrari in 2025, replacing Carlos Sainz and joining Leclerc.

But ex-F1 team boss Briatore believes that Hamilton’s first year wearing red might not have a fairytale ending.

Briatore said to Tuttosport: “How long will we have to wait to see a winning Ferrari again?

“Ferrari must be more competitive.

“When there are 6 or 7 tenths it is impossible to fight for the title, they must improve the car by getting as close as possible to Red Bull.

“If this is the gap there is no driver who can make a difference. It is not the driver who solves all the problems of a team.

“If Hamilton were in a Ferrari today he would do the same things as Leclerc, who is a fast driver.

“For me Leclerc is underrated, Hamilton will struggle to stay in front of him.

“Drivers like Hamilton put little of themselves into it if the car isn't competitive.

“If he sees the possibility of getting on the podium, however, he has an edge.”

Another British driver has already impressed in Ferrari red, despite the impending arrival of Hamilton.

Oliver Bearman shone in an unexpected F1 debut in Saudi Arabia when deputising for the ill Carlos Sainz.

He even finished ahead of Hamilton in Saudi Arabia. Hamilton later embraced the teenage talent.

“Bearman? He was exceptional,” Briatore said.

“Nobody knew him, he was very good.

“Finishing the race while still being competitive and keeping the others behind is something to congratulate him on.

“He certainly has something, we'll see what over time…”

Briatore assessed the 2024 F1 landscape: "This year Red Bull is even more competitive, much better than last year and has a huge gap with the others.

“Max Verstappen gives 8 tenths to everyone, he never makes mistakes and the combination with Red Bull is as terrifying as Senna in McLaren, Alonso with Benetton or Schumacher in Ferrari.

“They are unbeatable at the moment. There is undisputed domination by Red Bull and that is not good for Formula 1.

“Ferrari may be the second force in the championship, but it is not a position suitable for Ferrari.

“The other teams - Mercedes, McLaren and Aston Martin - are all on the same line competing for it.”

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