Leclerc and race engineer in Saudi Arabia in discussion: 'Unbelievable'

Leclerc and race engineer in Saudi Arabia in discussion: 'Unbelievable'

22 March - 07:27 Last update: 09:05

Christian Danner sees that Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc are not currently 'happy' at their teams. Both drivers were hoping to fight for the world title this year, but the harsh reality is that a serious fight with Max Verstappen is extremely far away. Danner suspects Hamilton will remain motivated, although he sees a bit more impatience from Leclerc.

For Hamilton, it is once again not the season he had hoped for. Mercedes are already out of contention for the world title in 2022, but still stuck to the concept of the disappointing W13 for 2023. That now appears to have been the wrong choice, something Hamilton is hugely annoyed about. The Brit indicated that he felt his criticisms and wishes for the current season were not listened to enough.

Will Hamilton stay motivated?

Hamilton seems determined to grab his eighth world title in Formula 1 and Danner therefore does not expect Hamilton to hang up his helmet after this season. The Mercedes driver's contract expires after this season, but signatures have still not been put to a new commitment. There are rumours in the paddock that Hamilton is waiting to see if the situation will improve at Mercedes in the coming period.

Danner: "Nevertheless, I do not believe that seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton will lose his drive for Formula 1. If only because we are witnessing a magnificently driving Fernando Alonso, and the Spaniard is three years older than Lewis," the analyst told Servus TV. As is well known, Hamilton and Alonso are not exactly each other's best friends. In 2007, the two clashed regularly as teammates at McLaren.

The fact that they are not doing as well now may affect their motivation. "Certainly, an uncompetitive car can take the edge off a driver. But for me, Lewis is a driver who doesn't get demotivated easily. Even when a pretty rough wind blows against him in the form of his stablemate George Russell. Hamilton is someone who bites into setbacks and then looks determinedly for success."

Leclerc not satisfied either

For Charles Leclerc, the start of the season has also been disappointing. With the SF23, the Ferrari driver has not been given a car with which he can fight for wins, let alone the World Championship. Danner is surprised by the situation of the racing stable hailing from Maranello.

"For me, a radio conversation between Leclerc and his race engineer was telling," the former Formula 1 driver is referring to the fact that the Monegasque was belatedly told by Xavier Marcos Padros to go full throttle after the safety car line because Hamilton had made a pit stop. Leclerc criticised Xavi, as he felt the information came far too late. "For me, those are indications though. Having to have such discussions in a race, unbelievable. Ferrari in sixth and seventh place, in a race where the Italians had expected so much, that's a complete disaster."

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