Briatore doubts Hamilton’s ability to rule over Leclerc

Flavio Briatore, a figure synonymous with Formula 1 controversy and the former Renault team principal, has forecasted a challenging time for Lewis Hamilton should he join Ferrari next year, potentially finding himself outpaced by Charles Leclerc.

Having been spotted discussing with Toto Wolff in Monaco amidst the unfolding news of Hamilton’s potential move to Ferrari, Briatore now envisions a 2024 season dominated once again by Red Bull and Max Verstappen. “This year Red Bull is even more competitive – much more than last year, with a huge gap over the others,” Briatore stated on Italian broadcaster Rai 1, highlighting Verstappen’s substantial lead and flawless performance. “Verstappen has 8 tenths over everyone and never makes a mistake,” he added, comparing Verstappen’s harmony with Red Bull to historical synergies seen in F1’s past.

While Ferrari, under Frederic Vasseur’s leadership, claims to have bridged the gap to Red Bull, Briatore remains critical. “They may be the second force, but it is not a position suitable for Ferrari. The car must improve. With those gaps, no driver can make the difference,” he expressed, pointing out the limitations drivers face without competitive machinery.

Briatore’s comments come amid Ferrari’s decision to replace Carlos Sainz with Hamilton, a seven-time world champion. “If Hamilton was already at Ferrari today, he would do the same things as Leclerc, who is a fast driver, although often underestimated,” Briatore remarked, acknowledging both drivers’ capabilities. However, he suggested that Hamilton might find the internal competition with Leclerc tougher than anticipated. “In the end he might struggle to stay ahead of Charles because he is one of those drivers who doesn’t put much effort into it if the car isn’t good,” Briatore concluded, hinting at potential challenges ahead for Hamilton at Ferrari.

GMM

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